HR Management & Compliance, Learning & Development

Understanding Vocational Learning and the New Workforce (Part 2)

Continued from yesterday’s post, here’s more information about vocational learning and the new workforce.

Source: Sladic / iStock / Getty

Vocational Learning Is Necessary for the New Workforce Era 

Vocational learning was once understood to be for the blue-collar working class. Traditionally, students signed up for vocational classes in things like bricklaying, electrician work, plumbing, etc. But now, vocational work is changing and expanding at lightning speed. Now, vocational learning will be required for a vast array of occupations and will be known as “hands-on training” or “on-the-job training.”
In the new workforce era, vocational learning will be needed for everything from artificial intelligence to assembling computerized cars to innovating medical devices and more. College degrees will still be required for most jobs, but so will vocational learning and continuing education. Otherwise, there’s no way the new workforce will be able to keep pace with technological innovation and incorporate such innovations into their skill sets so that they can complete their everyday work tasks. Without vocational learning, the workforce will continue to have millions of unfilled jobs, and many companies will find themselves stagnant and unable to compete.

Benefits of Implementing Vocational Learning in the Workplace

Here are some of the many benefits to company-sponsored vocational learning programs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • Customized training that builds an ideal workforce that’s tailored to a company’s individual and specific needs
  • Significant reduction in employee turnover rates
  • A stable and reliable pipeline of valuable and dependable workers
  • Increase in employees’ knowledge and applicable skills
  • An overall safer work environment

How to Implement Vocational Learning in 2018

If you’re interested in implementing vocational learning in 2018, consider doing one or more of the following:

  • Sponsor a mentorship or coaching program. Have employees learn from their mentors and those who have been with your company or in your industry for a while.
  • Develop an internship or apprenticeship program for new and existing employees who are interested in hands-on learning experiences.
  • Implement a learning management system that has a variety of different courses and learning content in it that employees can access as they need to learn and develop new skills.
  • Create personalized learning paths for employees who are interested in a certain role or career trajectory, and ensure they have access to all the learning content that is relevant to their specified career trajectories as it becomes updated.
  • Offer employees credentials when they acquire certain skill sets on their own or through your work training programs. Or, offer incentives and reimbursement programs for courses that employees take outside of work to ensure they’re always learning.
  • Encourage and inspire a learning culture across your organization.

Keep the information above and in yesterday’s post in mind as you navigate vocational learning and the new workforce.