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Industrial Training

Updated on June 5, 2010

Industrial Training describes activities in which people acquire specific skills needed to perform a job. The term 'vocational training' is used for activities intended to provide a wide range of skills for use in an occupation rather than a specific job. 'Professional training' is the same process related to occupations with an emphasis on advanced intellectual skills rather than manual dexterity.

Work-oriented training is a two-part process. A skill or theoretical knowledge can best be acquired away from a job by learning from specialist trainers using specialised facilities. However, the practical know-how needed to implement the training can be acquired only in the work situation. This has long been recognised in professional training in which, typically, a course at a university is followed by a period of supervised practical work.

The training needed in industry is of two kinds: (1) training in basic skills of a particular craft and general theoretical knowledge; (2) training in the methods to be used for a particular job. Training of the first type is usually given in public or private educational institutions. Employers may arrange for employees to take relevant courses and may pay fees and give them time off work. Legislation may encourage this (e.g., in the UK, where grants may be given by the statutory industrial training boards) or may make it compulsory (e.g., in France, where up to a year's study leave may be demanded by employees). Alternatively, individuals may acquire training on their own initiative in order to improve career prospects. Training of the second type is usually given by the employer; since the Second World War a great deal of attention has been paid to improving methods of in-company training to make it more efficient and effective.

The main organisations concerned with industrial training are, in the UK, the government's Training Services Agency and the British Association for Commercial and Industrial Education and, in the USA, the American Society for Training and Development.


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