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  Training Calendar 2013  

Dear Learn & Perform Subscriber

December is always special; we get a chance to recharge for the New Year. It is a time when we try and send out all the Seasons’ Greetings cards to friends and relatives. I had the opportunity of visiting the former President Fidel Ramos in Manila, Philippines who was his usual exuberant self. We learn so much from him in every interaction. Again, this month, the Harvard Business Review had a very pertinent article: Who can fix the ‘Middle Skills Gap?’ And, now to December E news.

  • Former President Fidel Ramos
  • Middle Skills Gap
  • SMR News

Former President Fidel Ramos
A conversation with Former President Fidel Ramos is always a privilege. He was one of the most successful Presidents of the Republic of Philippines. While talking about climbing Mount Everest and politics, he was full of admiration and praise for the courage of those attempting to climb Mount Everest, particularly his fellow Filipinos.

As an author points out “Mount Everest continues to reign the Earth. A living witness to the deaths and triumphs of all those who want to conquer her even if some climbers refuse to use the word "conquer," because in the end, she will always win. Maybe, but I do not think even the world’s greatest mountain will ever conquer the human spirit. People who attempt to climb her year after year are not made of matter. They are made of the stuff that lives, dies and flies.” It was during this conversation Former President Fidel Ramos related the message from one of the successful Mount Everest Filipino climbers: ‘going up is an option but climbing down is mandatory.’ Then, he related this in a very humourous tone about politicians, he remarked: ‘I wish politicians understood the significance of stepping down when time is up.’

To know more about his work, please visit and to know more about his role as Chairman of the Asia HRDAwards please visit

Middle Skills Gap
Many employers continue to struggle to fill certain types of vacancies, particularly the middle skills such as those in the Trade areas, IT, high skill manufacturing and new technologies. In the US alone, about 69 million people or 48% of the labour force work in middle skills jobs. It is expected that 47% of all new jobs in the next few years will be from this area. The focus of an inquisitive Harvard Business Review article is the way forward to resolve this critical issue that affects competiveness of organisations. The authors focus on the review and ask organisations to consider the best practices in figuring out how to train people to fill these well paid jobs. While the problem is very reflective of the challenges faced by some of the Asian countries, figuring out a training strategy to develop a skilled workforce and close the skills gap has many economic benefits: remedy the wage stagnation, address the minimum wage challenge and the closing of the growing gap between high income and low income households. The authors contend that execution of a global training strategy is a key and the focus must be on two key words – cooperation and nationally. Cooperation has to exist between employers, government, unions and educational institutions. Any effort has to be at the national level. Three key ideas dominate the thinking of the authors:

  1. Employers are involved in designing and funding the training; subsequently in finding jobs for the trainees,
  2. Classroom education is integrated with opportunities to apply the learning back at work or in effect: transfer of learning to the workplace should be focussed upon,
  3. Graduates are placed in positions with a career path rather than jobs that end in a dead end.

For further details, please refer to the article Who can fix the Middle Skills Gap by Kochan, Finegold and Osterman at

SMR News

Two flagship programmes, the Accredited Training Professional (ATP) and the Accredited Competency Professional (ACP) programs will be run in Malaysia, Middle East and India. For details, please email

The 2013 Malaysian Trainers Meet Trainers® is scheduled for 27-28 February 2013. Nominations Asia HRD Awards to be presented in conjunction with the Asia HRDCongress™ in Jakarta this year, are now open. For details please email

With the year end appraisals fast approaching, there will be a need to accelerate performance appraisals completion. The software as a service option with SMR HR Technologies – E Appraisals will be a very cost effective option. For more details please email

Do visit to review and have access to my books on line at

Have a good month ahead, will be in touch in mid-January.
Seasons’ Greetings and Happy New Year.


With best wishes,


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