When installing a new apprenticeship program, there are a number of issues to consider. Last month we looked at some internal issues for businesses. Now, let's look at the curriculum.
The first step in forming a structured program is to establish your "instructional objective."
The goal of the apprenticeship program is to train the students to a skill level where they can be productive operator/setup people. Your specific goal may be different, but we may see the greatest need in development of setup and operator staff.
It is important that the student/apprentice know and understand your goals. The student should also know the financial reward (hourly rate) for participating in the total program and for successfully achieving the defined goals.
With every new-hire, the company needs to provide clear policies for behavior and expectations with special emphasis on safety.
In addition to the company and the new-hire, existing employees also must be aware of the training goals. The cooperation of existing employees is essential.
Each student will be assigned to a work center and placed under the guidance of an existing employee. The program coordinator/training manager will need to ensure that student and employee work together effectively.
To reinforce and clarify each topic, hands-on learning must be accompanied by bookwork each week. We recommend two-hour sessions, twice each week.
Curriculum for machining training can cover many topics and some may be specific to your business or niche of the industry. Like many things, it is best to break it down to manageable sections. We've grouped topics into skill sets, topics that work together where knowledge of the skill set contributes to the students' skills.
Skill Set No. 1
Shop Math: In teaching shop math, the objective is to get people familiar with using a calculator, understanding fractions when they see them (stock size, drill sizes, on prints, etc.), and being comfortable in performing basic math functions. We recommend that you supply your students with a TI-30 calculator.
Blueprint reading: In addition to understanding numbers, machinists must be able to read...