A Qualified Workforce : by Mark Priestman

Mark Priestman

Mark Priestman is a Partner at Priestman Associates LLP, a leading façade preservation project consultancy, from stonemasonry and heritage skills through to site supervision and conservation management. The partnership is trusted by the leading brands of the sector as an NVQ provider for experienced, upskiller and apprentice workers. 07876 687212 / mark@priestmanweb.com

Mark Priestman is a Director of a training consultancy whose mantra is: Qualify the Workforce! Here he reflects on the role of the CITB in achieving that.

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Those words are attributed to Albert Einstein. But it doesn’t take an Einstein to agree. Our career, our relationships and our life itself is a continual learning curve. Of course, Einstein wasn’t confining his comment to training.

Whether we are being mentored, schooled, apprenticed, instructed… even lectured – what can we do to bring along our best game and reap the best results? And how can an employer sponsoring a learner prepare them for their personal growth, so the business achieves a dividend too?

My acronym ‘ADAPT’ might assist. 

ADAPT – Attitude

Attitude is everything. Einstein wouldn’t have been the great mind he was with bad attitude. So what is good attitude? Basically the hunger to learn. If you think you already know best it will be hard to learn more. Appetite shows curiosity to explore fuller understanding.

Think, too, how our attitude effects our mentors and teachers. We might think that’s on them, but if we enable them in return we get the best deal and they will feel inclined to foster our growth.

ADAPT – Desire

Desire is the product of hunger. We can satisfy hunger in two ways – with short term fixes or with long term gain. Fast food sustains us for moments but the benefits of wholesome food last a lot longer.

So we need to ask ourselves what it is we desire. Is our attendance on a training course simply a means to an end, to tick some box or another? Or do we desire something that will benefit us for life – growth?

ADAPT – Aims

For the learning process to be most successful we need to know what the aims are. Life is a journey and going on a journey is part of life. It might be enjoyable, but without aims, or a route plan, our efforts don’t even have a target to miss.

ADAPT – Potential

Athletes routinely visualise their goals. They do this so their journey has an aim and is more likely to hit their target. Potential is the follow on step used by elite athletes. They don’t only visualise the goal but also the consequences of achieving that goal and their potential – raising the trophy, wrapping the medal ribbon around their neck, standing on the open top bus and being admired by the crowd.

See beyond achieving the aim to how the achievement qualifies you to do something better and to open doors of further opportunity for you, your organisation and your co-workers.

ADAPT – Train

Owning learning multiplies its effectiveness. Paying forward our learning hardwires it into our consciousness and truly helps us to change our behaviour. So when you learn something of value, pass it on, share your enlightenment.

Of course, ‘sharing enlightenment’ might be a blessing or a malediction to others, so go back to the beginning and ADAPT again, this time with you as the facilitator and the person you are assisting as the ben-eficiary.