Virtual/Simulated Training

Actual work experience

Graduates often take up employment but do not make it due to inadequate skills/experience. We have created an innovative concept of fast tracking graduates to the point that they have actual work experience. This we call Virtual / Simulated Training. The Virtual / Simulated Training is part of all our work-readiness programs.

The program addresses this very real weakness and gives our graduates the confidence and support together with the space to make mistakes with real information. This is a luxury that you cannot afford in the pressured office and market environment.

Our graduates are more valuable to their employers than those selected from traditional sources, as more time is spent on training that covers productive, income earning activities.

This results in the firms being able to get productive work done by these graduates straight away.

 

Innovation

This innovation was a first in this field as far as we know. We are not aware of any other program of this nature. NASA and the pilot training field have simulation training but there was no such training in the corporate environment.

We started the Virtual/Simulated Training for our accounting program early in 2007, called the Virtual Office. Here trainees prepare actual company financial records encompassing all transactions for real companies over twelve months. The VO is fully operational with groups of learners split into “virtual accounting firms” with “bosses” across more than 500 computerised workstations. In 2009 we implemented this for our banking program, called the Virtual Bank. These are now slick well-functioning programs.

Our graduates who complete this training are well ahead of graduates directly out of universities as attested to by our clients.

All the people who have been toured through our facilities have unequivocally endorsed and praised the program and process. Most firms who have come through to see the Virtual/Simulated Training are taking graduates now or booking them to start once they are complete. There is a buzz of excitement about our achievements.

 

The Method

The VO provides each trainee with source documents for real businesses, whose books have already been done. The trainees use a formulated study checklist to guide themselves through each step of the process. Each business is dealt with one at a time, VAT period by VAT period. Books are coded and processed and VAT returns completed per period. The study checklist shows the progressive process. Source materials for the next task are fed to the trainees only when they have completed the current task fully.

The last two columns of the study checklist show where the trainee signs off to indicate they have completed the task. The facilitator, an experienced accountant, then checks the work and if found to be correct, signs off in the last column.

This process continues until all pages of the study checklist are completed and all businesses have trial balances for the year in question.

In our banking programs, learners complete a state-of-the-art current textbook on banking in SA, compiled by us through industry experts and updated each year. The banking sections of the program have been developed, enhanced and updated by experienced bankers and specialists in the industry. The banking Virtual Bank (VB) module covers actual cases of individuals and companies applying for various credit products through a bank. Our learners take the applications, validate and analyse the information and present their findings and applications to Credit Managers who come into our academies and vet this process. Learners end up with an understanding and skills in the credit risk assessment field.

 

Competence

SAIPA have evaluated our program and, besides accrediting the program, have agreed to assess each VO trainee to establish their competence level with the view to offering a reduction to the three year learnership through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).

We have delivered our work-readiness program since 2003 and have currently have completed over 6000 trainees. 90% of them have been offered learnerships, most in the Fasset sector. The advent of the VO has created a new level of competence in each of our trainees and we now offer them to you. The program is also accredited by Fasset with learners archiving 60 credits from completion of our program.

BANKSETA has accredited both the VB (Post-Graduate program) and the VBM (Post-Matric program) processes, with learners achieving 62 credits toward a banking certificate. Learners become employable from the first day off our program.