How manufactures can ensure their personnel keep their skills up-to-date

ComEd and The Remix Project Chicago are using music to encourage students to take an interest in STEM - image courtesy of DFC.

Smart employers know the value of a well-trained and engaged work force, but getting that training is often easier said than done, particularly when you’ve got a million other pressing concerns that need your attention.

Knowing what your options are is half the battle. Take note of the suggestions below so you’ve got a starting point for your next training brainstorming session.

Training Courses

Investing in regular, industry specific training for employees will ensure that their skills are current, and your investment will pay off in the form of better productivity and increased innovation from staff members.

A study carried out by the American Society for Training and Development across 540 U.S. corporations found that training valued at $900 per employee increased sales per employee by 57% and resulted in 37% higher gross profit per employee.

Best practice strategies revealed by the study included leading edge companies investing an average of 6% of their payroll on training costs.

If sending your staff on courses isn’t an option, look at hiring a trainer to come to your work site and give the course there. A well-trained workforce is also a happier work force, with employees feeling more highly valued and as a consequence more motivated to perform well for their employers.

Part-Time College Courses

Part-time college courses have long been a standard way to give your key staff the necessary knowledge that they need to excel in their roles. This method of learning has its drawbacks though.

The best colleges and universities may not be in your area, making these on campus courses impossible for your employees to attend. And even when a good campus is close by, employees can be reluctant to head to class after a long day at work.

Online Degree Programs

For academic qualifications, employers should look at online degree programs. Job focused degrees are offered by many of the leading institutions in the country and they eliminate the difficulties of traditional part-time college courses.

Courses of interest to manufactures include business degrees, like the masters in business administration; technology degrees, like the masters in computer science; and engineering degrees, like the masters degree in civil engineering, where studying civil engineering online will lead to graduation in as little as 19 months of part-time study.

To ensure that you choose the best degree program possible, you should only use courses supplied by accredited institutions.


MOOC’s are a great choice if you want to encourage employees to gain skills outside of their main roles at work. MOOC stands for massive open online course, and there are literally thousands to choose from, with many of them completely free.

Employees can follow their own interests for the sheer satisfaction of learning new skills, or they can focus on skills that make them a more valuable member of your team.

Courses on offer from some of the world’s leading universities include IT, logical thinking and problem solving, psychology (for those all-important interpersonal skills) finance, marketing, technical design, and many, many more.

Keeping your employee’s skills up-to-date is more convenient than ever before when you choose to take advantage of technology.