HR Indaba Africa 2018: OLG is the distance-learning option for Logistics and Supply Chain training and development

OLG's Prajna Moodley says training and development is a key factor when it comes to the retention of employees.

With only a few weeks left before the inaugural HR Indaba, the anticipation from partners is palpable. In this article, we speak to Open Learning Group’s HR Executive, Prajna Moodley, about why she is excited about the event.

What is Open Learning Group, how long has it been around and what was the reason for starting the company?

OLG was founded in 1997, by individuals who are passionate about education and transformation. We are an accredited Private Higher Education Institution, that offers accredited higher education Qualifications, Skills Programmes and Learnerships, primarily focused on the Logistics and Supply Chain industries. We have also recently launched a Higher Certificate in Procurement Management, and are in the process of expanding our offering to include a Higher Certificate in Project Management. In addition, we have partnered with tertiary institutions like the University of Free State through which we offer Management and Leadership Development programmes, and the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers to offer Commerce and Finance programmes. 

Our clients consist of individuals who approach us directly, as well as companies that we partner with to develop their employees. Our current student base is made up of working adults, as well as individuals and school leavers who prefer distance learning as a method of upskilling themselves. 

How do you differentiate yourselves from other competitors in your space?

"Our qualifications cater for all levels of students and employees as we offer a wide range of programmes that span from Learnerships and Skills Programmes at NQF Level 2 and progress to NQF Level 7 with a BBA degree. This progression encourages employees to increase their knowledge base and acquire new and meaningful skills throughout their education journey with OLG.  

"Being a distance learning institution, students can work and study when it is convenient for them. We offer dedicated student support through the student journey, from application to graduation, assisting students with additional guidance if needed."

Why have you signed up for the HR Indaba and what should attendees look forward to seeing from you at the event?

"The HR Indaba appeals to me as it presents the opportunity to network with HR Professionals from across industries, and to have a view on the latest trends in the field. From a business perspective, it presents the opportunity to engage with professionals to gain an insight into how we, as an organisation, can support their training and development requirements. It is important that we understand where the skills gaps are so that we can explore ways of addressing these through either our existing offerings, or potentially customising and developing further offerings to meet the market need."

What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the HR profession?

"We operate in an increasingly competitive environment where recruitment platforms make it easier for employees to connect with external opportunities. Creating opportunities for employee progression within an organisation is not always possible in the short to medium term, therefore there is a need to provide employees with growth through other opportunities, like development. However, for development to hold value for an employee it must offer them practical skills that can be applied in a work environment. So, the challenge is finding initiatives that provide employees with practical skills they can implement in the workplace, and balancing this with the organisational objectives of compliance with regulatory requirements like Skills Development and B-BBEE."