U.S manufacturing industry, with 18.2% share of the global manufactured products, is facing severe shortage of skilled workforce. In a survey conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, there are 600,000 jobs vacant because of the skills gap and the cost of skills gap is $1 million of lost revenue per company per year.
To deal this problem, GE, Manufacturing Institute, Alcoa, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin have joined hands to train 100,000 retired military workforce by 2015. Their aim is to transform the military experience to advanced manufacturing experience.
Why train the retired workforce?
About a million veterans are set to to retire from armed forces over the next four years and will be making way in to civilian jobs. According to Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation, veterans offer the technical, leadership and critical thinking skills that advanced manufacturing demands.
Since veterans have military service experience and this doesn’t immediately qualify them for available manufacturing jobs, the following training programs are suggested for them to get off to a good start and to sustain a career in manufacturing industry.
- New hire training
New employee training is important to let the veterans know their joband to have a good feeling about the company to get off to a good start. It lets veterans know the ground rules of the company.
This can reduce the start up costs, as it can keep the veterans comfortable and knowledgeable about their new job . It also saves time for the supervisor and managers better the orientation training, and makes it less likely that the supervisors and managers will have to spend time educating these employees.
- Compliance training
It is imperative to impart compliance training to meet government regulations or industry standards. Whether in the healthcare sector, hi-tech or energies sector, you will have industry-specific guidelines for employees to follow. Training employees to abide by the regulations is imperative to minimize claims for violation of laws.
Compliance training can be imparted using case-studies and by showing the veterans the real-life scenarios using simulations in your courses. This can make learners aware of the consequences they face due to breach of compliance norms .
- Operator training
Organizations need to ensure that each and every veteran has sufficient industrial experience, knowledge of the working environment and equipment, to comply with safety and environmental regulations (OSHA regulations).
Errors while operating machines/equipment may result in accidents, product loss, and sometimes plant shutdown. Operator training can prevent these huge losses and ensures that the operators, who work with equipments can recognize and handle the problem effectively.
- Health and Safety training
As an employer, it is your obligation to comply with the laws to protect the health and safety of your workforce. Health and safety training can ensure that the veterans do not get injured, or become ill while at work. Keeping your employees safe and healthy will improve productivity and efficiency as the employee turnout will increase. In addition, if you leave your employees untrained than you are at a risk of costly compensation claims.
Let’s look at some of the effective methods in delivering these training programs
- Blended training
A blended learning approach that combines online and classroom training, can be adopted where classroom time can be used to engage the veterans in advanced interactive experiences. Online sessions can provide veterans with multimedia-rich content, at any time of day and can be useful to reinforce knowledge shared during face to face interactions. The ultimate aim of blended learning, is to provide realistic practical opportunities for veterans, to maximize their learning experience. It reduces the requirement of obligatory classroom time, by providing online training options in circumstances that do not require face to face interaction.
- Simulations based training
PC-based Simulation is a great way to demonstrate the production process clearly. Simulation reflects the real-life production process. It is a practical training method. For example, if you have to show a live demonstration of the production process, it can be done using graphic simulations, which help veterans understand the production process clearly. Once veterans are thorough with the processes and concepts, they can be taken to the actual equipment for live demonstration.
These are some ways to transform the veterans experience towards manufacturing. Has your organization employed veterans for manufacturing? If so, how are you training them? Do share with us.