No retailer is the same, and neither are the people who work there. This can make it quite challenging for companies within the industry to find suitable secondary vocational education for their employees. How do you make sure that each of them gets the most out of their course, even when their needs are so different?
NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen has the answer to that question: by putting learners first.
Due to a change to a regional approach for vocational education, nationally operating organisations were looking for a single entity to provide corporate education. NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen became that entity and has provided training to some of the largest retailers, supermarkets and governmental organisations that operate within and also outside of the Netherlands. Companies like AS Watson, Intergamma, Action, Jumbo Supermarkets, Dutch Postal Services and the Department of Justice have partnered with NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen. For over 20 years now, around 3,000 to 4,000 students/professionals per year have received a degree.
MBO programmes with too little focus on the needs of learners and customers
Standard education programmes have some disadvantages for learners and their employers. NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen knows how to solve these kinds of obstacles with their approach; by focusing on what the customers and learners need, it is possible to get more out of a course.
Not all learners benefit from a standard MBO programme (Dutch secondary vocational education, red.). For example, such a program suits those who are fairly inexperienced more than those who have been working the same job (or a similar one) for years. That means that keeping motivation high becomes challenging. Moreover, successfully completing the course does not mean that the newly acquired knowledge is easily applicable to the daily practice of the company. More is needed for that.
“Cooperation and partnership, that is what characterises our collaboration. NCVB responded quickly to the developments by offering the courses virtually (remotely).”
Aside from the content of the programme, some practical matters play a role in the level of success. A standard MBO course usually starts twice a year, in September and February, which is very inconvenient when the learner wants or needs to start the course sometime in between. This results in a delay. Furthermore, the programme commonly takes place on set days and times; it would be more convenient if it were tailored to the working schedule of the learner.
Tailor-made programmes focusing on the needs of learners and customers
Being a helpful partner in talent development, that is the goal of NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen. Not selling, but supporting. The organisation does this by creating a tailor-made MBO programme for each customer and providing a personal learning journey for each learner.
A tailor-made course for each customer
The first step is creating a course that fits the company perfectly. NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen develops new learning material that is relevant for customers and the way they work while still meeting the requirements of an MBO degree. Applying the theory in practice becomes easier for the learner in this way. Besides, they make sure the content has the same communication and visual style as the company. Choosing the same tone of voice and a fitting design creates a nice and consistent whole. In this way, the end result fits the customer perfectly.
“Because of the aNewSpring platform, NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen can offer high-quality, appealing and modern education in which the talent development of the participant has the main focus.”
A personalised learning journey for the learner
As soon as the course is rock-solid, it is time for the training to start. What the programme looks like precisely depends on the learner. NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen uses a Skill Scan*, which gives a clear picture of the competencies of the learner — what have they mastered already and which elements still need training? Only the parts that are relevant for the development of the learner will be visible to them on aNewSpring. This not only results in time savings, but also in a more challenging and pleasant experience.
“A link is immediately made from theory to current practice at Jumbo Supermarkets. We use different materials in this, so that our colleagues can see how it works in practice.”
* Skills Scan: Putting the participant first with a personalised learning path
You probably don’t need to explain how to use a cash register to someone who has worked in retail for 20 years. It would be a waste of time and demotivating for the participant. The Skills Scan makes clear which competencies are already present and which are lacking. In this case, the ‘cash register competencies’ are already present and the participant does not need to practice them. However, the competency ‘additional sales’, for example, may still need some attention. This saves time and ensures that each participant follows their own learning path.
Stimulating motivation contributes to better performances
With this approach, NCVB Bedrijfsopleidingen clearly differentiates themselves from other training providers and fills a gap in the market.
The differences between learners and customer are approached in a unique and positive way of working. The result? A motivating MBO programme for every learner and better performances within the company.
“The training courses have given an enormous boost to promotion and made our employees more involved, enthusiastic and motivated.”