Efficient Plant December 2017 - 53

column | uptime

M

OST OF US associated
with plant operations and
maintenance were excited
about learning to make and fix things
while we were in school. Basically, our
model was learning by doing. More
accurately, it was probably the learningby-doing-something-I-could-use model.
Most adults learn that way well beyond
their school years.
There is an ever-growing skills gap
in today's workplace, especially when we
look at jobs in manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and construction-jobs
that require hands-on or applied technical
skills and knowledge. How do we teach the
next generation (Next Gen) to work? They
are already in the workplace or already in
school. It would only make sense that education and training for all of those jobs and
careers be based on proven applied-learning models.
When we delegate a student's education
exclusively to schools, we are primarily
teaching students how to become even
more educated. It's when our schools adopt
applied-learning models that the education
becomes more relevant to the world in
which we live.
We often hear that experience is the best
teacher. To be meaningful, the "experience"
cannot be merely random, independent, or
accidental. Experiential learning must be
purposeful, applied to specific outcomes,
goals, or an objective.

by applying new knowledge to specific
projects.
A mentor may not necessarily be an
educator or someone with a formal education. What mentors have to offer are their
life experiences. It's when those experiences
are aligned with the student's learning
objectives and supported by a project with
defined and observable outcomes that the
mentoring form of applied learning truly
works.

Training
Next-Gen
Workers
Bob Williamson
Contributing Editor

WORKPLACE MENTORS
Imagine applied learning in today's
workplace. Imagine how effective learning could be if we were to harness the
experiences of some of our most skilled
and knowledgeable employees as oneon-one teachers, coaches, mentors.
Imagine how much could be learned
when new skills and knowledge are applied
immediately on the job. Imagine how the
performance of our plants would improve
if people learned what is needed on the job
to keep the plant running efficiently and
cost effectively.
What we would be imagining is at
the heart of the apprenticeship model of
learning, not necessarily the modern-day
model with governmental oversight and
certification requirements. Rather, it's an
apprenticeship program within the walls of
your plant-a proven old-world model of a
mentor and protégé. EP

TEACHER
BECOMES MENTOR
If experience is the best teacher, then
the teacher must first master the art of
becoming a mentor. Life-altering learning occurs when real-world-of-work
experiences are included in the teaching process and when students learn

DECEMBER 2017

Bob Williamson, CMRP, CPMM, and
member of the Institute of Asset
Management, is in his fourth decade of
focusing on the "people side" of worldclass maintenance and reliability in plants
and facilities across North America.
Contact him at RobertMW2@cs.com.

Imagine how effective learning could be
if we were to harness the experiences of
some of our most skilled and knowledgeable employees as one-on-one teachers,
coaches, mentors.

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

53


http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant December 2017

Efficient Plant December 2017 - 1
Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover1
Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover2
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 1
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 2
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 3
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Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover3
Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover4
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