Construction: Education and training in a post-Covid world

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education and training

Despite so much uncertainty in the construction industry, according to The Impact of Covid-19 on Learning Survey conducted by findcourses.co.uk, education and training in a post-Covid world impacts are mostly positive

Since February, Covid-19 has upended everyone’s lives. Lockdown has given us all a unique opportunity to stop and pause for thought. As a result of pausing for thought, as well as the economic issues created by the virus, many people are now looking to upskill, deepen their education or to change fields and careers altogether.

An eagerness to learn

The great news for education and training providers and learners alike is that 49.2% of the British workforce now wants to actively learn more as soon as possible, ideally in the coming quarter. This is up from 45% prior to the UK lockdown.

This means that almost half of the entire workforce wants to upskill and develop in the very near future. It is little wonder why the British economy has been hit hard by Covid-19.

The government’s furlough scheme is now being wound up and many people may well find themselves unemployed. The number of jobs in many sectors are also likely to massively contract.

The modern construction workforce is one that wants to continually further their professional development and expand their skills sets. So it is of little wonder that many who might well be worried about their jobs are looking to retrain – and to do so now.

Most organisations already know the importance of having a great, adaptable L&D (Learning and Development) strategy, but, in these unprecedented times, workers are also taking it upon themselves to reskill and retrain in important areas like communication, IT or leadership training programmes, all of which are becoming ever more important in the construction industry.

But the eagerness of the British workforce is tempered by caution. More than half of all those who responded said that they wanted to see training providers either strengthen their cancellation policy or offer free rebooking in case their situation should suddenly change again.

The British workforce is very keen to learn, but they also want to be sure that they are making the right investment in themselves and their post-Covid job prospects. But being sure of making the right investment was not the only concern amongst potential learners. For learners, organisations and training providers alike, safety was paramount.

Taking learning online

Face-to-face interactions have, for now, become essential-only. We have all become accustomed to Zoom meetings, interacting through Google Calendar and presenting through Google Meets, but now more and more training is also being delivered this way – and this should only be extended to more training.

According to the findcourses.co.uk survey, almost two-thirds of all learners want to see all training transferred to online platforms. This need not mean information sheets with comprehension questions at the end. Online training actually gives training providers an opportunity to be more creative than ever before.

A gamified experience becomes particularly valuable when it comes to learning in the construction industry. Teaching your team about a new tool or technique becomes much more difficult when it can only be done through the written word and diagrams. A visual, interactive tool means that your team can see how something works in real life and in real-time, aiding comprehension and the overall e-learning outcomes.

By harnessing the full power of platforms like Zoom and Google Meets as well as the infinite possibilities of app-based technology, training providers can make online learning every bit as lively, engaging and educational as face-to-face learning. In doing so, training providers also have the opportunity to invest in an uncertain sector of the workforce by hiring creative professionals to put such training platforms and materials together.

Main points

Covid-19 has changed everything in the space of just a few months. More people than ever before are reskilling, retraining and entering new positions and industries.

More importantly, a plurality of the British workforce actively wants to partake of education and training opportunities. But potential learners also want to make sure that they will get a good return on any investment that they might make. Above even that, potential learners want to feel safe during these uncertain times.

Online learning is the best way to ensure that. Within online learning, there is scope to add creativity into it like never before by harnessing the full power of modern learning platforms and technologies. The pandemic has thrown everyone into unexpected chaos. Through education, you can turn that chaos into opportunities in the construction industry.

 

 

Luke Sandford

Writer

Educations Media Group

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