The Need for Welders
As National Welding Month commences, we are reminded of welding’s impact on our world – and the efforts that welding and manufacturing instructors across the country put forth to ensure that today’s students have the skills and abilities they need to succeed in this in-demand profession. According to several industry estimates, the welder deficit is set to eclipse 200,000 by 2020, and hit nearly 375,000 by 2026. Today, welders are retiring at 2x the pace of welders who are coming into the job field. More schools are integrating career and technical education pathways into their offerings, including welding training. With these programs gaining strength there can be challenges to overcome.
Challenges of the Instructor include:
- Creating individualized learning opportunities
- Managing the classroom and students effectively
- Keeping safety a priority
- Keeping aligned to standards and educational best practices
Along with these challenges, instructors are also trying to keep a new generation of learners engaged and interested in welding and manufacturing programs. We developed tools like the guideWELD® VR welding simulator and guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system to help instructors engage today’s 21st Century students in these types of career pathways. Below, we take a closer look at the thought process behind this training tool development.
Formula for Skill-Focused Engagement
Let’s look at this kind of engagement as a formula.
First, we take Skill Development and use it to develop curiosity:
- Create tangible ways to develop understanding of concepts
- Practice and learn key systems and technique development
Next, we utilize competition to develop Skill Refinement:
- Enhance skill through rigorous assessment and experiences
- Gain best practices and industry standard learning
By giving students choices, they can continue to Enhance their Skills:
- Personalize and individualize learning
- Modify to individual strengths and talents
Lastly, we develop a deep connection through Skill Sharing with their peers:
- Strong peer-to-peer communication and career exploration
- Learn from sharing best practices and innovative findings
By following this formula, we can develop an engaging program for all students who are working their way through welding pathways. What’s more, training tools like the guideWELD® VR welding simulator and guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system can help ensure that students are given opportunities to develop, refine, enhance and share their skills in an efficient, effective way.
The American Welding Society (AWS) has stated that National Welding Month is an important opportunity to highlight an industry where trade skills are in dire need. Are you wondering how you can help celebrate? AWS has put together some great information on what National Welding Month is all about and how you can help spread the word. For more great resources on engaging students in welding programs, as well as resources for developing and implementing the programs themselves, check out our welding webinars here.