Learning Facilitators vs Trainers

“You see, trainers, tend to promote a person who is a knowledge downloader. A person who is there to impart knowledge and skills for the immediate gap closure.

“A trainer also implies a kind of programmed approach which is very inflexible and doesn’t sit well with the new generation. See, in PETRONAS, we have evolved from a training focus, that means to say, addressing immediate skills and functionalities and medium of the workforce in the 70s and 80s.

“Then, in the 90s, we said, we don’t have enough development focus. The conversation is not rich enough. The involvement of the line managers, the involvement of the staff itself, in wanting to partake of learning and focusing not only on the immediate learning needs, but also in the future, or the career development is not there.

"So, the conversation needs to move from training to learning, and in the 1990s, we shifted from training to learning. And with that shift, we started calling our trainers: learning facilitators. We dropped the word ‘trainers’. And that was the reason for it.

-Yasir Abdul Rahman, CEO PETRONAS Leadership Centre

“The knowledgeable workforce, they come with a lot of knowledge already. So how do you leverage? Pull out the tacit knowledge that is already there and work it into what you are there to deliver. It’s very difficult to do.

“Not so easy. Alright? It’s much easier to go slide by slide, slide by slide. Very easy. When you have to really work and marry those two, that’s a real challenge.

“And you really got to come ready into the room to really have Murphy’s Law hit you straight in the face and redesign the session and be comfortable with it. If you are a learning facilitator, you’re really focused on application.

“What you have shared, how is this going to be applicable, for the individual, as an individual, as a person, and also as an organization.

-Dr Faridah Marican, President, MAFa