A new Institute of Business has been launched by veteran workplace skills company, Guarantee Trust, aiming to plug a crucial gap in the country’s tertiary education sector.
“Our focus in on skills, not just on qualifications,” says GTIB co-founder, Alan Murray. “We turn a qualification into a skill, and we do that through real-life simulation of tasks that are required to be performed in the workplace.”
Guarantee Trust Institute of Business (GTIB) has a long history in providing work-readiness programmes in the banking, accounting and insurance sectors, and has placed more than 10,000 graduates in employment over the last decade – a 90% placement rate. Murray says the Institute has developed close relations with employers in both the public and private sectors. “Employers are looking for skills rather than a piece of paper that says you have passed an exam. They do not want to spend another one or two years providing further training to new employees before they become useful. Our programmes aim to address that need.”
GTIB recently now expanded its academic programme to offer a National Certificate in Banking, a National Diploma in Technical Financial Accounting, a Certificate in Office Administration and a Regulatory Exam for Representatives (aimed at those who intend to pursue a career in financial services).
Most tertiary qualifications focus on academic achievement, but graduates are ill-prepared for the demands of the workplace. They know little to nothing of office etiquette, business ethics or how to communicate verbally or in writing.
Graduates from GTIB are given a full battery of soft-skill courses such as communication, life-long learning and basic administration skills.
A student completing an accounting diploma at GTIB is able to take a company’s accounts to trial balance stage on the day they enter employment. No long apprenticeship, articles or “up-skilling” is required.
Barbara Calvin, executive manager at GTIB, says Guarantee Trust’s graduates are in high demand in the public and private sector because of their functional competence. “Our accounting graduates are able to enter a company and take its accounts to trial balance from day one, as well as handle VAT and income tax. Similarly, graduates completing our banking diploma are able to enter the banking environment and conduct a credit assessment on a client on their very first day of employment. This is because of our proprietary “Virtual Banking” and “Virtual Office” systems which simulate the real-world business environment. So when our students enter the business world, there are no surprises for them.”
GTIB programmes offer learners a blend of online and face-to-face interaction moderated by course “coaches”. These intensive programmes, combined with an emphasis on practical application in a simulated environment, allows graduates to complete their training in up to 15 months, at which point they are ready to launch their careers. GTIB has a team of recruiters working full-time to assist graduates in finding work.
GTIB has 10 branches around the country, covering all provinces.
In 2017 GTIB will offer a Wealth Management course aimed at those seeking a career in asset management or in the financial services sector.