Article: Virtual skill training: The next wave of learning for blue-collar workers

Training & Development

Virtual skill training: The next wave of learning for blue-collar workers

Making a case for virtually training the blue-collar workforce and discussing the benefits of training employees virtually.
Virtual skill training: The next wave of learning for blue-collar workers

The need for the blue-collar workforce in India is rising on the back of increased demand for everyday services in urban areas. From delivering retail products, food, and appliances, to helping with home maintenance, appliance services, and repair work, the demand for trained blue-collar employees is growing rapidly. A recent report by BetterPlace even estimated that out of more than 21 lakh jobs created across select job verticals in 2019-20, the gig economy would account for over 14 lakh jobs. However, a majority of the blue-collar workforce that comes from small towns in search of better jobs are often not skilled enough to keep pace with the new-age job metrics. They also struggle in terms of developing interpersonal and communication skills due to a lack of quality formal education. 

This has created a massive dearth for skilled and trained blue-collar employees in the economy. Organizations that rely on the blue-collar workforce are desperate for talented and skilled people, but they don’t have the resources to provide face-to-face training to their employees. Furthermore, the nature of blue-collared jobs available today is quite different from those that existed in the previous century. For instance, there are 150 home and electrical appliances brands that have a total of nearly 1000 products with almost 5000 models. Each model requires a different set of skills, making it difficult for companies to conduct physical training sessions for their employees. Installations and repair work of connected home appliances demand specialized skill sets. This has given rise to several tech-based learning solutions that cater to this demand. Here’s a closer look at this trend:

Making skill-based training available through virtual classrooms

A virtual classroom allows employers to overcome geographical barriers and bring the largely offline population of blue-collar workers online. This economical and convenient way of imparting training enables workers to access training courses anytime and anywhere. But, how does a virtual training platform work in solving the skill gaps for the blue-collared workforce?

Unlike face-to-face training sessions that require participants to be physically present, a virtual training platform can train engineers on-the-go through screen-shots and videos. It is the audio-visual aspect of virtual training that helps them grasp the information quickly and increase the learning curve. Additionally, a process demonstrated in a video is easier to recollect. As per Forbes, when it comes to retention, videos are vital with 95 percent of viewers retaining the message of a video, versus just 10 percent of message retention with text only. 

Since online videos already play a key role for brands in generating consumer internet traffic, they can be leveraged to train the blue-collar workforce for streamlining business operations as well. Furthermore, service-based platforms are training multiple people across cities at a single point of time; this saves time and effort for both the platform and its partner brands. 

Yet another advantage of the 24X7 availability of video content on virtual platforms is that engineers in tier 2 and 3 cities, or even in remote areas, can easily access the training material before delivering their service as well. This not only improves customer service but also empowers them to get decent earning opportunities locally, make their life better, thereby reducing urban migration and stress on limited urban resources.

Technological disruption can be an opportunity-enabler on the basis of precise skill-based training. With service engineers and blue-collar employees now getting training at their doorstep, it has become easy for lakhs of people to secure jobs even in the remotes of areas. It is a win-win situation for both employees and employers. 


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Topics: Training & Development, #GuestArticle

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