10c - Trainer competencies

 The role of the trainer
The new role of the trainer is highly demanding, because professional requirements are not reduced by the new systematic ones.

Still, the trainer has to be professionally well grounded, in order to:
  • plan, organise and execute education and training processes
  • optimally implement training subjects and competence goals in a pedagogical way
 A convincing personality
The most important thing is a trainer’s convincing personality.

A wish list for a trainer’s characteristics is long, but at the top of it is:
  • a positive initial outlook towards human beings
  • faith in the possible development of each individual
Additionally, a trainer should have
  •  sensitivity, open-mindedness and flexibility
  •  the ability to cooperate, communicate and manage conflict situations
  •  self assurance and ability to work in a structured way 
  •  a creative approach to problems
 New methods
Besides these professional and personal qualifications, a trainer needs to have methodical and pedagogical competencies.

Teachers for young people should have knowledge about the following areas:
  • presentation
  • conflict management
  • coaching and mentoring
  • project management
In addition, the trainer should be familiar with the learning techniques he is teaching.
 A little theory
The trainer must know the connections between work processes and learning processes.

He has to differentiate between:
  • What to learn? (work process)
  • How to learn? (learning process)
In the following, the trainer combines the two processes while he describes them and reprocesses them with new teaching and learning methods.
 Accompanying the training
Thus, training means accompanying the learning process. This means: The trainer teaches the apprentice to acquire the skills and knowledge he needs for his career, in a self-dependent way.

This is a change for the trainer, because his new role is quite different from the old one:
  • He doesn’t stand in front of the apprentice teaching and demonstrating anymore.
  • He has to take the role of a learning counsellor – coach, tutor and presenter.
The trainer is a training companion. His duties are:
  • arranging and observing the youth’s learning processes
  • ensuring development of learning skills, expert knowledge, social skills and other competencies
  • identifying and solving learning difficulties
 Independent and self-dependent
Many companies are already preparing their apprentices for the lifelong learning process. The youths are acquiring integrated qualifications, including all their professional and personal competencies.

New learning and practice-oriented methods support the training programmes, focussing on the apprentice.
  • Independent,
  • experience-oriented and
  • self-dependent
learning and working is promoted. This is the key to quality of life, work motivation and customer satisfaction throughout working life.

Example Germany - Rainer Nägel, restaurant specialist
"After my own training as a cook, I gained insight into different kitchens and restaurants, during the years of following, learning and travelling. My experience was similar to many other colleagues – we concentrated on the cooking itself to learn more about cooking and preparation processes and techniques.

This is the fundament of my success, but, as time went by, I came to the conclusion that other skills – such as marketing, bookkeeping, legal knowledge and personnel management – are necessary. Cooking itself doesn’t make a good restaurant, you have to offer your guests a harmonious concept and a good overall performance.

The decision to attain a master craftsman certificate – to become chef – was a major development for me, and I went even further by becoming a member of the examination board of the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Constant learning and gaining experiences is even more important  today than some time ago. In an ever-changing society with high quality demands, standstill marks the beginning of the end, but willingness to learn is the key to success.

My everyday life in the restaurant and the casino inevitably requires the application of things I have learned and the acceptance of change and novelty.

One very important prerequisite for success is constant contact and exchange with colleagues. Problems should naturally be solved in the team and the whole team should be involved in the process of planning and implementation of business operations. That is the only way to create an integrated team.

If I keep the development in gastronomy throughout the last years in mind, I notice many young and committed apprentices with outstanding achievements, who have constantly raised the the level of performance. For this we have to thank a number of qualified restaurant operations trainers who imparted their knowledge and experiences.

Training itself and its content have now, after some adjustment, a high standard and are very guest-oriented. Advanced training to become a qualified restaurant specialist is a must for every young and ambitious cook."

10 - Lifelong Learning