Rapid Upskilling & Reskilling For In-demand Industry Jobs

Originally published on Future Skills Canada

Many industrial sectors across Canada are experiencing huge disruption with the advent of new technologies and automation, and most are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. Using rapid upskilling and reskilling, Work-Based Learning (WBL) programs help diverse job seekers – especially those in underrepresented groups such as women and new Canadians – to find or transition to in-demand skilled jobs in industrial sectors. The programs allow:

  • unskilled/semi-skilled job seekers and skilled workers in transition to get hired
  • current employees to acquire industry-valued skills and achieve recognized certification
  • employers to meet their critical skills needs, efficiently and reliably.

Training / Career Services Provided

The WBLC worked-based learning model circumvents traditional CV-based recruitment approaches. It maps competencies for target jobs, identifies candidates who have been or are at risk of being displaced, refers them for interviews and delivers theoretical knowledge and on-the-job training so people can obtain an industry-recognized credential. Employees ‘earn while they learn’.

Early Results

Since early 2014, over 60 advanced manufacturing employers in Ontario have partnered with WBLC to hire and train unskilled job seekers or upskill current workers or those in transition – a total of more than 650 employees – for skilled jobs at entry-level or mid-level, with a success rate of over 85%.

In the initial phase of the project, WBLC and the Canadian Association of Mold Makers partnered to upskill displaced workers, providing training needed to fill vacancies in mold-making and injection-molding trades in Kitchener-Waterloo and the GTA where companies reported a skilled worker shortage. That initiative helped transition 24 mid-career workers to new or ongoing full-time, permanent employment as skilled workers.

Next Phase

WBLC and its partners are expanding the range of industrial sectors and the provinces in which the value of rapid upskilling will be shown via four (4) new WBL Programs.  WBLC will also implement ‘rapid upskilling’ via accelerated delivery of three (3) existing, proven WBL programs for skilled jobs in advanced manufacturing.

In addition, this project will develop and implement three training innovations:

  • a systematic process to identify the employers’ needs to upskill/reskill their employees and meet their skills shortages
  • structured Competency Gap Coaching to bridge non-technical competency gaps (transversal skills) for current skilled employees
  • an AI-driven Technical Workplace Language Fluency training to assist immigrants and workers in transition in advanced manufacturing workplaces.

WBLC Develops Technical Training Effectiveness Workshop

WBLC has developed Technical Training Effectiveness Workshop specifically designed for manufacturing & production trainers.

Program Goals

The program:

  • Drives business results with training that immediately improves technical training effectiveness.
  • Improves the capability of current staff, your on-the-job experts, to deliver effective technical training and coaching to new staff, or current team members who are up-skilling
  • Provides attendees with an easy-to-use framework for performing their training work.
  • Immediately improves the Technical Trainer’s productivity and increases their confidence to do the job so they can take on more responsibility.

We focus on the two most important aspects of a technical trainer’s role – a proven method of job instruction training and the skills required to support their trainees as they master their job tasks.

Program Elements

The Program includes modules covering:

  • How Adults Learn
  • Job instruction skills
  • Communication skills
  • Setting up for success
  • Diversity / biases
  • Providing feedback/feedforward.

Program Feedback

Previous attendees have shared:

  • The workshop and technical training framework gives them confidence in working with their trainees
  • The training was very supportive for us, it guided us how to train new staff
  • Hope to attend more training like this as it helped me with new ideas on how to tackle different situations

Happy Holidays

Wishing all our partners, companies that work with us, and trainees a very happy 2021 holiday season.

CNC Machinist Level 1 Program – Hiring For Spring 2021 In The GTA!

The Work Based Learning Consortium is now recruiting candidates for its CNC Machinist [Level 1] Selection and Learning Program.

The start date is mid February 2021 in the Greater Toronto Area (closed).

We encourage female candidates to apply. Candidates need to have basic experience in a manufacturing environment, but prior CNC experience is not required. Wages start at $20+.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit the Info For Job Seekers page.

WBLC Launches Blended MMT e-Learning Program

Eight excited and highly motivated trainees were onboarded to our first Blended e-Learning program in January to become Mold Maintenance Technicians.

Mold Maintenance Technician Program

The program offers interested candidates the opportunity to learn and improve their technical knowledge in the basic manufacturing and theorical Technical Learning Outcomes expected of a certified Mold Maintenance Technician [ Level 1], prior to being interviewed by an interested employer.

The learning duration is 2 to 3 months to complete the program. In addition to their individual work, trainers meet virtually with their e-Learning instructor on a weekly basis. The instructor is technically very experienced in both mold and machining as well as e-Learning instruction.  At specified times, trainees complete e-Learning tests and take certification exams.

Trainees can expect to work on their e-Learning modules for less than 1 hour per week at the beginning of the program. The time commitment expands to 2-3 hours per week after that. In addition, the e-Learning classroom instruction sessions take approximately one hour a week. Trainees can schedule their time to complete the e-Learning modules at their own convenience. The e-Learning classroom instruction session is conducted at a fixed time each week it is scheduled.

Benefits of the Program

The benefits for the trainees are:

  • they receive certification by WBLC, an industry developed and recognized program
  • the program increases their employability as Mold Maintenance Technicians
  • the program improves prospects in the advanced manufacturing sector.