Investigating the impact of formal education and training on employee performance in the coal mining industry
The research investigated the impact of formal education and training on employee performance. The mining sector, in particular the coal mining sector, is experiencing a shift in the composition of workforce from the dominance of the unskilled labour force towards the skilled worker. The transition is coming at the back drop of a changing technological environment, improvements of education and new safety level of expectation. A qualitative research method utilising semi-structured interviews with the aid of an interview guide were self-administered by the researcher to a purposively selected sample of eight (8) participants. The sample includes participants from across the operations of the mine from a single mine right from the shop floor up to senior management level. The research study found that formal education and training had more weight in benefiting employees on the job although it may not be easily visible to the employees. The research also concurred with studies that found a positive relationship between formal education and training and experience on employee performance. Investigating the impact of formal education and training on employee performance as well as that of on the job training was found to be situational to the particular job of the employee. It is recommended that both mine managers and trade unions have a role to play in creating an environment where formal education and training qualifications improves among miners in order to achieve employee performance and subsequently organisational performance.