Improving Standards Through Management Education

The first Business Management Programme jointly run by Printing SA and WITS Commercial Enterprise has now been concluded and the students have received their graduation certificates. The course was designed to introduce new managers to management concepts and business skills via a bridging programme. It was aimed at junior and middle managers who do not have a qualification in management and who required exposure to management principles. The course is run as a six-month course and gives the delegates an NQF Level 5 qualification. Broken into six modules, the course addresses not only basic business principles including communication, human resources, finance and accounting and project management, it also gives the students an overview of the business aspects of the printing and packaging industry. Minimum requirements for acceptance to the course include an NQF Level 4 qualification or Matric equivalent, literacy in English, literacy in Mathematics and all candidates must be full-time employed, preferably in a printing or packaging environment. The Business Management Programme (BMP) is the first in a three-tiered approach to improving skills in the printing industry. The aim was to have attracted and started the both the BMP and the Management Development Programme at the same time. There was insufficient support for the second tier and as a result the Management Development Programme will run for the first time this year. This programme is open to anyone with an NQF Level 5 qualification or above. This is a tertiary qualification of some sort. It is also open to people who have been working in a management position for a minimum of five years. In opening the graduation ceremony, Dr Tim Hutton who compiled and oversaw the running of the course welcomed the graduates and congratulated them on their achievements. He stated that this first presentation of the course had brought to light where the few shortcomings of the course lay and how best to rectify them. It also highlighted the real strengths of the course and how they can be built upon to make the experience for future classes even more valuable. Dr Hutton stated that while this course was allowed to proceed with just 14 registered delegates, this number was a little bit too low to make it fully viable. The ideal number would be between 20 and 30 delegates, this would facilitate a greater level of interaction between the students and lecturers and would also allow for a better frame of reference with regard to course content and make up. The keynote address to the graduates was made by Stephen van der Walt, managing director of Paarl Media and President of Printing SA. He impressed on the graduates the importance of learning and continually improving themselves. As a man who holds many degrees in a wide range of disciplines he commented, ‘There is no substitute for knowledge and nor is there any such thing as sufficient knowledge.’ He went on to explain that as the demands facing the printing industry become greater and as technology advances, it is going to change the way we do things and this will mean that it will fall to the people with the knowledge, skills and education to navigate the way into the future. When Stephen left the dais, the graduates received their certificates from Professor Jannie Rossouw the Head of School of Economic and Business Sciences at Wits and Tania Rhode, national training manager at Printing SA. For more information on either the BMP or the MDP courses please contact Delchia Jacobs at Wits on 011 717 9027 or via e-mail delchia.jacobs@wits.ac.za Caption Main pic l-r back row: Nelson Mondile from Paarl Media, Trewin Chesterfield from UNISA, Shane Webb from Paarl Media, Wynand Opperman from UNISA, Willem Nel from Paarl Media, Vevendra Munien from Paarl Media and Peter Stander from UNISA. Front Row: Lee-Ann Christie from Templer Industries, Ronell Davids from Paarl Media, Professor Jannie Rossouw of WITS, Denise Wiggill from Paarl Media and Naresh Gyaparsad from Merpak.