Our team is very fortunate to get the opportunity to speak with training teams focused on getting the most out of their OJT programs. These teams are often well-versed in the principles of continuous improvement and are therefore accustomed to constantly evaluating opportunities to update/upgrade their training processes and eliminate waste. Through these conversations, we’ve learned some constructive ways these thought-leaders are optimizing their OJT practices.

Rethinking hours as a proxy for proficiency

Let’s assume that a registered apprenticeship contains an 8,000-hour OJT component, where the 8,000 hours are broken down across a handful of high-level categories. In some ways, this implies that if the apprentice can accumulate 8,000 hours on the job, mostly shadowing more experienced workers, they should theoretically be exposed to enough of the standards of work to effectively and safely operate the machinery. While this method of tracking on-the-floor proficiency might be the standard, the 8,000 hours becomes a black box that provides limited visibility into what is truly being learned. …

Andrew Knez

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