I’ve been working with a colleague who wants to integrate Job Instruction into a large, funded training program. He and I discussed for sometime the appropriate placement of TWI as a core competency among the myriad of competencies necessary for the employee to do the job properly. We realized after some frustration that Job Instruction, as well as the other TWI J programs, are not about job skills, but, about supervisory skills. We needed to go back to the TWI model and review the five needs of supervisors: Knowledge of Work, Knowledge of Responsibilities, Skills in Leading, Skills in Instructing, and Skills in Improving Methods. In this case, he needed to carve out a place for skills in instructing (JI) in two places. First a JI supervisory skills training class for field supervisors and second, a JI trainer skills program for their trainers. Both groups needed to be trained in TWI JI methodology to learn the skills for instructing hands-on tasks.
One major barrier seems to be how to integrate TWI into large training programs where the training skills of the trainers and supervisors have traditionally taken a back seat to their technical knowledge and skills. Training programs seem to assume that technically competent supervisors and trainers know how to instruct others. Our experience says that’s not the case. The effort, then, is to get the decision makers in these programs to understand the improvements possible if their trainers add TWI to their repertoire. I will keep you posted on the progress we make in this pilot program.
Finally, as a former career and technical education educator, this discussion made me think about how powerful a tool TWI JI could be in the technical classroom where the teacher is responsible to teach students to do jobs correctly, safely and conscientiously. But that’s for another day.
I’d be interested to see your ideas about this topic, leave me a comment.
Steve Grossman, Director