The Transformation of Skilled Trades Training

Posted by Michelle Ecker on May 13, 2021

Talent within the skilled trades industry is seemingly becoming harder to find as time goes on. The root of the problem may lie in a lack of sufficient training solutions that upskill today’s trades workforce to keep pace with modern needs. Learn how Penn Foster’s trades programs are constantly being updated to stay on the forefront of today’s business needs.

Business owners and hiring managers within the trades seem to be struggling to find and hire well-trained workers. Perhaps the solution is as simple as a transformation of how we train our workforce with the intention of keeping up with changing needs. What can leaders within the trades industry do to proactively prepare?

To gain a better understanding of this problem, Deloitte recently collaborated with The Manufacturing Institute to look into the reason why talent within the skilled trades is so hard to come by as time goes on. Through their research, they found that perhaps, this distress on the industry is the result of modernization - things like automation’s impact on workflow, for example. It seems as though skilled trades jobs are inevitably changing and shifting as time goes on, often to involve new machinery or updated digital skills, and the workers of today may not always be sufficiently trained to work within this new, more tech-centric environment. It would seem that by proving updated education and upskilling opportunities to the workers of today, business leaders could work to combat what will otherwise be a widening skills gap.

plumber working.

How does Penn Foster ensure our programs are meeting changing needs?

The most logical way to ensure a skilled trades training program stays up to date as modern industry needs change, is to mindfully change the curriculum as needed with time, and be thinking not just about present needs, but needs for the future.

At Penn Foster, we understand that not only has technology changed a great deal in recent years, but so have modern students’ learning styles. This understanding is what drove our ongoing investment in expanding our skilled trades courses. These ongoing course updates are meant to ensure our programs are on the forefront of new innovations and are changing to meet the needs of our online learners.

How does Penn Foster provide modern training to skilled trades learners?

As industry needs continue to shift, Penn Foster is continually making changes to the online training platforms our students use in order to provide the most up-to-date, modern training. These updates are meant to expand our courses and provide better learning outcomes by including things like fresh content and more interactive elements - less reading, and more watching and listening.

A number of these updates reduce reading time by replacing what used to be reading assignments with more demonstration videos by subject matter experts, or with simulation videos. This effort to incorporate more video learning segments in tandem with other reading assignments is part of an effort to continually support a wider variety of learning styles.

Additionally, these updates include interactive learning aids that facilitate our proven Learn-Practice-Apply instruction model. The “Learn, Practice, Apply” instruction model is specifically designed to best prepare future skilled trades workers for a life in the workplace. Essentially, through this model our students are able to
  1. Learn concepts through reading curriculum.
  2. Practice these concepts using interactive content and animations.
  3. Apply this knowledge in their day-to-day roles once they start working.
The benefit of “learn practice apply” is it’s focus on job-readiness. Throughout their training, Penn Foster wants students practicing the tasks they will actually be expected to perform in a work environment, so that they can dive right into the workforce as capable, well trained workers on day one.

Partner with Penn Foster to train or upskill your trades workers

Leaders within the trades industry are already working to offer Penn Foster’s modern training solutions to help close the skills gap and better prepare today’s workforce to meet changing needs.

As a leading online skills and credentialing provider, Penn Foster offers an expansive continuum of skills training and educational programs, along with academic support and services, to the skilled trades workers of today. This training is configurable and meant to accommodate businesses based on their specific needs. This skills-based portfolio of education and training solutions was designed to help provide upward career mobility to today’s workers while delivering productivity and efficiency outcomes within any organization. For more information on how Penn Foster’s programs can meet your unique training needs, contact a Penn Foster training expert today.