Welding is one of the fastest-growing industries and relies extensively on skilled and trained professionals. Since welding instruction and training is typically a hands-on learning experience, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted the way students learn but also the way welding trainers impart training.
From the time the world has been hit by the pandemic, welding trainers and instructors have been finding newer ways to provide suitable and sufficient training to welding students. Welding trainers have to ensure effective training on a day-to-day basis with innovative methodologies in delivering training.
The advancements in welding technologies over the past few years have impacted the welding equipment, the role of welding trainers, the way the learners get trained, and more. This has also drastically improved the way metals are welded, by better understanding the speed, strength, and weld parameters.
These developments in welding have positively impacted the role of welding trainers and the way welding training is imparted. To delve deeper into this and to understand more about the critical role of a welding trainer, we caught up with Mr. Sushil Kumar Joshi, Application Engineer – Tech Support National, Fronius India. Read on to know more…
This is the second interview in the series on welding trainers. You can read the previous interview here – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/the-evolving-role-of-a-welding-trainer/
Q: Could you please throw some light on how the w+elding training has evolved over the years?
A: When we look at the academics, on the one hand, we have ITIs with specific welding streams and on the other hand, engineering institutes that cover only the basic theory topics of welding in each semester. Nowadays, many institutes are developing the Centres of Excellence with advanced equipment in welding, so that students can gain theoretical as well as practical experience and understand new trends in the industry.
Many international organizations like AWS, IIW, CWB, TWI are now more popular. Many welding equipment manufacturers also providing training on their technologies which are predominantly used in the industry. For example, Fronius India has conducted many training programmes for students and people in the industry.
Q: With virtual welding training gaining popularity and acceptance across the industry and academia, how do you think this has impacted the role of a welding trainer?
A: Yes, virtual welding training is now a widely accepted alternative to traditional welding training. It has gained importance and acceptance especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the awareness created around it on social media. However, with virtual welding training, the trainers need to address the virtual challenges of the trainees. They need to be innovative and skillful in their approach and build knowledge on new industry trends.
Q: With advancements in technology in welding and allied sectors, how can welding trainers be prepared to be relevant with changing times.
A: Welding trainers need to understand the advanced technologies thoroughly. They should know its advantages, disadvantages, application, and safety concerns.
Various companies are currently using advanced technologies to meet the quality criteria and increase productivity. However, in academic institutions, we are still using basic and conventional equipment.
Q: What would be some of the ways we can together make welding an aspirational career for both the learners and instructors?
A: Healthy collaboration between industries, welding organizations, and academic institutions will help in developing aspirational careers in welding for both learner and instructor. Welding is one of the important processes/ activities in manufacturing and other sectors. Therefore, a lot of awareness has to be created around welding.
Q: How important is industry experience and exposure for a welding instructor?
A: Industrial exposure will enhance a trainer’s practical skillset which helps in technology transfer and deep understanding of technology. Therefore, prior industry exposure as well as being constantly updated with the industry is essential for every welding trainer.