In the next decade, almost three and a half million manufacturing jobs will need qualified professionals. However, the skills gap means 2 million of those jobs will remain vacant. Based on How eLearning can help to overcome the Manufacturing Skills Gap?the 2015-2025 Skills Gap report from Deloitte Consulting, LLP and the Manufacturing Institute, the result of this shortage will be a major problem for businesses. Every manufacturing job filled results in the creation of 2.5 other jobs in local services and products. In addition, for every dollar invested in manufacturing, other sectors experience $1.37 in additional value. Not having the right workers and skills mean that these benefits will be lost.

Numerous ways exist to address the problem, yet the vast majority of executives in the report said the most effective workforce education strategy is internal training and development. In fact, 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. Many believe that new types of eLearning are therefore coming at an opportune time to help redefine how manufacturing employees are trained and certified. It is considered as one of the best tools to meet the skills gap issue head-on in a cost-efficient manner.

Here’s why: 

 

eLearning Is Cost-Effective

Most eLearning solutions are cost-effective training and development tools. With a minimal investment required to achieve better results than classroom learning,, eLearning offers company executives an attractive return on investment. Additionally, the same course can be accessed by the workforce all over the globe, creating economies of scale that are impossible to match with traditional classroom and workshop floor training. eLearning also eliminates travel costs for learners.

 

eLearning Is Mobile

Today, what is most important for learners is accessibility and flexibility. For example, they want to be able to access coursework and training on portable devices. Through specialized apps or via the internet, eLearning flexibility lets workers of all experience-levels learn on the go through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This is a motivation factor, which encourages employees to complete their courses and gain certifications. 

 

eLearning works well with Blended Learning

Various companies prefer to opt for blended learning. For example, to perfectly understand and appreciate the ins and outs of modern manufacturing machinery, learners must have hands-on training. Blended learning refers to this mixture of eLearning and classroom/work floor teaching. ELearning works perfectly in this blended environment, offering pre-training and post-training modules that introduce and reinforce the concepts workers learn on real equipment. 

 

eLearning can accommodate large groups of learners

Most of the time, manufacturers are in need of highly skilled workers. Opting for traditional classroom training is however too slow when large numbers of workers are needed quickly. In contrast, eLearning can easily scale to train large groups of people in disparate geographic locations with the exact same high-quality training material. This is definitely cost-effective and at the same time offers a consistent approach that ensures workers are learning the same concepts, no matter where they are located. 

 

eLearning allows rapid development of training materials

One of the strong points of eLearning is that it is easily adaptable to rapidly changing business environments. As companies are expected to be agile in the marketplace, eLearning course materials can be modified to ensure workers are getting the latest information and data. It is certain that the days of printing big binders of material and sending them to corporate classrooms around the country are long gone. With eLearning solutions, companies are able to quickly introduce training material to support new machinery, methods and best practices. 

 

eLearning Boosts Motivation

eLearning represent a great source of motivation for employees because it provides the training needed for achievement and career advancement. Since eLearning keeps employees engaged with the interactive content, it avoids the boredom and drudgery many associate with traditional instructor-led training sessions. For instance, the scenario-based training videos at Supply Chain Academy provide learners with real job situation that helps to keep them engaged. As a result, they are more likely to actively apply what they are learning in their day-to-day jobs. 

 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the workplace skills gap is an alarming issue responsible for lost productivity and reduced competitive edge. Today’s competitive economy requires modern learning solutions to keep up with industry changes and disruptive technologies. Opting for eLearning solutions give workers training options that propel them to continually acquire, retain, and revise in-demand skills throughout their careers to narrow the skills gap.