Home General Don’t throw away employees’ training budget, HREA tells govts, coys

Don’t throw away employees’ training budget, HREA tells govts, coys

Don't throw away employees' training budget, HREA tells govts, coys

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Don’t throw away employees’ training budget, HREA tells govts, coys

The HR Expo Africa (HREA) has called on government and private sectors and other players in the business space to embrace technology, innovations and the use of AI to enhance productivity of employees.

The human resources platform said that government and business owners should not throw away budget for training and development of workforce despite the current economic challenges.

The Founder/ Convener of HREA Work Festival, 2024, Erefa Coker, and other HR Professionals gave the charge at the closing of a two-day HR Expo Africa (HREA) Work Festival 2024 on Thursday in Lagos.

The 9th edition of the HREA Work Festival titled “HR Renaissance: Innovating for Impact” brought together HR professionals from various organisations.

Coker, while stressing the importance of technology and role of AI in driving human resources professions in both public and private sectors, said that workforce remained critical in any organisation.

According to her, the festival is always a space to bring out HR professionals, topnotch HR leaders to come and teach upcoming professionals that are new in the industry.

“We call it Festival because we are not just focusing on HR people, we also want line managers to come and learn how to work, deal with workforce issues.

“Some always say people are the most important asset of a business, but for us, people are the business, they are the heart of a business.

“For business owners and government , as the world of technology advances, it is important to constantly upskill our employees, people who work for us must have the right skills.

“For the government, there is a need to prioritise learning across government sectors. The government must put premium on learning for its workforce to grow,” the founder said.

Dr John Opute, a member of the HREA Advisory Board, said that the organisation was founded to create a platform for HR officers as well as all managers of people in public or private sector.

Opute said: “The gathering aimed at bringing about innovations that will impact people. It is to discuss emerging issues, particularly issues that are important in times of uncertainty like the time we are going through now as a country.”

Describing the current situation in the country as tough times, Opute said that managers of people must build and expose workforce in this challenging times to grow.

He urged the managers of people in government and private sector to continue to encourage upskilling of employees through Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

Opute recommended a quarterly tripartite meeting comprising trade unions, employers and the government on issues of upskilling the people in difficulty times.

“These is not when training and development budget should be thrown away because that is what most organisations do,” Opute said.

Speaking, Ms Kemi Juba, Head of Brand Marketing and Corporate Communication Credit Direct, one of the sponsors, said that HR was about helping productivity, reduce stress of employees, turning employees to brand ambassadors and maintaining strong and happy workforces.

“One of the ways we can help employees stay longer in the company is to ensure they manage finances seamlessly especially now when salaries are not enough,” Juba said.

Speaking on the role of technology and AI among HR managers, a panelist, Mr Usen Udoh of ValueBridge Consulting, said that the HREA said that it would be absolutely impossible for many organisations to compete if such conducted operations manually.

“Are organisation particularly in Nigeria ready to embrace this technology? Most Nigerians as individuals are much more aware of AI and how it impact their lives than organisation are adopting it.

“Small scales businesses are not even looking in that direction and this is a massive opportunity. AI is very good with analysis, gathering of data and other things.

“There are many ways we can use this in HR space for instance in writing letters of employment, memo among other tasks, it is automatic, AI will generate them,” Udoh said.

NAN reports that in some of the breakout sessions, the delegates were taken through issues on various topics including: “Employee Engagement in a Digital Workplace” and “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Strategies to Advancing Women into Leadership Positions”.

“Digital HR Transformation Through FinTech”, “Enhancing Financial Management Skills for Greater Workplace Well-being” and “Working Smarter not harder- Tactics to deliver ambitious transformational learning strategies, without burning out”

Others are “Leading the Change Against Toxic Work Environments: A Leadership Imperative”, “Daring Leadership: Cultivating a Culture of Transparency, Openness and Creative Boldness in Today’s Workplace”, “The Future of Human Machine Interaction: Exploring the Potential of ChatGPT” and others.

Highlights of the event was award recognition given to some partners including the Director Executive Education, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic, University, Victor Banjo; Director, Head – Group HR, Sahara Group, Ivie Imasogie; Partner, ValueBridge Consulting, Usen Udoh and Partner/People Consulting Leader, Lola Esan,

The Deputy Head Operations, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Funke Amobi, Retired Group Director, HR and General Services, Wale Adediran; Group Managing Director/CEO, ICS Outsourcing, Peter Akindeju; Managing Partner & CEO, Workforce Group, Foluso Aribisala; Founder/CEO, Human Investment Group Africa, Ajibola Ponnle among others.

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