August 1, 2016

We all know that a solid background in industrial fundamentals is essential to a well-trained industrial worker.

Work practice, tool use, mathematics, reading and writing are the necessary foundation skills that are, too often, essentially ignored in most training curricula.

Of that list, reading, writing and math training are the most often omitted simply because we assume that those skills already exist in our employee population.

An incorrect assumption!

For example, we’ve all heard a lot about the lack of basic skills in America’s workforce.  But, have we all read about it?  Approximately 35 million Americans can’t.

And reading is not the only skill workers are lacking.  Millions cannot perform the simple mathematical problems now required in their jobs.  For example, many employees can neither use a calculator nor graph numbers.

For American industry, the problem first came to light more than two decades ago when many organizations began the implementation of statistical process control (SPC).  Quickly those organizations determined that many employees could not learn the new tasks required of them in order to implement SPC.  Management began to ask, “why?”

The reason became rapidly apparent — the workforce lacked the 3 R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic).

For the past couple of decades, this issue has been given a lot of press and a great deal of money.  In response, many classes were formed and the focus shifted to address this basic skills shortage.

But are we any better off than we were?  Not really.  Small gains have been made but no dramatic changes.

Recently, trainers began sitting back and looking at the methods that are being employed to teach basic skills.  They are beginning to reject traditional classroom training as a viable solution to the skills shortage and are turning instead to individualized, interactive multi-sensory media (i.e., multi-sensory E-Learning) for answers.

Multi-sensory media training makes fundamental skills learning come to life by showing how those skills relate to actual job performance.  This application-oriented approach motivates adults because visual-based learning is the centerpiece of their own learning culture.

Multi-sensory media training presents real-life situations, including the hows and whys along with the facts, through job-related examples.

 Improving basic skills training is a necessity today.  Fully interactive multi-sensory learning is the best answer.

More on Wednesday –  –  –

              — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)