A History Of Workplace Training

History Of Workplace Training A History Of Workplace Training

Our ancestors wouldn't marvel at the training available to us today. It's past that point now. We've reached a stage where they wouldn't even be able to comprehend it. Technological advancements have been so tremendous that modern education is essentially unrecognisable from its chalkboard beginnings.

To demonstrate just how much things have changed, let Ambidect take you on a whistle-stop tour of the history of training in the workplace.

19th and early 20th century

The process of developing skills for work started during the industrial revolution. There is evidence of classroom-based training at large firms, where employers needed to pass on information to a lot of people in a short space of time.

However, formal organised training was rare. For ordinary businesses, learning mostly involved doing the job alone. Inevitable mistakes were considered par for the course. Injuries were unsurprisingly common, and whilst experienced members of staff could show new employees the ropes, it was rarely in their job description to do so. Health and safety, in particular, was largely based on experience and common sense: an archaic “use your head or lose your head” philosophy.

Mid 20th century

The 1950s saw the emergence of vocational elements on school curriculums, with educational institutions introducing courses that shaped students for positions in a certain sector. By the 1970s, regulations began to enforce stricter standards, and companies were soon required to run their own classroom-style training courses that taught staff how to stay safe on the job.

Work training wasn't particularly popular as a concept; a disinterested lecturer reeling off rules to a spiritless crowd and then sending them back to work. But where many businesses saw a necessary chore, savvier companies saw an opportunity. Those thinking outside of the box began to utilise training for all areas. Some even chose to mix up practical and academic elements to heighten interest, daring to treat workers as individuals and consider their different needs.

Late 20th century

Moving into the 1980s and 1990s, the use (and potential) of staff training became apparent. Technology arrived on the scene and computer-based-training – later known as e-learning – came with it. For the first time ever, corporations could let their training run itself, teaching staff in a more cost-efficient way. Machines could lead whole sessions, offering people all the information they needed to perform well and stay safe on the job.

Whilst this was an unquestionably significant time during the evolution of workplace training, content delivery methods soon fell victim to a state of inertia. Huge investments in lumbering corporate L&D systems stifled learning material and suffocated the kind of agile thinking that kept pace with the evolution of technology. This immobility has since bothered unconventional business owners and L&D professionals like an itch they can't quite scratch…

The millennium, to now…

All this evolution, and then sudden stagnation. The workplace training timeline has been like a thrilling high-speed drive abruptly halted by unexpected heavy traffic. Fortunately, the digital age has offered a slip-road-style escape route: mobile learning.

Mobile learning is about taking learning to wherever it's needed. This can still be the classroom, but more often than not, it's about opening up new possibilities. Mobile learning platforms are not just slicker and more stylish with faster speeds, they also allow staff to take content on the road with them, digesting it whenever they like, however they like for a more fulfilling and effectual learning experience.

Learn with Mobile is the next turning on the workplace training journey, giving your company a state-of-the-art learning system tailored to your needs. Why not see the future of training in the workplace for yourself?

If you're looking to educate in a fresh, affordable, and rewarding way, check out fully mobile responsive e-learning solutions using Learn with Mobile. Get started for free right now, or call the Ambidect team on +44 (0)1260 221292 if you have any questions.