The immediate future of training

Training image

Hayley Pells, Director at Avia Auto’s discusses how training could be impacted by the fluidity of restrictions being lifted

The success of the vaccination rollout and the steady reopening of the economy has prompted questions about the future of training.

Ever since the pandemic hit we’ve all enjoyed using digital solutions to continue with day to day life, whether that’s to work or study, and for the most part it’s been incredibly effective. But there are some aspects of the industry where remote and digital don’t fit so easily, especially when it comes to learning.

The automotive aftermarket has long been used to education being delivered in person, with opportunity for a hands-on, workshop approach to reinforce classroom-based training. And while some practical courses did still go ahead over the months of restrictions, a huge amount did go online.

The UK is taking huge strides with its vaccination programme, but there remain cautious warnings from the UK government that the vaccine doesn’t offer 100% protection, that two people (even if vaccinated) may not meet inside, and the continuing challenge of protecting those who aren’t yet vaccinated yet. So it may be some time before we’ll be able to squash into a lecture theatre to learn what’s new in the aftermarket. So what happens to learning then?

The idea of proof of health, displayed with certificates, poses an interesting option. The theory being that normality for those with immunity, whether gained from vaccination or recovery, could go safely on to shore up the economy in all walks of life and supported by track and trace to swiftly isolate outbreak hotspots.

Political opinions aside, the idea does present challenges for the safe and financially accessible delivery of training and examinations. It’s quite normal to travel for training in the automotive aftermarket making the unpredictability of whether or not participants can attend challenging.

The Sage advice that we may expect another wave in June may scupper summer training events, flu season will add further concern later in the year and COVID-19 could well become another seasonal threat. So what now if you want to stay up to date with the latest developments?

The future of how we travel will decide how training is delivered, this is in the hands of our government still holding emergency powers. Do immunity passports offer freedom? Or will the Cornelian dilemma of participation reduce the training availability, or even make it economically impractical?

To my mind, blended learning, where both virtual and real classrooms are used may become our new normal. So as excited as I am to return to travel, I won’t be hanging up my headset just yet.