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My training career – Kevin Ryan


As part of our feature on trainer development, we asked TrainingZONE members to tell us a bit about how they came to be involved in the training profession, and offer some thoughts on what it means to be a trainer today. We received a fantastic selection of responses, which will be published throughout the month. Here, Kevin Ryan, currently taking a year out as a full-time student gives his response.

  1. What's your current job role?

    I am currently taking a year out to complete a full-time M.A. in Human Resource Development Management Learning at Lancaster University Management School.

  2. What did you do before this?

    I was the Training & Development Manager for the Channel Islands largest food retailer-Le Riche’s Stores

  3. Describe your route into training

    I was training store managers in stock control procedures and then decided it would be good to have a formal training qualification. I did the Certificate in Training Practice and was promoted to Management Trainer.

  4. Did you always want to work in training and development?

    No - I worked in line management in retail first. This proved invaluable later as I really understood what management needed to take the business forward.

  5. What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?

    I think designing, delivering and evaluating the Human Resource Development plan for the company’s largest store project in the history of the organisation. It was a major challenge but proved very rewarding and an invaluable personal learning experience.

  6. How do you think the role of the trainer has changed since you began your training career?

    I think the role has become much more strategic. It requires a great deal of business insight in order to align training to organisational objectives.

  7. What single thing would improve your working life?

    A wider understanding of HR issues amongst non HR managers. I know I have a responsibility to educate them but I wish that other qualification routes took it more seriously when developing people.

  8. What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site?

    I think the whole site is excellent. I regularly review the whole site.

  9. Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in training?

    My advice would be to get a good understanding of the specific industry in which you wish to work. Only by understanding what makes the business operate can you provide appropriate learning solutions.

  10. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today?

    Credibility and being able to show an organisation how to add value. It can be difficult to put a cost/benefit figure on a given project. How do you place a financial figure on employee motivation and esteem? Coming up with creative ways to do this whilst doing all the other operational things can be challenging.


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