The effectiveness of adult training at a gold mine
Introduction: Adult education and training, as part of the literacy programme of the country, is an important and developing field of activity and study. Today, the main responsibility for education and training of adults is taken by industry, with the focus on lifelong learning. It is initiated and financed by the company and has company goals. The process of education and training of adult workers enables those who were previously disadvantaged to achieve new skills and knowledge. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of adult training at a gold mine. The aim of the study: A wider range of skills is required from workers, due to changes in the working place and a higher level of specialisation is required. This study aims to determine, by means of empirical research, whether adult education and training succeeds in preparing workers for the challenges and demands that face them. This study will attempt to determine: the degree of improvement of practical skills of the worker in terms of production; to what degree there has been an improvement in the technical knowledge of the worker and the improvement in managerial skills of the worker who has been subjected to training. Method and sample: A theoretical orientation was done regarding motivation and the application of motivational theories, lifelong learning as well as legislation and structures for adult based education and training. The descriptive survey method was employed to process the data. The applicable data was collected by means of structured questionnaires, which were completed by adult workers who had been subjected to training. The questionnaire was carefully screened and protested. Unstructured interviews were conducted with unit supervisors to obtain certain important information. The research was undertaken with a large Gold Mine in the Virginia district, which uses modem and intensive training programmes to train adult workers. Records of production results of the trainees are kept and this data was also used to evaluate different facets of the training. Random sampling was used to identify 20 respondents who had already been subjected to training. A total of 20 questionnaires were distributed and received, which was considered highly satisfying feedback. This was possible owing to the fact that all questionnaires were completed at a central point, with the help of the facilitator. Core findings: Some of the major findings are reflected here. A convincing majority of the respondents indicated that they regard motivation as important; 90% of the respondents regarded money as the most important motivator; The two strongest demotivational factors indicated by the respondents were unfair treatment by supervisors and unachievable goals; Evaluation of the respondents' practical knowledge resulted in a rating of 68% of the answers given by respondents, to be correct; Results of testing of the component of technical knowledge were either average or above average; Production and safety as two of the technical components received distinctively high scores; Motivation and communication proved to be the strongest management skills the respondents had; Results of the technical knowledge per occupation revealed that the knowledge of respondents who were Team leaders was distinctively high; When the production performance of the respondents is viewed over a 12-month period, an even but definite progress can be detected. In the light of this study and its findings the conclusion can be made that the training was indeed effective and contributed to the development of the workers and their performance in the workplace. Concluding remarks: Changes in the workplace are now taking place at a constantly increasing rate. These changes focus on continuous improvement in production and worker performance. It should not be thought that training is a cure-all for whatever problem the organisation is facing. Training is a means to an end. The ultimate objective of any form of training is the development of the workers by means of improving their knowledge and skills. The desire must also, however, be established with the workers to improve their individual skills and knowledge, via certain training programmes.