December 9, 2014
On-The-Job Learning and Classroom Training: Perfect Timing
When Faith Technologies brought its nationally accredited electrical apprenticeship program in house in 2010, we immediately experienced documented success. Aptitude test scores were higher, and our state licensing test completion rates were elevated, as well. Fortunately, we were not satisfied with those achievements; we expected more. We constantly reviewed the curriculum to make sure it was relevant with the industry, and looked to improve our classroom delivery.
The primary goal of any good apprenticeship training program is to match the on the job learning (OJL) with the materials covered in the classroom. We are striving to “time” the delivery of information with when the apprentices will be able to apply it on the jobsite; to expose them to the theory, calculations, and hands-on lab work in a controlled environment, before they see it in the field. Re-work and mistakes are best handled in the classroom, where we can safely and efficiently correct any issues.
At Faith Technologies, new employees complete a variety of training courses before entering our apprenticeship program. This training, combined with the first few weeks of apprenticeship training, target the specific needs of the apprentice and the jobsite, and we are able to deliver the best of both worlds.
By providing new employees with basic safety and conduit hand bending skills, in concert with basic wire handling and terminating skills, the new employee arrives at the jobsite prepared to be a productive team member. Couple that with the additional electrical safety, advanced conduit bending, and introduction to the National Electrical Code provided in the first weeks of apprenticeship, we are able to prepare our new apprentices with the safety skills and practical skills to perform at levels higher than expected.
The added benefit of our in-house program is that it allows us to teach the culture of Faith Technologies. We can focus on safety, productivity, efficiency, and leadership. These skills are the foundation that develops great employees. By targeting the classroom training to fit the OJL, we are providing training that is “just in time” for the success of the employee, as well as the employer.