BLOG: Let’s Get (Industry) Specific About Workforce Training
Charmaine Freake

October 7, 2022

We’ve all likely heard about the global skills shortage and the investments governments are making in upskilling and reskilling to help. Full disclosure, our organization is one of those doing a lot of the talking, like in one of our previous blogs.

In fairness, that’s because it’s what we do and what we’re ‘into’. We’re  passionate about supporting government and industry groups in delivering that upskilling to employers and workers and helping to address this global skill shortage. But the reality is, it’s not all about general upskilling and reskilling and improving computer literacy skills, communications skills,  or other key soft skills. It’s also about industry-specific training. 

For many industries, the urgent training required to survive and thrive goes beyond the upskilling of soft skills, and into targeted training for specific operational or regulatory requirements.

Why is that, you ask? Industry groups in most sectors are struggling with the pace of change and in their ability to support employers with training to help them deal with updates in health and safety, global competition, broader regulations, and technology upheaval. It’s more than general soft skills, and the challenge is real: 

  • Businesses are spending more than US$300B dealing with regulatory change. With constant changes in regulation impacting growth and innovation, leaders are using automation to transform their operations to drive resilience and agility. With this comes the need for new resources and effective training.

Further, studies show that 64% of individuals had technology firsts at their workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic as employers deployed new automation in order to keep workflows moving. Work is becoming automated, AI is being introduced, and roles are changing dramatically. 

A pervasive, industry-agnostic challenge

So, regardless of the reports you read and the surveys and stats within them, the fact of the matter is that the type of work and the regulations being adhered to are changing. And it necessitates continuous, ongoing, and rapid response training within the industry. 

While the degree of automation or operational change being considered varies by industry, the training challenges are largely the same. It comes down to efficiently and effectively delivering continuous training to industry workers, and to a scale of hundreds or thousands of geographically dispersed trainees. It’s complex—we get it.

Worker qualifications are not enough. Change happens so fast that regular training updates to the latest industry standards or regulations are mission-critical.

Here’s a couple of examples to help paint the picture: 

  • Telecommunications—It is one of the largest and fastest growing industries worldwide. Strongly driven by technology, telecomm is evolving rapidly and has huge swings in personnel (e.g., onsite tech’s, salespeople, call centre support). Continuous training on operational advancements is crucial in this industry, to make sure that staff is apprised of changing product offerings, service parameters and technological advances. 
  • Aviation—There is continuous advancement in training required of airport security staff due to changing risks (computer hacks, dangerous goods, etc.), security and scanning technologies, and regulations from aviation oversight bodies. On top of that, there are unplanned disruptive factors like the COVID-19 pandemic. All told, there are thousands of airports and workers requiring industry-consistent training—and fast. 

These are but two examples of industries with dispersed employers and workers requiring consistent industry-specific training. The requirements are largely clear, but the activation of this training at an industry level is lagging due in part to: 

  1. The lack of industry-relevant, credible, and modern training content.
  2. An inability to access or deploy learning management solutions that can manage the delivery of training content to employers across the entire scope of an industry/region.

On the first point, many industries are still relying too heavily on outdated and inefficient training processes (e.g., in-person or workshop training) that slow delivery and impact ongoing operations. Further, in many instances, there has been limited movement to online training (whether developing new content for online, or translating existing training materials to an online format). The move to eLearning is not a nice to have, it’s a must.

eLearning training providers offer advanced off-the-shelf and custom training that can advance the specific (and urgent) needs of a particular industry.

The online or eLearning training format delivers all the information employees need to complete training and test their knowledge of regulations with quality and consistent delivery. And, studies show eLearning saves 40-60% learning time versus in-class training. 

Developing custom training content (with a third party eLearning expert) or acquiring off-the-shelf courseware is one piece of the puzzle. Employers also need support in accessing learning management solutions to avail of the training. 

The traditional (single employer) Learning Management Solution (LMS) works effectively when well managed with content. But, these are siloed organizational solutions and, in many cases, are not effectively used and updated with content by the organization. Further, they aren’t scalable to an industry level… and this is an industry level challenge.

eLearning is key for industry training, but it still needs to be delivered in an accessible manner.

Regardless of the actual solution, this broader capability delivery tool must include:

  1. Industry-Wide Delivery CapabilitiesThe ideal technology integrates all stakeholders digitally and allows for online account access for training providers, employers, and trainees to manage, access, complete, and track training and facilitate the sharing of credentials. This is what drives efficiencies and economies of scale to be realized within the industry, and benefits all employers, not a select few. 

  2. Visibility, Oversight, & ReportingSolutions that offer reporting and credential management at an employer and cross industry level are critical. Said differently, the siloed nature of traditional learning management systems limits their effectiveness in addressing the challenge at an industry level.

Our view is that optimal training delivery is obtained through the provisioning of technology and training at the relevant industry or agency group level. This enables single line-of-sight sponsorship, accountability, and accessibility for all industry participants.

The struggle is real, but it doesn’t have to be.

The rapid acceleration of change is not changing any time soon. In fact 73% of executives predict significant industry and organizational disruption will occur over a three year period due to further technology upheaval, with over 40% of core skills to do current jobs requiring retraining. The challenge is getting bigger and, individually, employers will struggle to keep up. 

We’ve seen it, and we live it in our deployment of training solutions in support of our industry customers and partners. As they say, consistency is key. Delivering training in a modern and consistent manner with ease of accessibility for all industry participants is a key part of addressing the ongoing industry training challenge. 

Visit us to learn more about SkillsPass, and how this unique training platform enables a complete industry training solution for the benefit of all employers and stakeholders critical to the industry’s ecosystem and growth potential.

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Enhancing Critical Workforce Skills

Bluedrop’s experience and proven eLearning content development capabilities are foundational in supporting our customers’ upskilling & reskilling requirements, and in maximizing the power of the SkillsPass™ Integrated Skills Management Platform.

Whether for broad State/Province upskilling programs, or single use, rapid response training requirements for a specific industry requirement- we can deliver an online solution with proven effectiveness and verifiable training results.

EXPANSIVE

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EXPERIENCED

Bluedrop has amassed a a vast library of proven and impactful eLearning courses. Specialization includes commercial truck driver training, workplace productivity, entrepreneurship and a host of regulatory inspired courses,

CONNECTED

The eLearning content solution combined with our SkillsPass ISM platform to help connect workers, employers, and related stakeholders. We also offer full execution support and program management including marketing, adoption, and customer support specialists that help drive successful uptake and results.

Our Solution – Multi-Stakeholder Benefits

Offers online training, certification, and credential management capabilities to support the transformation of broad-based upskilling/reskilling.

Is industry-agnostic, and is now securely deployed with governments, industry associations and employers around the world, with close to 3 Million users.

Enables the deployment of wide ranging course content options to support skill development including industry mandated, OH&S, and upskilling in those critical in-demand functions required in the new digital economy.

Provides partners with a digital, single line-of-sight into training results, credentials, and certifications at the industry through to the individual level.

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  1. Battle-Tested Solutions– Having met the highest levels of audit, scrutiny, and testing related to data security, privacy/consent legislation, and web content accessibility guidelines.
    • Our consent-driven architecture supports the latest regulations and best practices in data privacy/consent, security, accessibility. The platform is secure and audit-proof- with SOC 2 Type I Audit Certification, PCI standards compliance, adherence to all SaaS security and privacy requirements, and more.  
    • We are global leaders in this space. Over the past few years, we have been through 500 governmental client Threat Risk Assessments, passed 5 Provincial PIAs, launched with 8 governments and 5 regulators, been approved and deployed by the US state departments to deploy the solution in 30 Countries.  
  2. Full Delivery Support Options– Our experienced Adoption Services Group can help clients realize their objectives after launch. We help ensure that if you build it, they actually will come.
    • Our team has managed client training initiatives that have impacted millions of workers, and support training stakeholders (e.g., training partners and employers) to adopt solutions.
    • Our optional managed services range from supporting client adoption efforts to full outsourcing of the rollout and operation of training initiatives. For some of our clients, we actually operate their entire training solution, including:
      • Full onboarding and training for stakeholder groups (such as training partners or employers) 
      • Generating awareness, engaging with potential partners, performing system demos, signing on partners, etc.
      • Sales and Marketing– we staff account management and sales roles, complete marketing strategies, design and place advertising, and develop promotional materials.

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Providing end-to-end training delivery and credential management for all training formats…

  • This can include virtual, online, in-person, and blended training. Core capabilities include:
    • Manage learning paths that can include combination of online, virtual and blended offerings
    • Manage prerequisite requirements 
    • Track microcredentials that can be combined to form a master credential
    • Allow clients to build their own online courses and assessments 
    • Provide bookmarking so that learners can complete training in multiple sessions 
  • We have a globally recognized team of Learning Design and Production experts that work with industry SMEs to produce online and blended courseware and microcredentials.  They can take a project from concept to finished product within a few weeks. 
  • Over the years we have also amassed a large library of specialized courseware to address stubborn or urgent skills gaps with almost immediate time-to-launch and value.

REIMAGINE

A seamless online training ecosystem connection for all stakeholders or partners…

  • Including governments, regulators, industry associations, unions, career centers, training providers, employers and more.
  • These cross-organizational and complex training situations would overwhelm an LMS. SkillsPass fixes that, with a robust suite of NexGen features and functionality including:
    • ONLINE TRAINING HUB– our embedded MarketPlusTM online training marketplace- allowing our clients to go beyond their own training offerings and consolidate external training sources, whether classroom, online, or virtual. 
    • UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE– Industry open architecture solution design that enables third party solution integration and the bringing together of key partners/systems and eliminating the siloed, restrictive nature of the traditional LMS.
    • TRAINING PARTNER INTEGRATION– Training partner enablement through unique storefronts to accept bookings, track attendance, and issue certificates working in concert with each client’s marketplace. APIs are also available for Training Partners with their own software.
    • DIGITAL WORKER PASSPORT– The industry-first SkillsPass Worker Passport, allowing end-users to access and share their validated credentials securely with employers and regulators (via QR code).
    • MULTI-LEVEL REPORTING– Robust reporting and insights at an employer and industry (client) level. Clients can provide a business account for each employer partner to allow them to track valid certificates, assign training, and see the final results and expiry notifications. The platform also generates valuable client insights about training completion at certificate, demographic, partner, industry, and regional levels.

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