Machine shop fundamentals training

Machine Shop Fundamentals Training

Hallowing out of the manufacturing jobs in the United States has left a skilled labor shortage.  Additionally, the lower prestige of manufacturing jobs causes many young people to seek other occupations.  The strong economy squeezes the labor market.  Many other factors constrict the pool of great candidates for many manufacturing jobs.  Employers limited options present a challenge.  Should the company wait for the perfect candidate?  Many machine shops turn to internal training.  This can be burdensome.  Machine shop fundamentals training provides a structured approach to training someone with no experience.  In four weeks, an inexperienced employee will understand the fundamental aspects of machining. 

The beauty of machine shop fundamentals training comes from the structure.  At first, the structure looks very complex.  By reading through the worksheet, the structure repeats throughout and builds on itself.  The general structure is to introduce, teach, demonstrate, practice and review.  The structure comes from a military boot camp.  The military takes teenagers and turns them into well-trained soldiers in just a few weeks.

Purpose of Machine Shop Fundamentals Training

Many machine shops struggle with training new employees.  Normally the training consists of pairing a new employee with a seasoned machinist.  The training relies on work in progress with additional tips as they are remembered.  Pairing a new and seasoned machinist together initially seems appropriate.  Unless the seasoned machinist is an exceptional teacher, the new employee will quickly become overwhelmed. 

With a structured schedule, the trainer and the trainee focus on specific topics during a given time.  This takes pressure off both participants.  Both the trainer and trainee know what will be covered each week.  The manager can be assured every topic is covered.  By base lining the training, the manager can hold every employee accountable for items covered in the machine shop fundamentals training.

Anatomy of the Lesson Plan

The lesson plan is divided into two main sections.  The Learning Objectives provide a concise statement of the information covered in that week.  Notice the Learning Objectives are numbered.  The numbering provides an easy reference in the lower section.  The Learning Objectives and numbering ensure every topic is covered. 

The Schedule requires more explanation.  Generally, the Schedule shows the expected learning activity.  The Schedule is broken into five columns.  The first column, Day, means the training day so if training is interrupted it will not disrupt the training sequence.  Learning Objectives, LO, ties each weekly learning objective from the top to specific training on the schedule.  Hours, Hrs, provide an expected time for the given activity.  Activity Type determines who and how an activity is covered.  Activity gives a concise explanation of the training activity.  The list further explains the Activity Type.

  • Presentation—The trainee is learning through prepared material delivered by instructors
  • Structured OJT—The trainer demonstrates an activity for the trainee
  • Individual Study—The trainee reads prepared material
  • Guided Practice—The trainee performs the activity with the trainer watching or available
  • Review—The trainer and trainee discuss the activities

Interaction to Build Skills Quickly

Each learning objective contains the basic skill that is necessary for the machine shop.  Each learning objective goes through Structured OJT, Individual Study, Guided Practice and Review in that order.  The order of the activities reveals a full cycle.  The review process becomes crucial through the 4-week training because it links learning objectives together.  Each cycle builds on skills learned previously.  As a trainee progresses, the previous learning objectives are reinforced.  For example, the first learning objective in week 2 is to improve the skills learned in week 1.   

Machine Shop Fundamentals Training Cycle

Goal of Machine Shop Fundamentals Training

The goal of the 4-week training schedule is to take a candidate and train them the basics of machining.  As the economy improves and the skills gap increases, companies are forced to train new employees.  Many companies do not have time or expertise to develop training.  This series provides a simple process to conduct training with new employees. 

If you like the sample material, sign up for the full 4-week schedule including a bonus week.  Click Here