Canadian Plastics

Taking The Risk Out Of Training Program Investments

How can an employer guarantee the return of the investment from training? Whether the employee stays for an extended period of time or leaves in two days, two weeks, two months or even two years, the ...

January 1, 2009   By John Colomba, Windsor Equipment Training Facility Ltd.



How can an employer guarantee the return of the investment from training? Whether the employee stays for an extended period of time or leaves in two days, two weeks, two months or even two years, the employer can’t control their time of employment with the company.

If the employee leaves, all that training is in their pocket and they take it to the next employer. For this reason, most employers are hesitant to invest time and money in their existing employees and new hires. The employers obligation should be to complete the orientation of site, process, and hazard-specific training.

A NEW WAY

The new approach on training, called “Employees Ready to Work” (ERW), takes the initial core of industry-specific health & safety and equipment training programs and places the responsibility on the employee. He or she is now responsible to get the necessary training for their own skills enhancement. (However, this program doesn’t replace the necessary hazard-specific training under the Occupational Health and Safety Act — employers would still be responsible for that.)

For example, if the employee needs to investment $1,000 in training to meet the standards for a specific industry, they can sign a contract or form a verbal agreement that requires the training to be paid out to the employee over the next year.

For the next year, the employer will pay back 25 per cent of the training cost to the employee every quarter. If the employee stays with the company, he or she would get their money back. If, however, they leave, the contract will be terminated and an alternate solution will have to be worked out.

In this way, the person or organization that pays for the training can get all or part of their money back to replenish their training fund for new and young workers, and employers can write the cost of training off as they go. They will then also be able to invest their resources into keeping up with their responsibilities under the OHS Act’s health and safety standards.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

The Windsor Equipment Training Facility Ltd. has created an outline for the ERW program, and is currently in the process of improving and identifying how it can be implemented into companies’ programs.

Of course, the ERW approach would not be useful if a company doesn’t meet the basic standards of health and safety training. Employers that would like to be a part of our program must meet or exceed the standards, and pass an evaluation of health and safety under the OHS Act’s Safe Work Conditions.

The employer will benefit with well-trained employees coming to them, ready to work and understand their work environment. The “Employee Ready to Work” will be a safer and more confident worker who will know their rights and responsibilities under the legislation of the OHS Act.

We need to bring the right organizations together to bring this ERW program a reality for our generation.

John Colomba is the founder and president of Windsor Equipment Training Facility Ltd. (WETF) He has been involved in construction, industry and safety for more than 15 years. His interest in promoting employee health and safety goes back many years. WETF is Windsor’s first dedicated safety training facility, providing professional training in a wide range of programs related to occupational health, safety and safe equipment usage.


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