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An investigation into the use and uptake of short courses for staff development in the New Zealand fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, with a related case study of the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council's (FGC) Education Project : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management in Management at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The first training priorities for the New Zealand FMCG industry are short courses in sales and commercial acumen. Second priorities are leadership, productivity, people management, category management and marketing. Large FMCG meet their training needs with in-house courses, but SME’s can not afford in-house courses so they require externally provided courses. Required outcomes from training are improved employee performance, efficiency, productivity, recruitment and retention, creation of company competitive advantage, market positioning and increased bottom line performance.
FMCG Companies do not value or fund employees to University qualifications because of the cost and time involved and an industry perception that University courses do not address the “uniqueness” of the FMCG industry. There is some support for a staircase from industry specific short courses an industry designed Bachelor degree, but without an FMCG endorsement. Companies believe that employees should benefit from company funded training, but identified employee benefits are nebulous “satisfactions” which in reality are retention devices that benefit the company rather than the individual.
Apart from avoiding the industry’s “busy” period from October till Mid February there are no particular requirement for course timing or structure provided sufficient lead time is given to allow adjustment of attendees work schedules. Course fees are a major barrier to SME’s using short courses to train their staff. Other costs such as travel to courses and the loss of staff from their work to attend training are not issues.