The quote is by Prof Dr Aleksander Zidanšek of the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School at the Closing Conference of Competence Centres for Human Resource Development, which took place on 13 February 2019, in Ljubljana. The professional public in the area of education will surely gasp for breath at the statement and feverishly think about the best response to words that we recognise as provocation. Despite the boom in smart technologies and artificial intelligence, humans are still the ones who create, invent, and develop technology, and not the other way around.
With his strong statement, Dr Zidanšek emphasised the need for continuous learning, high-quality knowledge, and a wide range of developed skills that we need to live in modern society and keep up with technological powers on our way to the society of the future. The conference introduced impressive results of the education and training of those employed in the KOC 2.0, which the Public Fund implemented with the support of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and the ESF, between 2017–2018.
What are competence centres?
Competence centres link Slovenian companies into partnerships for strategic HR development and represent an important incentive for employers to use employee training as a strategic tool to achieve better business results. In that way, they also interconnect within industries, enabling a transfer of knowledge.
What do the competence centres and the companies involved in KOC 2.0 most appreciate?
- That the interconnecting and partnerships allow them to do more for employee training that would be possible if they viewed each other as competition.
- That they became a learning company in the project, and that the training helped them strengthen the feelings of belonging to the company, increasing employee satisfaction.
- That the time invested in training all types of employees is an investment with high returns.
- That “soft skills” turned out to be important for all employees, not just the management, since most customer contact is done by entry-level employees who therefore create the public brand of the company.
- That interconnecting companies in the same industry prevents the fear of “stealing” good employees.
- That investing in the development of basic, professional, technical, and specialised competences of all its employees makes the company “future proof”, which is especially true if they continually check which competences would be globally the most desirable in the coming years.
Companies have expressed great interest to continue participating in the project, not only as a result of the positive effects of the training, but also because their employees (even those who first resisted training in their free time) ask when the next training will take place.
And what’s more: in 2019, the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School will develop a web application that will help in the selection of the right training …
Nevenka Alja Gladek (Alja.firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE