Development and utilisation of technologies and the related creation of new professions means the need for constant education of employees. The role of the corporate academy thereby becomes more and more important, particularly in the business services sector where significant changes to work procedures and processes are made. As well as increasing the competence of employees, corporate education may also provide other benefits – for instance simpler recruitment of new employees.
“The current change in the nature of jobs means that the education you acquire when young is no longer sufficient for the rest of your life,“ Jonathan Appleton, director of the ABSL Association, which associates and represents companies in the business services sector in the Czech Republic, states and he adds, “The willingness to learn will therefore be a crucial requirement for obtaining an interesting job.” Education of employees is a priority in the business services sector. Service centres spend 3-6 months training their people and then provide 35 – 45 hours of training a year for the purpose of supporting their professional advancement. This partially supplements the educational system and partially helps their employees learn new skills and competences necessary for working in an era of technologies and artificial intelligence.
But it is not only companies who perceive the need for education throughout a person’s professional life, but also the employees themselves. This was confirmed by a recent Workmonitor survey by the Randstad Company where 95% of respondents from the Czech Republic stated that they must continue learning in order to maintain or increase their employability. Over 2/3 of respondents are even willing to arrange and pay for their own further education.
Diamonds for the OKIN BPS Company’s complex educational programme
The OKIN BPS Company, which was awarded an ABSL Diamonds award for its complex educational programme, is a great inspiration for the business services sector in the field of education. The OKIN BPS Academy comprises a wide range of courses intended for employees and also for the general public. While employees may take part in network, language or CLOUD Academy or visit soft and hard skills courses, network workshops are intended for the public and particularly for secondary school and university students. “The OKIN BPS Company’s Academy is an excellent project, which inspires a number of Czech business services centres. I consider this project’s enormous benefit to be not only in increasing the competence of OKIN PS Employees, but also in establishment of the employer’s brand and in obtaining access to potential qualified employees. Approximately 40% of the people who take workshops subsequently find employment in this company’s technical teams,“ Jonathan Appleton stated.
The academy itself has trained over 1,500 employees and saves tens of millions of crowns a year
The OKIN BPS Company’s primary motivation to establish the academy was to provide customers with a first-class service in the field of technical IT services and also to ensure development and career growth for its employees. “We began with practically zero experience, we had no qualified specialists or know-how for specific technologies. We had to train our existing employees, educate new employees and expand the portfolio of courses. This gave rise to the idea of establishing our own network academy,“ Martina Szturc Káňová from OKIN BPS explained. “At the suggestion of the department managers at the time we established the first teaching laboratory with employees, which were soon followed by additional laboratories. Thanks to a very positive response we gradually expanded the range of courses offered and assured more qualified training for lecturers. The entire team was clearly enormously enthusiastic and motivated,“ Martina Szturc Káňová added. This subsequently caused the company to decide to start providing network workshops for the public, for instance for students and graduates of schools, and also for all parties interested in developing their skills in the field of technologies. As the OKIN BPS Company gradually expanded its services, specialists from other branches were added to the team, for instance project managers, ITIL, Lean Six Sigma or foreign language customer services specialists, which also contributed to expansion of the academy’s offer of services. This project is also unique because all the courses and the academy itself are managed by the company’s employees, there are no hired lecturers. “About 1,500 employees take the training courses within the terms of the OKIN Academy every year, and the graduates’ success rate in certification is over 96%. We have succeeded in creating an interesting benefit for existing and potential employees and also in promoting business and establishing awareness of the brand,“ Martina Szturc Káňováz from OKIN BPS explained and she added: “Approximately 40% of workshop graduates subsequently become our employees. It is clear that the investment into developing our own people is worth it and we estimate that this saves several tens of millions of crowns a year.”
“The OKIN BPS programme is evidence that enthusiasm and correct motivation can be used to create a complex and varied system covering various areas of a specific branch of business, whether these are IT, foreign languages, management or soft and hard skills, from practically nothing,” Jonathan Appleton from ABSL concluded.