Is the future of vocational training digital?

Article publication date: 05/07/2023

In recent years, digital technology has revolutionized many aspects of our daily lives, and the world of work has not been spared this transformation. The sudden arrival of the health crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst, considerably accelerating the adoption of new working and training methods. Its impact far exceeded that of everyday life, and many companies found themselves obliged to take the digital turn in order to continue their activities, including training.

Organizations have had to adapt quickly to ensure business continuity and enable their employees to work remotely. While telecommuting quickly established itself as the norm - promoted by the government - it wasn't long before training too became digitalized to keep up with health requirements. Companies turned to digital technologies to provide online training, exploiting virtual learning platforms, interactive webinars and remote collaboration tools.

One year after the end of the crisis, what's the situation? Ina job market undergoing a major transformation, shaped by the rise of new technologies, the emergence of new professions, the increasing automation of certain tasks and the notable tensions of skills shortages, employee training has become a strategic pivot. So, what does the future hold for training in the digital age?

Discover the trends and challenges facing the training business in the digital age.

Transforming training to meet job market expectations

Corporate working methods have undergone a veritable metamorphosis in recent years, marked by major changes both structural and conjunctural, and telecommuting has become the norm for many players .These developments have not only freed us from geographical constraints, they also reflect a profound metamorphosis in the job market, in employees' expectations and a growing desire to create a working environment in tune with the realities of modern society. And, like all changes, this requires training, which is also widely acclaimed by employees.

Continuing training has therefore become a major imperative for companies.

Today, failure to invest in training has serious consequences for a company's competitiveness. Professions and technologies are evolving at lightning speed, and the shortage of talent and the metamorphosis of working methods require constant adaptation of employees' skills. There is therefore an urgent need to invest in appropriate training to meet changing market needs.

Did you know?

88% of HR managers in France claim to be concerned by recruitment difficulties.

Source: The future of work as seen by HRDs, 2nd edition - ANDRH x BCG survey - 2022

However, setting up effective, personalized training courses for every employee is a major challenge. Companies need to be able to offer training that meets the current and future requirements of their sector, while juggling financial and organizational constraints.

Managing schedules, travel, resources and training prices... Training planning can prove complex for companies, especially when the workforce is large. Could digital technology be a solution to facilitate workforce training?

 

Digital in training: capturing a new era a growing and promising trend

New technologies and e-learning platforms are opening up vast new horizons for professional training. While they democratize access to training for employees, they also bring flexibility to learning and adapt to learners' needs.

Employees appreciate the flexibility offered by digital training, as it enables them to learn at their own pace and according to their own schedule, while eliminating the geographical constraints that previously required training to be centralized in large cities . 24/7 access to online content enables them to engage in training in a more practical way, avoiding the constraints of travel or availability. Whether it's webinars, virtual classes, e-learning modules, serious games, interactive activities, videos, podcasts or forums, there's a solution for every training need.

Did you know?

72% of organizations used e-learning platforms for professional training in 2020.

Source: 2022 Training Industry Report - Training magazine - 2022

But the benefits are not limited to learners. Human resources teams also benefit from this digital transformation. Companies can reduce travel and resource costs, while making certain training courses possible and accessible. New technologies help optimize training investments by minimizing unnecessary expenditure.

Did you know?

56% of HR professionals believe that digital technology is ideal for training.

Source: Vocational training: Statistics & trends 2022 - Independant.IO - January 2023

Zoom on some trendy training tools

Here are a few trendy tools that can transform your training offer:

E-learning platforms

They enable learners to access interactive learning content - such as course modules, videos, practical exercises and assessments - through a user-friendly interface. They offer advantages such as flexibility, accessibility and personalization of learning.

The main ones: Moodle, Talentsoft, LinkedIn Learning, Talentlms, Skillsoft...

MOOCs and SPOCs

While MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are free or low-cost online courses open to all, generally offered by universities, companies or training organizations, SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses) are more restricted and private online courses, targeting a specific group of learners, often within an organization or institution. They have a limited capacity and are generally designed for more personalized interaction and closer exchanges between participants and trainers.

For popular MOOCs, you will find platforms such as Coursera, edX or OpenClassrooms, while for SPOCs you will use platforms such as 360Learning.

Mobile learning

It offers flexible training paths, adapted to learners' mobility constraints, with access to training content anywhere and at any time, via applications, educational videos or podcasts. It meets the needs of modern learners who are looking for practical, engaging training solutions tailored to their preferences and lifestyles.

Many e-learning platforms also offer mobile versions of their interfaces, optimized for mobile devices. Examples include Moodle, TalentLMS, Coursera...

 

Webinars

These are online seminars or presentations that enable participants to attend training in real time via the Internet. These interactive sessions enable trainers to share their knowledge and participants to ask questions and interact with them in real time. Webinars are widely used to deliver remote training, reach a wider audience and offer an interactive learning experience.

The main videoconferencing platforms used by companies: Zoom, Teams, Lifestorm, WebEx...

 

Other trends

Serious games and simulations: These fun training courses use interactive games, quizzes and challenges to provide an entertaining learning experience. They often incorporate realistic simulations to enable learners to put themselves in professional situations and solve real-life problems. Serious games are particularly used in the healthcare field to train professionals in a variety of medical scenarios, such as surgical procedures, medical diagnosis or emergency management. They can also simulate customer-employee interactions or business management situations.

Some simulation platforms: Simultrain, Serious Factory...

Virtual or augmented reality: Virtual reality technologies can be used to create realistic, immersive virtual learning environments, enabling learners to practice and familiarize themselves with complex, real-life scenarios, and to develop practical skills safely and effectively.

Some virtual reality tools: Vive, Unity, Reality Academy...

Chatbots: major advances in AI have made the use of chatbots widespread, making it possible to offer personalized assistance to learners, answering their questions in real time, offering additional resources and guiding them through their training path.

Some chatbot tools that can be used for professional training: IBM Watson Assistant, Dialogflow, Microsoft Azure Bot Service...

Towards a complete digitalization of professional training?

There are many digital tools available, but how effective are they? Should we switch to 100% digital training?

While new technologies and e-learning platforms offer a multitude of advantages for your company, they also require careful thought about teaching methods and learner support to ensure effective training.

Indeed, digital training involves risks for learner commitment, which can affect motivation and progress. Not to mention the potential technical problems and the need for learners to master the digital tools and media offered by the company.

 Some employees want more direct human interaction and the opportunity to ask questions in real time when they encounter difficulties or need clarification during their online training. They may perceive online training as impersonal, with no face-to-face interaction. What's more, they may want closer accompaniment and personalized support throughout their e-learning journey. They require regular follow-up from trainers or mentors to overcome obstacles and maximize their learning.

So the future of vocational training isn't digital?

Yes, but not only. Training is also about practical work, animations, human interaction and experiences that are essential to the learning process. The lack of support and human interaction is a major challenge posed by digital. If digital training tools are an opportunity to offer more attractive training to employees, they must complement, not replace, face-to-face training.

And in the face of these challenges, there's only one watchword: hybrid training!

Hybrid training, yes, but how do you plan it?

Hybrid training can be a real headache for corporate training team planners. Hybrid training planning involves coordinating the availability of trainers, learners and face-to-face training rooms, as well as ensuring the availability of the technological equipment needed for remote sessions. This can be a complex logistical challenge, especially when large numbers of participants are involved.

Planners need to ensure that training content is adapted to different formats (face-to-face and distance learning) and that it offers a coherent learning experience on a suitable technological learning platform. Training sessions must be precisely scheduled. This may involve rethinking activities, course materials and assessments to ensure they are adapted to each learning modality.

This often results in ill-adapted and poorly optimized training schedules ... even though this is a crucial issue for the company! Schedule optimization maximizes training efficiency by grouping sessions together in a judicious way. This reduces downtime and optimizes the use of resources, such as trainers, training rooms and teaching tools. As a result, employees benefit from a more focused and productive training experience. Optimizing training schedules also enables budget constraints to be managed more effectively. By grouping sessions and planning training strategically, the costs associated with training can be better controlled.

The solution, Adesoft ! 

There's a tool for creating optimized training schedules: Adesoft! Thanks to its AI, Adesoft software plans your training model according to your constraints, while optimizing the costs, travel and resources of your training courses... to everyone's delight!