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Illustration by mohamed hassans

Many trainers consider themselves to be career trainers. They would like to develop their careers within the training profession. Although they enjoy training, they don’t want to spend the rest of their working lives doing wall-to-wall training. It is important to have a career path within the training department if these trainers are not to lose their motivation.

Figure 1 shows part of a career path within a management training department. The right-hand side shows the skills and education that are needed to perform at each level. The left-hand side of the diagram shows the activities that each job involves.

Figure 1 Part of a career path in a management training department

Notice that even the most senior trainers are still expected to do the basic activities. What does change is the proportion of time spent on these activities at each level. Figure 2 shows how this varies for the management training jobs.

Figure 2 Activity profiles for different levels of trainer

If you do this kind of analysis for your own training jobs, your compensation and benefits manager will be able to assess the jobs and fit them into your company’s existing grading structure.

Somebody with no training experience could ‘learn the trade’ by starting as a training administrator, progressing to a training assistant and then on to a management skills trainer. If they had managerial experience, they could also progress to higher levels.

If trainers have insufficient experience, skills or knowledge to progress from one level to the next, actions would be identified for their personal development plans. This might include leaving the training department for a year or two to gain managerial experience.

Training as part of a development plan

The career path shown in Figure 1 is essentially a longitudinal progression with each step serving as an entry point. Training can also be used for the development of people from other parts of the company. There is nothing like teaching for learning and forming contacts!

A secondment to the training department is particularly useful for managers and ‘high fliers’. It also broadens the experience of people whose career paths have been within one department.

The benefit works both ways because secondment bring new ideas into training and helps keep training in touch with reality.

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