Six-month training program reduced to three months
One of the bedrocks of Work-Based Learning Consortium’s (WBLC) learning and hiring programs has been its CNC Machinist programs, which typically have created proficient and certified CNC Machinists in a six-month period. You can imagine the surprise when WBLC said they could deliver the same results in only three months.
So far, with several cohorts of a newly created CNC Machinist (Level 1) Rapid Upskilling program completed, WBLC is delivering all within that three-month timeframe.
“When I think back about some of the first discussions with companies about building a CNC Machinist program, a common question was ‘how long do you think it will take trainees to complete your CNC Machinist program?’”, recalls Rod Jones, Managing Director of WBLC. “We said we could do it in six months and the industry reaction was skeptical. Industry executives told me it was taking them 12 to 18 months to get anybody anywhere near proficient on CNC Machines.”
|“Industry executives told (us) it was taking them 12 to 18 months to get anybody anywhere near proficient on CNC Machines.” – Rod Jones, Managing Director of the Work Based Learning Consortium|
But Jones knew he had an advantage, as he was going to approaching the training in a highly structured, competency-based way, with clearly defined learning outcomes and schedules.
Since those discussions, WBLC has partnered with more than 70 companies to train more than 700 employees for skilled manufacturing jobs with a 90+% success rate.
WBLC CNC Machinist upskills produces higher proficiency much faster than traditional on-the-job training.
Why Shorten the CNC Machinist Learning Program?
“We had noticed there were opportunities to be had by tightening the schedule and making some improvements after having worked with the six-month program for some time,” says Pavel Wegrzyn, a mentor/coach with WBLC, who also is a subject matter expert for the creation of this evolution in the Rapid Upskilling program.
Due to the realities of a production environment, there are times when all-hands-on-deck scenarios pop up to meet production requirements, impacting the trainee’s availability for training. This means the training program occasionally slips slightly longer than the three months elapsed time. WBCL recognizes these production realities and has been very flexible in accommodating their clients.
WBLC strives at keeping intakes to roughly eight people per session, which is a size that maximizes learning effectiveness. If a company wants 15 to be run through the training, WBLC can scale up and add additional monitor coaches and split the group into two cohorts.
Benefits of Shortened Training
“I believe we have actually reduced the amount of active time the technical trainers spend training,” adds Jones. “Our corporate partners are happy with that as long as we get the desired results and that is proving to be the case. That’s a tremendous business benefit for the companies we work alongside.”
|“we have reduced the amount of active time the (employers) technical trainers spend training.” – Rod Jones, Managing Director of the Work Based Learning Consortium|
Jones adds that WBLC isn’t creating journeyman persons in three months, but it is developing Level 1 CNC Machinists with the fundamental knowledge required to make standard parts following work orders effectively and safely, with limited supervision.
The CNC Machinist Raid Upskilling program was created to help companies to find more skilled CNC Machinists to meet growing business demands, taking on more business, or to replace retiring employees. It has been an ongoing challenge for the industry to find highly proficient CNC machinists.
WBLC works to recruit and assess applicants for CNC Machinist positions, who are hired by companies and then trained using WBLC’s blended learning program. This is a mixture of e-learning modules and testing, weekly shop floor assignments, practical skills training by corporate trainers, as well as testing and certification of successful trainees.