5 Ways Online Learning Helps Overcome the Manufacturing Skills Gap

online learning helps manufacturing skills gap

Over the next 10 years, almost 3 1/2 million manufacturing jobs will need qualified technicians. Unfortunately, the skills gap means 2 million of those jobs will remain unfilled. According to the 2015-2025 Skills Gap report from Deloitte Consulting, LLP and the Manufacturing Institute, the result of this shortage is profound. Every manufacturing job filled results in the creation of 2.5 other jobs in local services and products. And for every dollar invested in manufacturing, other sectors experience $1.37 in additional value. Without workers, these benefits will be lost.

There are a number of ways to address the problem, but the vast majority of executives in the report said the most effective workforce education strategy is internal training and development. E-learning is the perfect catalyst to redefine how manufacturing workers are trained and certified. Here’s why.

E-Learning Is Cost-Effective

E-learning platforms are cost-effective training and development tools. With a minimal initial investment and modest ongoing spending to maintain quality materials, e-learning offers company executives andappealing return on investment. The same course can be accessed by members of the workforce all over the globe, creating economies of scale that are difficult or impossible to match with traditional classroom and workshop floor training. E-learning also reduces travel costs for students and trainers alike.

E-Learning Is Mobile

If there’s one thing that today’s learners demand, it’s that they can access coursework and training on mobile devices. Whether through specialized apps or via the internet, e-learning’s flexibility lets workers of all experience levels learn on-the-go through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

E-Learning Works Well With Blended Learning

In the manufacturing realm, not all training can take place on a mobile device accessing the internet. To truly understand and appreciate the intricacies of modern manufacturing machinery, learners must have hands-on training. The term “blended learning” refers to this mixture of e-learning and classroom/work floor teaching. E-learning works well in this blended environment, offering pre-training and post-training modules that introduce and reinforce the concepts workers learn on a real equipment.

E-Learning Can Accommodate Large Groups of Learners

Manufacturers are in desperate need for highly skilled workers. Traditional classroom training would be too slow to accommodate teaching the vast number of workers needed quickly. In contrast, e-learning can easily scale to train large groups of people in disparate geographic locations with the exact same high-quality training material. This is not only cost-effective, it offers a consistent approach that ensures workers are learning the same concepts, no matter where they are located.

E-Learning Affords Rapid Training Materials Development

E-learning is easily adaptable to rapidly changing business environments. As companies adjust quickly to meet changes in the marketplace, e-learning course materials can be modified to ensure workers are getting the latest information and data. The days of printing big binders of material and sending them to corporate classrooms around the country are long gone. Today, corporations must be nimble. E-learning is able to quickly introduce training material to support new machinery, methods and best practices.

Manufacturing companies are working on several fronts to overcome the skills gap challenge. They are partnering with local educational institutions, conducting open houses, working closely with government officials and instituting aggressive internal training initiatives. E-learning is one of the best tools at their disposal to meet the issue head-on in a cost-efficient manner. Finding the right tools to help meet your training goals can expedite learning, and Litmos can help you proactively learn from mistakes with its cutting-edge LMS solutions.