Companies and their trainees in professions with technical competence also suffer from Corona. TÜV Rheinland Academy, as a leading provider of technical competence development, has therefore expanded its worldwide TVET services. Welders and electrical engineers are now also attending Virtual Classrooms in their vocational training to learn their trades. The solution: simulations shorten practical exercises on industrial equipment used in small groups and at a distance since the pandemic.

For trainees and students of an oil company on the Arabian Peninsula, the lockdown was initially shocking. Their training was threatened to be suspended indefinitely. But they were lucky. Within a few days, their training center set up Virtual Classrooms for the vocational training. The training center operator, TÜV Rheinland Academy, implements technical training for industrial groups worldwide as part of its TVET programs. TVET stands for Technical and Vocational Education and Training and is based on the dual training model that is very successful in Germany. Its clients are companies, educational institutions, and governments from all over the world that invest in their workforce’s technical competence development. TÜV Rheinland Academy advises its customers, develops educational concepts and training plans, and operates worldwide.

150 trainers and 1,000 apprentices with new training plans in the Virtual Classroom

The effort was not without its price, with Corona, the TVET team had to rethink everything once again. In Saudi Arabia, the approximately 150 trainers converted the current training plans for oil and gas technicians, which were currently running for prospective welders, electricians, process control, and operations specialists. Instead of regularly alternating between the training workshop and the classroom, they shifted a large part of the curriculum to digital platforms. They brought forward the academic units and implemented Virtual Classrooms in vocational training.

Virtual Classrooms in vocational training and in general take place on an Internet platform where trainers and students meet at the same time and design the lessons together. The advantage is that physical presence is no longer required. At the same time, however, trainers and students experience each other directly via their mobile devices and can interact. To achieve this, the trainers had to adapt their didactics and methods to the Virtual Classroom platforms. The practical parts of the training were initially prepared intensively with instructional films and simulations. Of course, a welder has to practice handling the different welding devices until he or she can make a good weld. With simulation tools, some practical skills can already be developed, even if the trainees cannot work on a real device in the training workshop. Welding simulators already impart a technical feel for the operation of the equipment and material properties. Once the loosening up had begun, the participants were thus well prepared for their first use of the machine – naturally with the necessary distance and in small groups. In the meantime, the practical modules are being made up for. Our experience with Corona also shows that many things can be done that previously seemed impossible. The trainers on site have worked with significant commitment. No participant fell by the wayside – on the contrary. Some of the trainers even reported that they sometimes also managed to improve their performance control. Because every day, they assign tasks that the students have to implement and submit. As a result, performance deficits and comprehension problems were noticed earlier by some of them, who could otherwise duck away more easily in real classroom situations.

Conclusion: Virtual Classrooms make sense in technical competence development

Even if the practical training of the TVET programs remains a central component, it is conceivable that the Virtual Classrooms in vocational training could become a permanent part. Travel and accommodation will only be necessary for practical modules, which will bring great cost benefits to a giant empire like China. Investments in mobile devices will then be less decisive, especially if “physical distancing” is still necessary. TÜV Rheinland Academy will also be able to organize the assessment of performance levels and even examinations online in the future using tried and tested tools. And the experience we all made during the pandemic shows that many things can be implemented sensibly in the development of technical skills in the Virtual Classroom.

Here you can find the current offers in Virtual Classrooms of TÜV Rheinland Academy.

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Academy

When it comes to the future of work, the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Palo Alto, California is convinced: “There will be a new partnership between people and machines that increases productivity. Human intelligence cannot be replaced. On the contrary, the work of the future will require new skills from employees.

The potential for future collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence (AI), robots, mobile end devices for augmented reality, and blockchain can already be seen in the existing basic technologies. For the IFTF, this collaboration at the workplace already begins with recruiting. They predict that the partnership of personnel with AI will allow more equitable selection processes to select candidates according to their skills and not according to gender, age or other biographical characteristics. The algorithms would also replace all too human prejudices in the composition of teams with a clear analysis of the machine, which puts together optimal teams from a variety of skills and personal characteristics. This leads to an increase in work productivity, a better working environment, and more intensive employee retention. As many as 67 percent of the managers surveyed by the IFTF can imagine using AI in the future to achieve more equal opportunities.

Future of Work: Enhanced skills through machines

If AI prevents hidden discrimination in personnel work, it will expand and supplement human skills in other contexts of work. For example, 70 percent of IFTF executives would like their employees to work with machines and robots to overcome their human limitations. At BMW’s mini-production facility in Oxford, for example, collaborative robots are already working together with people. Such CoBots are equipped with sensors so as not to injure their flesh and blood colleagues. However, colleague AI could also replace employees if they are not enabled to collaborate with AI. Especially for the use of AI for the analysis of large amounts of data, the employees also need the corresponding skills. In a 2019 study, Price Waterhouse Coopers asked 500 decision-makers which employee skills were relevant for AI use and to what extent. 81 percent felt that employees needed to understand the potential and limitations of AI. 80 percent each mentioned knowledge about secure and transparent AI as well as understanding and knowledge about data-driven business models. Few companies, however, have the correspondingly trained employees. For this reason, the introduction and successful use of AI will only succeed if companies simultaneously qualify their employees for the application. For the AI to be useful as a colleague in a team, it must be programmed with algorithms to suit the task and be equipped with the correctly formulated task to extract useful information from large amounts of data. This also makes it clear that human intelligence has to control what the AI then has to process.

AI deployment will not be successful without human intelligence

This need for training will also be triggered by a third technology that has already made its breakthrough in the gaming sector. Augmented and mixed reality with data glasses or mobile devices will also become established at work in the future, for example in design and planning. 3D visualization in an augmented reality allows building plans to be displayed in a room in which entire teams are simultaneously working on a complex problem. According to experts, the technology has great potential to increase team productivity in development tasks. In the IFTF study, 86 percent of executives said that they were planning to use new technologies to improve employee productivity.

Artificial intelligence will be irreplaceable in many “human” activities in the future: disease diagnosis, language translation, customer service, data analysis, production, design, and maintenance. But the algorithms will be written by humans, who in turn will have to monitor the AI. To achieve this, they need skills that hardly any university teaches today. But without human intelligence, the use of AIs will not be successful. For this, companies must first make their employees fit for AI use.

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Academy

 

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Organizations around the globe have increasing demands for qualified employees to meet market expectations that are driven by technology. When management realizes the importance of vocational training or further education of their employees they face the challenge of how to realize it effectively in terms of time, effort and result. Whether you are a private company, a governmental authority or an educational institute, TÜV Rheinland supports you to further educate your employees in line with your local industry demands.

Practical and targeted technical vocational training means better skilled and qualified employees, which in turn leads to improved regional, economic and social development. In such an environment, potential employees find more job opportunities and companies can draw on qualified staff to boost production or provide enhanced services. Companies may even experience cost reductions as it becomes easier to hire locally rather than internationally.

Technical Vocational Education and Training of TÜV Rheinland ensures a simple but high efficient way of qualification for your employees – worldwide. In our concept of vocational training, your employees learn the theory and can on top immediately practice with the didactic training systems. Thus, after the training, your employees are perfectly prepared for their professional responsibilities.

We are strongly rooted in the German dual vocational system and offer customized vocational learning solutions and a broad scope of related consultancy services especially in technical fields, and available across all industries. Choosing us enables you to access a depth of expertise and technical knowledge difficult to find elsewhere. The breadth of our experience in nearly every industry allows us to create workforce development programs to meet your specific needs.

We enable you:

  • to develop skills and competencies of your current and future employees.
  • to close skill gap.
  • to develop your employees´ potential continuously.
  • to increase international mobility of your people.
  • to train your trainers.
Learn more in our video how it works:

How can people and artificial intelligence work together in the future?

Artificial intelligence and digitalization produce new headlines every day. The tenor of the report fluctuates between admiration and admonition. How can people and machines work together in the future? Or won’t they work together because machines do the work?

For large parts of the population, the image of artificial intelligence is dominated by boulevard publications and the film industry. If machines learn to defeat the human grand masters in chess or Go, media satisfaction spreads. Artificial intelligence represents the pinnacle of human inventiveness. In the films The Matrix and Terminator, on the other hand, machines have long since taken control of enslaved humanity. The mood oscillates between fear and admiration. The Handelsblatt, for example, chose the lowest common denominator in a commentary in which AI was described as a curse and a blessing.

AI has come to stay

Highly specialized systems based on machine learning, pattern recognition, or robotics are conquering ever-larger fields of application. AI systems are used in the insurance industry to uncover cases of fraud or to process claims, they optimize routes and merchandise planning in retail and personalize the way consumers are approached in marketing or create individual dynamic prices. Even in highly specialized areas, AI systems are set to take over people’s tasks. Self-learning systems prepare forecasts and evaluate key figures in controlling.

And the experiences of the first companies to rely on AI are impressively positive. Last year, insurer Zurich caused a sensation when the company reported that it had processed claims in the claims handling area using AI within seconds, for which a person needed more than 50 minutes. There is no doubt that artificial intelligence will shape the world of work shortly.

AI creates more sales and new jobs

That sounds like a job-killing technology that brings the destruction of livelihoods. The study “Reworking the Revolution” by Accenture comes to a different conclusion. There is no doubt that AI systems will take over people’s tasks. For example, chatbots will communicate with customers directly over the phone without people noticing that they are talking to a computer. But at the end of the day, the authors of the study assume that companies that rely on AI could increase their sales by up to 38 percent by 2022 and even create more net jobs.

But the tasks of the employees will change. Surprised, Accenture found that few companies have recognized that changing the world of work requires different skills from their employees.

The new world of work requires new skills and competencies

AI systems are IT systems. Competencies with complex technical systems and the computer will undoubtedly retain their already great importance. But IT knowledge alone will not be enough in the working world of the future to keep employees firmly in the saddle. The assumption of more complex tasks by the machines enables new forms of cooperation. In industry, employees will probably no longer be responsible for a particular machine or manufacturing step. If machines transfer workpieces to each other and the production of another piece can be started with just a few mouse clicks, the employees have a new role to play. You need to keep an eye on processes, perhaps even communicate directly with suppliers or customers. But they must also be equipped with the necessary skills to do so.

Digitization and the introduction of AI in companies can only succeed if employees are involved from the outset and do not become affected. However, inclusion makes it necessary for employees to recognize the benefits of the technologies. It is not possible without knowledge about one’s own company, current developments in the industry as a whole, and an understanding of what the actual business model of the employer is.

Create an atmosphere that encourages learning and the fun of training

While in the past one or the other employers may have only considered the demand for “lifelong learning” as just a phrase and invested accordingly cautiously in further training, demand is becoming more urgent than ever. Because AI systems change at a rapid pace. This is why companies need to create an atmosphere that encourages learning and the fun of training.

As far as can already be seen today, AI systems promote interdisciplinary work and corresponding forms of organization. The employee of the future must, therefore, be able to adapt to changing situations and other people. Such social competencies will be just as necessary as incentives for more creativity. In many cases, AI systems will aggregate data, but the necessary conclusions and the verification of valid hypotheses will continue to be the responsibility of human intelligence.

This is why companies will benefit most from AI, which best combines the benefits of electronic systems with the capabilities of people. And this can only be achieved with solid further training and active management of competencies in a company.

Learn more:

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Academy

How the “Inspire and Empower People” challenge succeeds

Be honest: Why do you get up every morning and go to work? If you have an answer to this, then you can confidently regard yourself as “inspired”, as personnel managers and managers have recently been calling it. Researchers have found that companies that consistently pursue their thoughts and actions according to a mission statement with a clear value orientation and are able to communicate the concept to their employees in a comprehensible manner are demonstrably more successful in the market than others and generate greater social and economic added value. This value-oriented approach, which encompasses ecology, economy, and humanity, is referred to as “purpose-led”. As a guiding principle, “purpose” requires an ethical assessment of all consequences of one’s own actions within and outside the company.

What does this mean for individuals who are increasingly asking about the meaning of their work, and who will be in the foreground much more than before in the future and who represent the most important long-term investment from a company perspective? What are the effects of digitization on their present and future workplace? How should the future of work be shaped when companies have to react quickly and need agile employees? The answer: More responsibility for employees and more freedom – towards self-organization, also referred to as “empowering”. In the future, if self-organization is to be understood as an entrepreneurial design principle and people are increasingly acting in a self-organized manner and also across divisions to promote creativity, dynamism, and innovation, then people in such organizations must also be empowered to do so. Thus, empowering also means: lifelong learning, e. g. through targeted competence management in the company.

Reduce fears of job loss – through empowering

A good example of the necessity of “inspiration” and “empowering” is the field of production. What demands does digitization place on the professional development of production employees? Does dynamic technological progress turn employees into a small gear and are robots competing with their colleagues or do they still have to do what artificial intelligence cannot? A balanced and adapted personnel development is important. In production, further training does not mean mastering Word and Excel as it does for colleagues at their desks. Rather, the aim is to convey the opportunities of digitization in production and to increase the competence in the safe application of new technologies. Above all, managers in production, i.e. foremen and group leaders, play a special role here, e.g. by reducing fears of job loss through inspiration and empowerment.

Pure technical and methodological knowledge is no longer sufficient

For organizations, it is essential to recognize competence needs in good time and to promote lifelong learning with good competence management as well as dedication, curiosity, enthusiasm or willingness to change. In my opinion, this is more important than ever for companies in the context of digital transformation.

Today, pure technical and methodological knowledge is no longer sufficient to deal with these challenges. Competences take the place of technical and methodological knowledge. In addition to content-related skills, competence includes the ability to act in open situations in a self-organized, responsible and creative manner, to solve problems and to apply knowledge consistently. The purpose is an important framework and also influences the definition of competence requirements. Competencies must be able to develop and grow constantly, and above all they should be allowed to be used and applied.

Read more here: www.tuv.com/innovationstagung

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Academy

The 70-20-10 learning model: Over three decades these have been the dream measures for personnel developers: 70 percent we learn in the job, 20 percent in social interaction with one another and 10 percent in the context of formal further training. 30 years have passed since Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger first published this insight in their book “The Career Architect Development Planner”, based on studies by the US Center for Creative Leadership, a global provider of executive education. Many found this so convincing that the 70-20-10 learning model is still in use in many companies throughout the world today.

But – how useful can such a model still be today? A lot has changed in the last three decades in the working world, and digitization in companies, in particular, is progressing highly dynamically.

What’s important here: previously, the 70-20-10 learning model referred primarily to the development of managers. This does not mean that it is completely irrelevant for lower or middle management employees. Today’s studies, however, would take into account the entire company structure and the entire workforce. With the keyword of digitization in mind, this means that an update of learning models and competence development is needed. Fortunately, that already exists.

The Update of the 70-20-10 Learning Model

What still applies to personnel developers after 30 years of the 70-20-10 learning model – and what does not? In 2017, Training Industry Inc, an information portal for the continuing education industry in the USA, conducted a study with around 960 employees. Colleagues also wanted to know where employees learn the most today: at work, in the social sector or in in-service training? The result: With the current test persons from the USA they came up with the 55-25-20 formula instead of 70-20-10.
To find out whether this result would also be internationally valid, the research team added further professionals from the USA, UK, India, Singapore and Australia in 2018. Subsequently, the researchers came to an average of 45-27-28, values that also deviate from 55-25-20, but clearly no longer point in the direction of the 70-20-10 learning model. Thus, 55-25-20 is an average value.
According to their findings, there are significant factors that influence the result:

In particular, people learn on the job

  • when the company is very large.
  • employees have a high average age.
  • team building is very small.

In this instance, social interaction mainly provides for an improved learning experience

  • if the team building is very good.
  • employees have a low average age.

Formal training is then accepted above all,

  • if the companies are smaller.

What can we learn from this? Personnel developers must determine for themselves which formula is right for their own company – or obtain external support from experts.
The good news: the original assumption of the 70-20-10 learning model can still be seen as the basis for the new findings. What has changed is the proportion of learning sources and how they interact with each other. Much of the learning takes place in the workplace or through social interaction. This is nothing new and also no reason to concentrate exclusively on these two sources of learning, especially not at the expense of formal training. Thus, the study also comes to the conclusion that in-service training is the key to maximizing learning outcomes from the other two sources – especially in times when knowledge is growing faster but also devaluing faster than ever before.

And: Effective further training for the working world of tomorrow has long been more than just classroom learning. Digitization and the current state of the art enable many exciting interactive learning formats today, from e-learning to blended learning web-based training to serious games, audiocast and dialogue simulation. Such solutions encourage curiosity, because in this instance, the user can learn in a relaxed way without the consequences of mistakes. At the same time, he receives immediate feedback on his actions, which leads to self-impacting successes – and in the end is perhaps not so dissimilar to the feedback he or she receives in interacting with colleagues in the workplace.

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Academy