Online training in construction is not a new concept, but it has had a huge rise to fame due to the impact of Covid19. The pandemic dramatically disrupted the training landscape for Construction in 2020. However, the increased use of digital platforms, and the innovation demonstrated to ensure training could continue, has to be a positive outcome. Especially as we start 2021 in another lockdown. The construction industry is fortunate that it has adapted and, on the whole, continues to trade and train in these challenging times.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has adapted too. It enabled the remote delivery of its Site Safety Plus courses for the first time. This was in addition to expanding its own training standards to include over 180 remote learning standards. This helps to ensure learners can access training in the most appropriate way.
Online training and e-learning can take many forms. Learners can watch recorded materials which can be accessed at any time, or receive real-time teaching through digital platforms. Put simply, it is training or education delivered using online technologies and outside of a physical training or classroom setting.
Why online training?
During December 2020, Project Five Academy conducted a survey into the attitudes towards online training and e-learning amongst the UK construction sector. The results revealed that 72% agreed or strongly agreed that it is important to have options for online training in construction. 78% also agreed or strongly agreed this access is important following the impact of Covid19.
72% agree or strongly agree that it is important to have online training and e-learning options available for the UK construction sector.
During the pandemic, online training became the only option for many people wanting to access learning and development. So, what are the benefits of online training and why should we consider embedding it in our sector moving forward?
Online training can be accessed from anywhere that you can connect to the internet and have access to a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Learners are not restricted by location or proximity to a venue. Online training also removes the need to arrange travel to get to and from a venue. This may increase the number of training options that are available and make it easier to access the programme that is just right!
66% of construction professionals we surveyed agreed or strongly agreed they would undertake online training if the programme was right.
Flexibility and control
Online training can provide additional control for the learner. Often there is a whole host of different online learning materials that can be accessed at a time to suit them. Learners can watch and re-watch the content as often as required and this creates a more personal learning experience. Learners do not necessarily have to join a course at a set date or time meaning the programme can work around their existing work schedule too.
80% of those surveyed in December 2020 agreed or strongly agreed that online and e-learning provides a flexible approach to learning.
Online training removes the need to travel to a venue which reduces the mileage and carbon footprint of the learner. Online courses also tend to have less physical paperwork and learning materials. The removal of the necessity to travel also increases the cost effectiveness of the online programme too.
Another advantage of online training is the possibility that it could allow people the opportunity to take part in qualifications or education needed to take the next step in their career. Digital delivery and the flexibility this offers may make the training more viable. Online training could mean less time off-the-job compared to traditional face-to-face delivery. This is a great advantage for construction firms with a full pipeline of work.
Undertaking training and development may also help to increase productivity and job satisfaction of the learner. A more productive and happier workforce is surely a benefit to any organisation!
Unsurprisingly, Covid19 has impacted the use of video and web conferencing tools and platforms in the industry. In our survey, 72% said their usage had increased or greatly increased because of the pandemic. This increased familiarity with digital platforms is positive for the online training landscape in construction.
In addition, 68% of those surveyed had already undertaken online and e-learning with 94% of those agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would take part again. 88% agreed or strongly agreed that they enjoyed the online learning experience too.
94% agree or strongly agree they would take part in online training again.
Of the 32% that had not undertaken any online training before, 81% would be open to the prospect. This is perhaps a strong indicator that digital anxiety is decreasing following the year of the Zoom boom!
Project Five Academy, our knowledge transfer channel, has launched a new suite of ILM leadership and management qualifications. Our courses are delivered though an online blended learning approach. Progress is tracked through an online learner platform which gives access to recorded lectures, exercises and learning materials. Learning is also supported with live online tutorials. To find out more visit our academy website.