As I meet with customers in many industries, one topic invariably comes up. When it comes to operating and supporting automation equipment, employers are concerned about filling skill gaps and keeping up with changing technology. I’m going to spend a little time discussing some of the costs and benefits of different types of training that you should consider when putting a plan together.
This is training that is led by a factory-trained instructor with appropriate software and hardware to support covered topics. Historically, instructor-led training is the most effective way for people to learn. However, there are some negatives when it comes to off-site training. It’s becoming harder for employees to be away from the plant for extended periods. Make sure to consider the cost of travel, hotels, and meals when comparing this to other training options.
Like off-site classes, these classes are led by factory-trained instructors, using the same demo equipment. One of the significant advantages of this training is that it can be held at your facility to reduce travel time and expenses. People find that if they have four or more employees to be trained, this can be more cost-effective than sending employees to other locations.
An option that marries on- and off-site training, is opting to have the class at one of our facilities that is close-by and convenient for your staff. That way, you don’t have to find space at your location or budget for travel and lodging expenses.
Sometimes a plant’s training needs don’t perfectly align with the standard classes available. In these cases, one option is to look at tailored training. A tailored class is created by reviewing the material from two or more standard classes and choosing the sections of the syllabus that meet your training needs. You will have to find providers who are willing to adjust their courses to your needs. We offer tailored classes both on- and off-site. These classes are most cost-effective when four or more people need similar training.
Everyone’s learning style is different. While we have found that most people learn well in the hands-on, in-person training types described above, there can be a place for computer-based training. In my experience, computer-based training is most effective for lower-level, fundamental skills. For example, a facility may need to train six technicians in PLC programming. Four of the employees may have some basic experience and be ready for a level two class, while the other two are beginners. The two less experienced employees could use a computer-based PLC programming class to prepare them to take a more advanced class.
Keeping existing employees’ skills sharp and training new employees is one of the greatest challenges for all of us, especially when technology is constantly changing. We can help. From scheduled classroom training to custom learning experiences, we offer the training you need to address skill gaps. Contact us today!