0 Learning and training - where did it all begin?

The Big Bang Theory: A cosmic explosion, evolution, microscopic organisms, to fish to birds and land mammals, to man (the intelligent specie if you want to believe that).

Creation: Six days of wonder, the seventh to rest and give thanks, with man created in the likeness of God (depending on your faith or religious beliefs). Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Eve led astray by a snake or serpent, covers herself with three fig leaves, tempts Adam with an apple (the forbidden fruit), he bites it, hence Adam's apple in the throat. So, both banished from the garden. The human race develops and here we are today.

Aliens: Creatures from another planet landed here on earth, set down their own specie, fly back to their planet and are watching us as part of an experiment to see how we cope and develop in this strange, but unique, environment.

By Magic: from beneath the earth's surface, little people with fairies and magic dust, witches and wizards create a civilisation above ground with plants, water, day, night and the four seasons, so they can elude us and we can make lots of folklores and stories to entertain them.

And not forgetting!

The Matrix: With us all being an illusion or an idea of a master race that can press a button at any time and turn the human race, as we know it, off!

So, what has any of this got to do with leaning or training? Well, this is all information that has been formed from fact or fiction since humans gained the intelligence to learn, understand, communicate and pass that information on from generation to generation - by word of mouth or in the written form or by practical application, showing someone how to do the task, work, job or skill.

When do you start to learn?

Modern scientific research has shown, from when you are developing in the womb, that you senses sound, touch, vibration and, maybe, even emotions. Then, out you pop and, in my day, a sharp slap on the buttocks to make sure you cry to open up your lungs to breath. But, in more modern times, a gentler approach is adopted on your entry into the real world, so you are not as traumatised (which could explain a lot for us more mature people - yes, mature, not old!).

The environment you are brought up in, your country of origin and family influences, especially in those first few years, are all essential elements in your development.

Then, into education - nursery, infants, junior school, senior school, college or university, or work with training as part of your job. Which is the right direction for you?

You, as an individual, have now done the first ten to twelve years of information education and come away with at least the basics, to read, write and be able do maths. You have learned right from wrong, manners and respect for other people and what is not yours. If you haven't, why not?

One of the answers could just be that your learning pace or ability is not the same as the next person's and you need, for whatever reason, to develop ways of learning that suits your needs.

How do you find out?

Well, if you ask questions of the right people they will point you in the direction you need to go. You might need to be assessed. If you apply for a training course take those assessments, as they are there to help you develop further at a guided pace to suit you.

Don't be afraid of being identified as someone with 'a requirement' to encourage you to learn, as this could hold you back.

Your new job

So, here you are in the new job, getting experience, maybe at college or on a training course, to gain that underpinning knowledge along with some competent, practical skills. You may even be at college full time, also gaining knowledge with competent, practical skills.

As a trainer/assessor, and having worked practically in horticulture, turf culture and arboriculture for the last forty years, this definition of competent or experienced is sometimes misunderstood by the employers of new employees. It is thought that, when someone has a qualification, they are experienced to do the job. This isn't always the case. It depends on the individual's route of education and experience time in the work place.

The environment away from college in the real world throws up many pitfalls that cannot be put into training at college - such as time, manpower, workload, budgets, machinery and management skills. But, this doesn't make that fresh employee from college any less worthy of their position. It means they now need to gain experience under the guidance of their new colleagues or boss/supervisor, who can pass on their own life skills that they have taken time to develop and take for granted.

The student/employee that is at work and college also needs to develop life skills with the people they work with, encouraging progression in the future.

What are these fantastic life skills?

Arriving at work in time to start work on time every working day, wearing the right cloths for the work or time of year, being presentable (as you are in the public view), as this can indicate standards, know what a brush and shovel are for and how to use them correctly before expecting to use the most expensive machine, remembering you are part of a team and it takes more than just you to maintain your golf course, sports facility, park or amenity area. Health and safety are as much your responsibility as anyone else's. And, can you make a cup of tea or coffee just as good as the boss can?

So, where can you train?

In the workplace courses can be run by qualified independent trainers to meet national recognised standards. At colleges or training centres, industry organisations such as Pitchcare, the AGCSA and TGA, and, in this technological age, the internet. The choice is wide and varied.

The one thing we are all lucky enough to be born with is a brain. We don't always make the right choices or, at least, don't show we can make those right choices. And this is where learning and training can help us develop our futures, wherever you want that to be.

Along the way, if you are lucky, there will be people who want to train you or help you learn, because that's what they are good at. All you have to do is want them to do that for all the right reasons. It is, after all, your future and the future standards of your industry.

When will I stop learning? I won't. I will always be willing to learn from others, as you never know it all, however good you think you are.

Richard Murray
Real World Training

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Contact Kerry Haywood

07973 394037

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