Various flavours of training in manufacturing – when to pick what?
The manufacturing sector in India is booming, and it has emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India. According to the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index published by Deloitte, by the year 2020, India will be the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world. Under its Make in India initiative, by 2022, the Government of India wants the manufacturing sector to contribute up to 25 percent to the GDP.
To compete for its global ranking, the Indian manufacturing industry needs to address a few key challenges. For instance, the retirement of the experienced class has resulted in the loss of expertise and fewer opportunities for the young generation. This gap is widening, to say the least. The young generation of workers needs to be effectively trained on not only the age-old manufacturing best practices but also on the latest tools and technologies and paradigm shifts which are coming because of Smart Manufacturing.
The training needs of manufacturing
The manufacturing industry is one of the strongest and largest enterprises of the globe. CEO, Jay Timmons of the National Association of Manufacturers, believes that a skilled workforce is the cornerstone of manufacturing industries and the success factor of the economy. In India, even the government is trying to mitigate the skills shortage by offering incentives and subsidies for an upgrade in the technological subsector.
The Indian manufacturing industry has traditionally relied on classroom training for their workforce. With the proliferation of Internet and mobile and the fact that the young workforce is entering the industry, it is also warming up to the adoption of eLearning. However, there always confusion about which training mode is best suited for the company. Obviously, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. The type of training depends a lot on the training needs and learning objectives.
Let us take a look –
For awareness and knowledge creation
For manufacturing firms, companies often need to train the large workforce and GETs on concepts like safety, compliance, accounts, or new concepts like Industry 4.0. Conducting these types of training programs in a classroom environment can be incredibly time-consuming and costly. eLearning works very well in these situations. With eLearning, a large workforce can be quickly trained – without causing any significant downtime and as per the convenience of the workforce. That apart, all the courses can be thoroughly tracked. Studies show that manufacturing companies have witnessed a rise of 25-60% in employee retention with the use of eLearning.
The manufacturing industry employs multi-skilled employees who need to perform a wide variety of tasks. Many of these tasks require basic as well as highly specialized training. The employees also need to be updated about the latest happenings on an ongoing basis. For these training objectives, companies need to go with a combination of eLearning and classroom training. eLearning courses can offer the basic training and classroom trainings can be leveraged for more hands-on and advanced training courses. For the ongoing training needs, again eLearning can be adopted.
A small but important portion of the workforce needs to be trained to become experts at the job. For this type of training, one classroom session or a series of eLearning courses may not be enough. The workforce might need on-going mentorship wherein the mentor is available on an on-going basis to clarify doubts, brainstorm on ideas, or seek opinions. Such on-going engagement with the mentors ensures concept reinforcement leading to an increase in productivity.
What should manufacturing companies look for in their training partner?
In 2017, the US manufacturing corporations spent nearly $161 Billion on corporate training, indeed a massive amount of investment! Manufacturing companies are leaving no stone unturned in training their workforce.
It is quite evident that because of the unique peculiarities of the industry, to effectively address the training needs of this industry, the training partner needs to possess specific capabilities, skills, and qualities. These include –
- Subject matter expertise – It is essential for the training partner to have a pool of subject matter experts who come with strong industry background and are well-versed with the practical aspects of the manufacturing operations
- Learning solutions expertise -The training partner should have expertise in all types of training methods – be it eLearning, classroom training, or blended learning
- Industry domain expertise – The training company should have industry domain expertise
- Process expertise – The training company should have experience of working with other manufacturing companies – only then the company can understand the intricacies of working in the unique set up
Are you looking to increase the RoI of your training initiatives? At Enggenious, we have worked with several manufacturing and engineering companies and helped them successfully design, develop, and deliver their training programs. Our large team of Subject Matter Experts with an average work experience of 30+ years and training experts will be happy to discuss your specific training needs and offer the right solution.