Why Training of Trainers (ToT) is crucial for the success of any training program

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The twin challenge that training institutions and organizations face is to meet the demands of the industry and to upgrade and improve training continuously. For the organizations to meet the demands and to cope with the changing work scenario and technological advancements, teachers and trainers play an important role. It becomes imperative to keep the teachers and trainers updated with the latest knowledge and skills through impactful Training of Trainers (ToT) programs.

In this skill talk, Ms. Neera Chandra, Chief Technical Officer & GM (ToT, CSR, RPL and other special projects) at ATDC, shares practical insights on ToT, it’s importance, teaching methodology, etc., based on her rich and varied experience of 27 years in academia and industry. Read on to know more.

Q: Why is the Training of Trainers (ToT ) crucial to the success of any training intervention?

A: Once a person completes a course, it is the usual perception that they are ready to teach or train. But teaching or training is very different from learning. One can be an expert in a subject, but might not be able to deliver the knowledge and skills to the students and trainees. Therefore, Training of Trainers(ToT) is very important and integral to the effectiveness of any program.

The three objectives or approaches to the training of trainers and teachers can be summarised under “RUN” – Reskilling, Upskilling, and New skilling. With changing scenarios, for example, the COVID-19 situation,  teaching had to shift to online classes and therefore, teachers had to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge within a short time. From teaching on blackboards to whiteboards and now to teaching digitally, teachers need to train themselves and learn new skills, upskill themselves as per the advancements within the domain and reskill to cope with the changes.

Why Training of Trainers (ToT) is crucial for the success of any training programA single domain of specialization has and requires many skills, it has various job roles and various fields of specialization. However, all these fields are interlinked. For example, in apparel manufacturing, both the trainer and students need to know some parts of finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship to understand the big picture. Just the domain skills are not enough. Therefore, this multi-level knowledge, soft skills, and life skills can be taught to teachers and trainers who in-turn teach the students.

Teachers have to undergo training so as to follow the “T-shape” in skilling. T-shape would mean that a person can have expertise in one domain but one might have to spread the arms in two different domains and develop these skills among the students not only for jobs but also for entrepreneurial opportunities.

Q: What should be the new approach of vocational trainers to teach the students?

A: These days, students have a lot of exposure to knowledge since they are exposed to several online content and learning options. Knowledge is available everywhere and very easily. But students must know how to use this knowledge. This is where the role of a trainer becomes absolutely important. Only a teacher or a trainer would be able to give a certain direction to the students, device certain methodology by processing the knowledge as per their learning levels or job requirements.

With the new National Education Policy 2020, more emphasis has been laid on vocational training. This means that teachers should not only have the knowledge of the domain but also be able to teach soft skills. Therefore, teachers and trainers will first have to upgrade and develop themselves, and only then they will be able to train the students to be multi-taskers.

Q: How does training differ for trainers coming from various fields and backgrounds?

atdc_training_of_trainersA: Trainers are of different kinds – from academics, from the industry or from the skilling ecosystem. All the different categories of trainers need the ToT program tailored to their specific requirements. Academic training would mean that they should have certain qualifications like Ph.D., research, presentations, etc. In the industry, training is mostly provided to the supervisors, middle-level management, who will further train their workers. However, in skilling ecosystem, a majority of the trainers are mostly trained for shop-floor level job roles. But each of them has few things that are common in training – life skills, platform skills, training delivery, etc.

Therefore, we have to identify what kind of teacher he/she is going to be, what kind of students he/she will be teaching, and who would be the ultimate receiver of that knowledge. Accordingly, the teacher has to work backward and this makes the training of trainers all the more important.

Related Article: Teaching Apparel Design in the time of fast-changing fashion – Read More: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/teaching-apparel-design-in-the-time-of-fast-changing-fashion/

Q: What is the approach of the Training of Trainers program at ATDC?

A: At ATDC, we provide training to the trainers as pre-production, production, and post-production. Firstly, we pre-screen the teachers to analyse their existing skills. In the domain of apparel, there are about 45 job roles, apart from providing training in these, we also teach them soft skills, how to deliver the lectures, along with modules on teamwork, time management, anger management, listening skills, personal health and hygiene, financial management and digital literacy.

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