The Plastics Training Specialists

Classroom Training, Shopfloor Training or online training?

Which one is right for your needs?


There are strong advocates among us for all of the mentioned training methods, and rightly so. There are a variety of benefits to each of them, but often the method which is most suited to a company is determined by the environment or context of that situation in particular.

Different operating structures in manufacturing companies may define the method of training that is most suited, but above all, what must be realised is that despite the challenges that come with planning training, there will always be a solution that will fit  your scenario. There just needs to be thought put to exactly how the training will be done, but there are a variety of options available.

Some of the variables which can affect the method of training chosen can be shift change-over times of those that need training. Factors to consider will be if the employees work on a 2-shift/3-shift/continental system, how many shift groups are available, if the training must happen in Peak/Low seasons, the level of expertise required, the knowledge starting point of the employees, the amount of training days needed and the budget available.

We have put together a brief comparison of these training methods to help understand which methodology is more suited to your company’s, or your personal needs, aspirations and limitations.





  • Face to   face training refers to training that is done in a classroom type setting,   with a group of people, for a set amount of hours. Usually there is an exam   at the end of the course, as well as a certificate of completion from the   institution.
  • The   trainer can provide on the spot feedback to students who need clarity on   concepts.
  • The time   and date of lessons being scheduled reduces likelihood of training sessions   being missed by learners.
  • Participants   can ask as many questions as is needed to clarify topics.
  • Best   suited to companies who are able to get a small group of employees together   that will benefit from the same training course, alternatively, most training   providers often market public courses in order for 1/2/3 people to take part   in the training as opposed to a full group from one company.
  • Face to  Face training is complemented by shop floor training afterwards, as the   learnt knowledge can be put into practice, with guidance.
  • Shop   floor training refers to training that is done in-house, at the plastics   manufacturing machinery, or on the plant floor. It relies on relevant   exposure to the situation, as well as experienced people who are able to   guide the learning process.
  • As   machines can vary greatly in terms of their layout, shop floor training   assists learners in being able to identify which controls are where, though   prior knowledge should be gained to understand what and why there is a need   for such controls, and how those affect the production of plastic products.
  • The link   between theory and the practical skills to do the job can be built relatively   easily, once the theoretical knowledge has been learnt.  
  • Online   training refers to training which is conducted on a computer  via the internet and may consist of images,   videos and audio training, with formative assessments (throughout the   training modules) & Summative assessments (At the end of the modules).
  • Online   training can be started by as many or as few people as need to be involved,   as long as there is access to a computer and the internet.
  • Flexibility   of the online training makes this a time saving option. Employees can be   working through their personalised training courses at any time, from   anywhere, whilst keeping up production levels.
  • People in   various geographic locations can be learning off the same Learner Management   System
  • Progress   is fast-tracked, generally, as the content is easy to follow and is always   made interactive.
  • Progress  reports can be downloaded to keep on top of employees’ training.
  • Online   training is complemented by shop floor training afterwards, as the learnt   knowledge can be put into practice, with guidance.


Blended Training

Blended training refers to training that incorporates a combination of methods, in order to achieve the best results.

Considering an ongoing, blended approach will allow employees to be educated from Entry Level through to the most advanced Levels of Machine setting, and, depending on the blend of methodologies chosen, can involve Education Training (theoretical Concepts etc), Practice-to-experience Tasks, Team learning & Coaching, Videos & Graphics, feedback and clarification sessions, etc.

Even though some training methodologies are more suited to some circumstances over others, the quality of the training is going to play an equally important role when evaluating if the training intervention was successful or not.

Keep in mind that this is also largely dependent on the training provider selected and a thorough investigation into references from other companies that have bought into similar training, should be done beforehand.