Addressing skills gaps and building skills capacity

Archomai offers a range of consultancy and delivery services to close the skills gap in mature, emerging, frontier and devastated markets – each one with quite different needs and priorities.

Archomai’s work starts with a Brief. Recently, we were asked to review the skills position for a Trade Corridor in Africa; with 15 landlocked countries on this vast continent, there are many such corridors throughout Africa straddling borders. We mapped the supply chain from the mine to the Port and then, moved to a value chain analysis – with an emphasis on increasing value addition in country.The current position was weak and there was a clear need to build skills capacity as well as infrastructure. Given the Brief we moved through an analysis process – the SGA (Skills Gap Analysis); move to deliver a SCBP (Skills Capacity Building Programme) – a physical training centre – and then, advise on recruitment strategies at all levels from operator to the Board. Here is an illustration of work we have done in various Ports worldwide:

Skills needed from Port quayside to gate

This is a top line end-to-end picture of the key assets; equipment and core processes needed to run the port. We detail the physical movement of goods (containers or bulk cargo) from ship to quayside crane and through to the truck and, explore the information flows and connectivity in support. The above diagram illustrates the process. On a supply chain assignment, we would drill down on a value chain analysis; with a SGA we are focussed on the need for an ACCURATE inventory of skills and personnel. This exercise is complex. For example, one project involved working on several ports simultaneously and it soon became clear that Job Titles; Job Descriptions; pay packages and benefits were different for each Port.

In addition, there was no evaluation procedure in place so that we could assess the age profile and succession planning of the staff (at all levels) or, track skills development over time. Given a clear understanding of current status, we then reviewed future projections for port volumes and activity. This analysis (Now > Next > Needs) enabled us to produce a clear Gap Analysis to support future personnel and skills. We have done this exact same process in Construction; Mining; Agri-Processing; Retail; Warehousing; Logistics and a number of traditional industries – like fishing off the coast in India. Currently, we are looking at a methodology for the green supply chain along similar lines. Watch this Blog!

Given the SGA (Skills Gap Analysis), we now move to the SCBP (Skills Capacity Building Programme). This is where we focus the core industrial and service sectors in the local economy. We look at core AND emerging sectors. For example, in various parts of the world certain industries are in decline whilst new industries are gathering momentum – Renewable Energy in the Humber, UK. Out of this understanding, we work with local partners to build the PIMs (Performance Improvement Modules) or training courses that will support local economic, social and environmental goals. We use UK based accreditation support.

Archomai focus on high impact training content appropriate to the local cultural AND operational context. We are looking to improve operational efficiency; safety and minimize risk. Archomai work with a number of Internationally recognised Accreditation agencies and, a number of sector specific training partners in a number of geographies. With partners, we are developing a range of career development and tracking approaches using tablets or other technologies – tailor made to suit local accreditation and statutory requirements.

Archomai make extensive use of training technologies for all levels of management:

  • Simulation. We work with businessmodelling of South Africa and other partners to develop ways to map and track supply chains. This is business analytic and supply chain optimisation software at its best.
  • Simulators. We use a number of options in terms of scale and mobility. Full Mission (complete replication of equipment) are used in Ports. For example, a quayside crane simulator with an actual cab surrounded by a 360 degree screen. Otherwise, lap top scale simulators are used in or close to the operating environment.

Training technologies can improve performance dramatically. In Ports, the time to get trainees to standard performance is reduced dramatically and, truck simulators are producing significant reductions of fuel, carbon emissions, wear and tear on tyres and brakes as well as being used to expose drivers to difficult driving conditions. This is a major benefit – an average truck crash in the USA is costing over $1 million and “simulating the accident” trains the behaviour to cope if a crash happens. Government and Trade Associations can do far more to encourage the use of simulators in driver assessment – this will increase usage and reduce fuel usage in the process!

Archomai have conducted Skills Gap Analyses in Ports; on Agricultural Supply Chains and, in individual factories from bakeries to dairies to engineering and assembly plants. No two operations are the same and, the same facility in multiple markets will have a number of cultural, behavioural and performance levels to address.

It starts with a conversation. Interested? Please contact us for a discussion about your industry and specific challenge.



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One Response to Addressing skills gaps and building skills capacity

  1. Byron Song says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    My recent study on regional logistics capability and economic growth suggests: qualified workforce is one of the key factors that determine a region’s logistics performance, which is in turn closely linked with regional economic growth.

    Like any other industry, logistics industry depends on a sufficient workforce base to operate, especially in those labour-intensive areas such as cargo handling in warehouses. However, comparing with other industries, employment in the logistics sector is relatively low-skilled, poor-qualified, and male-dominanted. Also the average age of the employees is older in Logistics (Skill for Logistics, 2010).

    Therefore, skill promoting efforts, such as the Skills Gap Analyses, play a significant role in the success of the logistics industry and indeed, the regional economy.

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