Over 12 thousand hours of training, more than 300 personnel, and 60 certified trainers. These are the numbers for 2020 of the Elettric80 Academy, one of the feathers in our company’s cap. The lifelong-learning project goes hand in hand with our value proposition because we use it to train newly hired personnel – almost 100 people last year – on the systems and technologies developed by our Group, but also to accompany the growth of internal staff, at all levels and in all areas: from finance to purchasing, HR to project management, sales and management to communications. From 2017, when the Academy launched, to last year, more than 65 thousand hours of training were delivered to more than 1,400 people, thanks to a team of more than 60 certified trainers
"We were also able to guarantee a complete training program in 2020, despite these difficult times and the limits on face-to-face classes through our E80-learning platform which has been active since 2019", Corrado Pagani explains. "Digitalization has been an integral part of a new training paradigm that blends classroom and distance learning for several years now, though with a marked acceleration in recent months. This synergy is the result of an age in which continuous learning has become the key skill for developing a global society. So, e-learning is now available in addition to face-to-face teaching, which continues to be fundamental especially for certain types of courses, such as those with higher technical content for newly hired personnel. I believe that e-learning is an essential tool for any company that looks to the future because it guarantees the entire workforce the opportunity for lifelong updating of skills in real-time, in a flexible, modular and interactive manner".
"In this complicated phase, our company is quickly and incisively guaranteeing training continuity because we have always been committed to developing advanced technological tools to support activities and to structuring training programs calibrated to the real needs of inhouse personnel”, Pagani adds. "Our long-term vision also includes collaborations with many high schools and universities, in Italy and around the world, as well as maintaining a close synergy with ITS MAKER, the most representative technological hub in the Emilia Romagna region and the largest in the country. We have been carrying on our activities even throughout the pandemic thanks to our digital resources and great teamwork, with the objective of transmitting our distinguishing values to young people and of guiding and supporting them in their future choices by making them familiar with our technologies. In this scenario of shared growth, with innovation and competence moving forward on a single track, the Elettric80 Academy is an integral part of our investment in the future, as Academy Manager, Tania Ferrari will tell us".
“The object of the education programs offered by our Group is to support newly hired personnel and accompany them during their introduction into the company”, Tania Ferrari said. “The Academy was originally set up to train newly hired personnel on technical matters and now is offering a more complete program that covers the training needs of all our staff. To guarantee increasingly more flexible and complete services, we activated an E80-learning platform where everyone can find the courses they are interested in”.
Was meeting students prior to graduation useful to organize the training programs for newly hired personnel?
“Our approach to was developed some time ago. We have a longstanding relationship with the Cattaneo Dall’Aglio high school in Castelnovo ne’ Monti that involves classroom discussions with students. In this way, we have noticed that if one of these students gets taken on, they have a better approach to their work than a youngster seeing the Viano factories for the very first time. However, whoever joins us needs to receive training because some technical skills are difficult to learn at school and even the most specialized universities cannot really prepare people to design and build our systems”.
How has the Academy project developed over time?
“We started with six training programs for six key technical profiles. Every learning unit was designed together with the trainers, or rather with the in-house specialists who agreed to join the training team. Today, with the E80-learning platform, we have implemented new functions to meet the lifelong learning needs of all our people. It includes a package of 28 short training videos -- currently in Italian and also in English as of 2021 -- on the most in-demand horizontal skills, and courses to promote knowledge of organizational procedures and business processes. Considering the excellent results we have achieved, our objective is to expand the training offer by adding new courses”.
What benefits does e-learning offer, particularly in these difficult times, and what needs does it satisfy?
“The possibility of using an e-learning platform is certainly strategic in ensuring comprehensive, reliable training for everyone, especially in these difficult times that have limited the opportunity for face-to-face classes. To this end, we are launching a project to transform part of the current classroom technical courses into e-learning courses. Regardless of the current situation, this method has many advantages. First of all, e-learning reduces the amount of teaching time staff have to put in. With e-learning, trainers provide support throughout the learning experience, defining the content, without needing to be present in a classroom. Secondly, e-learning satisfies the needs of off-site and branch personnel. Finally, e-learning is an extremely flexible tool that can be used on-demand and on a one-to-one basis, thus avoiding problems of differing time zones or the need for international travel”.
Are language training courses also provided in e-learning mode?
“One of the most effective applications of one-to-one e-learning is the possibility of learning a foreign language. The courses can be followed outside of working hours and the lessons are individual, tailored to the participant’s starting level. In 2019 and 2020, we launched three pilot projects on very high-quality platforms to facilitate language learning for everyone who needed to improve their foreign language knowledge. We will be launching a major project to provide language learning opportunities to all Group employees”.
Classroom training and e-learning: Can they be complementary?
“The trainer-student relationship is a key element in learning that is difficult to parallel, especially when the subject matter is complicated or in development. I am referring in particular to the courses that involve hands-on activities on our systems; but even so, digital tools now offer huge opportunities for sharing and interacting. For instance, we are planning to organize periodical in-person training sessions with trainers after the e-learning modules have been completed”.
Why do you need to offer all-round training beyond strictly technical subjects?
“As our companies are highly specialized and technical, the technical training of new employees is obviously our main priority. Once this objective has been achieved, however, we need to work on everything else, to develop the horizontal skills that all activities need if they are to be performed well. In particular, the massive expansion of our workforce has required the development of more diffused managerial skills and this has led to the launch of new leadership development training units, for instance. This kind of preparation stems from the all-round attention we pay to people... Connected to people, factories and market is not just our claim; it’s the real value we add to talent and commitment”.