Industrial skills testing and training are both vital in today’s manufacturing world. Working in the manufacturing industry today requires workers to have a solid grasp of fundamentals like proper workplace practices, language comprehension, and mathematical skills. When your workers are performing complicated tasks like handling heavy machinery and hazardous materials, it is essential that your team is properly tested and trained on their skills.
According to The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, millions of manufacturing jobs are going to need to be filled over the next decade. Manufacturing companies are going to have to attract new recruits who have both strong cognitive capabilities and a willingness to be constantly learning. Testing your potential hires and upskilling your current recruits drives up your profit margins while simultaneously reducing unnecessary downtime. Testing enables you to:
• Reduce training costs: By having the most accurate information on your applicant’s skill set, you can cut down on the need for future training.
• Boost productivity: If your new hires can hit the ground running, you’ll lower your onboarding time, increase employee retention and ensure targets are always hit on time.
• Improve safety: Working in manufacturing can be dangerous. Employees must manage heavy machinery and handle corrosive materials. Better industrial skills tests mean only the safest employees end up in your manufacturing line.
Standard industrial skills tests that most manufacturing companies have are still written. They will test a candidate’s mechanical aptitude, logical reasoning, digital skills set, and industrial math. These tests can help you to ascertain a candidate’s theoretical suitability for different frontline roles. However, you still need to ensure that your candidates have both theoretical and practical ability. You will need to be able to test for task-specific skills before they start a job and you will need to be able to test their practical skills in a safe environment.
Augmented reality (AR) has presented the manufacturing industry with a novel opportunity to better assess and develop its workforce. By fusing digital information with the real world, you can put test-takers into hands-on, digital training environments. Augmented reality is transforming the way employees are being trained, which can be reflective in their success when tested.
AR-enhanced industrial skills tests can be updated remotely when you need to upskill your employees on emerging technologies and processes. Testing an employee’s theoretical understanding of manufacturing is only one half of their total skill set. Employees and candidates need a safe environment to be trained and assessed in the practical elements of a manufacturing role. An AR-enhanced industrial skills test would allow you to conduct hazard awareness tests, machinery-specific processes and virtual repair and maintenance tasks. This means you can select and train the highest quality candidates in the talent pool.
If employees are not consistently reinforcing new skills and knowledge they have learned, they can forget up to 50% of the information presented in just one hour. Studies have shown that it is much easier to retain information on new skills when you are given the opportunity to try it for yourself. Translating complex instructions from PowerPoint presentations and manuals can be difficult and tiring for new recruits. As the manufacturing industry faces an industrial skills shortage, it has to think of ways to attract new talent. Manufacturers must then ensure that learning programs tested are up-to-date and modern, as this is what the digitally savvy generation will expect.
The benefits of testing are not limited to new recruits. As manufacturing lines become increasingly complex, you’ll need to constantly upskill your current staff. By testing current employees, you can understand the current skill status of your organization, helping you to make key decisions on human resource allocation. This ensures that the right people are in the right place in your organization, which is key to being competitive in a changing manufacturing landscape. With a looming shortage of workers as well, it is vital for your manufacturing organization that you hire the right people for the job. AR can help your organization to keep learning in an ever-changing world.