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’.
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.
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.
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.