How Did I Get Here? Alpay Dervish, A & S Training and Development Solutions Ltd

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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, Alpay Dervish, Director of an independent training consultants responds.

  1. What's your current job role? I am currently One of the Directors of A & S Training and Development Solutions Ltd. A new concern for me, started this month and only just trading.

  2. What did you do before this job? My last job was as Community Development Manager for a Housing Association which involved a lot of training of tenants. BUT I have been a consultant and helped to set up other training orgs as Approved centres for City & Guilds for a long time time.

  3. Describe your route into training My route into training was to start as a volunteer for a project in Cornwall, looking after homeless young people. I started recruiting and training more volunteers and mentors for them after I had been there about six months in 1983. I am now a qualified trainer with all the A, B, C, D and E units achieved from City & Guilds, an Assessor and an Internal verifier. I had a Social Sciences Degree and have been up-skilling and up-grading myself since than through C&G, College courses and Open University education. I also have Level 4 in IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance).

  4. Did you always want to work in training and development? I only realised what it means when I did it, before than I was very much a businessman with chain of restaurants etc. I loved working with people and seeing the lights come on and still do.

  5. What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date? I have to say the birth of my son. My late gift from life. I was 47 when he came into my life. But I am sure you want to know about my training career. That would be working with single parents and enabling them to realise their potential in society (1999 - 2001) It was amazing that those people, mostly women, thought they could contribute nothing and gain nothing after having brought up children under extremely difficult conditions all on their own. I thought them that the skills needed to have done all that (communication, financial wizardry, tact and lots of love) could be transferred to the work place and most of them have careers now. One or two still work with me and a couple are actually managers of community services. I also enjoy when I am successful in developing BME businesses into consortiums and they grow together.

  6. How do you think the role of the trainer has changed since you began your training career? I think the role of the trainer has changed for the better because we now have to be more professional, pay more attention to quality controls and ensure that what people learn is what they need as part of their Continuous Development. There are still a lot of charlatans out there but generally we are working in a more humanistic way.

  7. What single thing would improve your working life? More time, someone should design days into 48 hrs not 24. Apart from that I love it and am pleased with my progress.

  8. What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site? The constant updating. Information about what is happening and where on a regular basis is wonderful to have in your e-mail box.

  9. Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in training? My advice is "if you are going into training only for the money, FORGET IT!. There is a river of money in the industry, but without the joy of seeing people develop it is dry. The cream on the cake is the "feel-good" factor, if you don't feel that, get out."

  10. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today? Retention. There are just too many choices thrown at people from small orgs to Colleges from Internet to distance learning.

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