Feb 28, 2010

Training and education in Belgium

It's always interesting to hear other people talk about your country. In the February issue of Training Magazine, the world view column focuses on Belgium. Here are a few statements:

  • "Despite its small size and lack of resources, Belgium has achieved success through its stellar training and education." I guess that one is true. We have a good reputation for high levels of education, specially in math and science, according to OESO. But our training once employed lacks behind those of other nations. Some told me that is linked to the high level of education we get before entering the workforce. I'm semi-convinced...
  • "Because of the euro's strength, training costs are higher in Belgium that in the US. As a result, training program participants are motivated to do well." I'm not sure I'm following this logic. So if the dollar weakens, we get more motivated participants in training classes? Don't think so. Maybe the motivation is higher because you are not that often send to training.  It's almost a reward if you get to go.
  • "Training is looked at very positively in Belgium, and trainers are highly respected." I've been an IT trainer years ago, and I was indeed always treated with respect. I can't really compare, but do participants throw dirt at trainers in other countries?
  • "Participants feel that the trainer is the expert, and they should focus their attention on the instructor as opposed to their fellow trainees." Sadly true. There's a culture of 'let's shut up and listen to the expert, he is supposed to know it all and tell us'. Classes in Belgium are not as interactive as let's say in the UK or US, (or the Dutch, but they talk all the time :-) ). It is often very hard to get participation and Q&A going.
  • "Don't single out a trainee for praise, as this can create an uncomfortable class environment". Funny tip, but true, we are modest people. Too modest?
  • "The most popular training programs in Belgium deal with leadership, management and presentation skills." I didn't verify, but companies indeed focus on this.
There's more in the online version of the magazine (free by the way) on trainingmag.com.  As said at the start of this post, it is always interesting to hear other people recommend how to behave in your country.

1 comment:

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