Maintenance Technology May 2015 - (Page 50)

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES The Adaptive Training Program Will Be Successful Todd W. Stafford Executive Director Electrical Training ALLIANCE A pprenticeship is a system of training that prepares a new generation of workers with on-the-job training that often includes classroom instruction. The building trades provide training programs for apprentices to reach Journeyman level and rewarding careers at little to no expense for the apprentice. The apprentice agrees to work for a sponsor, who is required to provide the training to enable the apprentice to reach Journeyman level. This basic model has existed for decades, and in the U.S. has remained unchanged. Previous generations attended education programs in primary and secondary educational systems that stressed the importance of hard work Apprenticeship curriculum has migrated away from pure training programs into an educational format that today's trainees recognize. and the rewarding careers that would result. These education systems often included some form of trades training. Apprentices of the same generation typically came into the building trades with a strong background in mechanical skills. They could grasp and visualize project and task requirements based upon experience. Older generations like to refer to this as common sense. But an argument can be made that common sense is not really that common. The Electrical Training A lliance is a nonprofit Rather, it is an aggregate organization that dra upon diverse ws of life experiences. This partnerships within the electrical industry , developed common sense all committed and devoted to training the was certainly helped and next generation of electrical w orkers. It encouraged in high-school consists of 300 joint apprenticeship and shop classes and at home. training centers in the U.S. and C anada, Today's apprentice over 100 electrical-industry manufacturers differs from those in and training partners and a netw of ork previous generations. For public and private educational institutions. example, apprentices today 50 | MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY often have little or no understanding of the tools, work processes and mechanical skills that older workers usually take for granted. We can lament the issues, argue the reasons why, discuss opportunities missed and otherwise analyze this lack of skills among today's apprentices, but these activities miss the point. The primary need for apprenticeship programs today is to develop a training program that addresses "how" individuals learn now. Simply watching a Journeyman or Master complete a task is often not enough. The task may not be fully understood because the apprentice may not understand the "why" behind the actions. Today's apprentice needs a detailed explanation why specific work processes are implemented. On-the-job time may not be available to provide the detailed explanations, and having a classroom instructor relate personal, practical experience to coincide with theory or job-related curriculum no longer suffices. The change in the apprentice requires innovation into delivery as much as the technology, innovations and techniques to be used for training. As a result, apprenticeship curriculum has migrated away from pure training programs into an educational format that today's trainees recognize. For example, the use of computer simulations and interactive environments are effective tools for delivery and creating opportunities for training that were unavailable not that long ago. Use of simulations and interactions within curriculum allows the apprentice to explore and learn in a familiar environment. Often, the full resources of the Internet can be an additional resource. Apprentices today are used to having this format of education-or "training"-available and often cannot understand any other. Classroom instruction is taking on a greater share of what was once taught on the job, which is possible because of today's technology. Apprentice programs today must get the apprentice involved in their training. Classroom styles of yesterday must change to create an environment that is conducive to learning though active immersion by the apprentice into the training curriculum. We cannot hope apprentices come around to the old way of thinking and instruction. We must meet their needs to be effective. MT tstafford@electricaltrainingalliance.org MAY 2015

Maintenance Technology May 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology May 2015

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