Gavin Farmer, commercial group manager of Ansible Motion, speaks to Manufacturing Management about the recent increase in online training in the engineering sector and how simulation-based technology is set to drive the long-term trend towards remote learning.
How has online training boosted engineering learning capabilities during the Covid-19 crisis?
It has provided an opportunity for engineers to focus certainly on the product development front through this period, and during any ‘downtime’ available it has offered the chance to broaden skills and ensure they are up to date with the newest software developments. In the simulation industry we have seen providers of software products offering online software licenses to be able to use their products from home, or free access to training services that would normally be paid for.
Do you think this has triggered a new trend post-COVID?
I think online training has definitely boomed and will continue to rise in demand. I think it represents some good opportunities for those providing training services that were previously only done face to face – they could reach a wider audience, and a lot of content that is normally delivered live can be recorded. An advantage is that we will be able to offer customers more frequent access to training in future because they are spread around the world and we can’t be with them every day even though we would like to.
I think online training offers great opportunities, not only in times of Covid-19 but also to people who can’t access formal training because of geographic, economic or other circumstances, although it is not time to write off our traditional educational pathways either.