Module 4d - Training materials

 School materials, trade journals or websites

The vocational college has important materials for training. These can be:

  • Text books
  • CD's with information, animation or self-tests
  • Films
  • Materials or studies from other countries
  • Etc.

The apprentice needs to experience school and workplace training as integrated. Therefore, it is a good idea for the trainer to be informed of the main teaching materials that the school uses. It will also keep your professional knowledge up-to-date.

In addition to the material provided by the vocational school, other authorities like the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Crafts or the association of your profession may provide helpful materials.

Every trade has its own journals, newspapers and websites with discussions and news. They can, for example, be issued by the employers association, the trade organisation or various committees.

Prepare a list of relevant magazines, websites, etc. for the apprentice and make the materials you use in your company accessible.

 Company profiles and manuals

You probably have quite a few other materials that can be used for training:

  • Company presentations
  • Trade materials
  • Instructions
  • Work procedure descriptions
  • Product descriptions
  • Etc.
Collect suitable materials and use them systematically for training. Arrange a place to keep the materials, for example an ‘apprentice shelf’. During the orientation period, the apprentice may learn a lot about your company if you let him prepare his own company presentation.
 Supplier materials

Suppliers often publish materials for their distributors:

  • Manuals and detailed product descriptions
  • Measurement diagrams
  • Miniature models of products
  • Research results
  • Etc.

Many of these can be used as training materials. But be aware that the suppliers often won't be neutral in their presentations, for example when comparing products to the competitor’s products.

 3D models and drawings
3-dimensional models and drawings are often used in trades, where it's necessary to "look behind stage".

The purpose is to:
  • Visualise inaccessible components
  • Give an overall view and a better understanding of the whole
  • Reach agreement about technical terms.

The models can vary in size.

3D models can be only visual or interactive.

The above model shows examples of correct and incorrect welding.

The automobile trade often uses crosscuts of motor parts. For many years, health care professions models have used models of the human body with removable organs that are easy to dismantle and put together again. 

Technical drawings are often used to tie theory to practice. A drawing can either be more detailed than the original object or show a simplified version.

NOTE: If you wish to produce your own 3D models or drawings, remember that the apprentice hasn't necessarily understood the work process just by seeing a model or drawing.

Computer animation is now used widely in teaching and training. Animation can visualise hidden and/or complicated processes.

Through interactive animation, users can practice work processes and gain an understanding of them.

There are several private and public providers who produce animation - See for example

Example from the mechanics trade
The component supplier Bosch has had animation produced and distributes it to their customers on cds. In an entertaining way, the mechanics gain an understanding of, for example, the diesel motor's function. The user chooses the areas he/she wishes to know more about.
Not only future pilots and captains are trained using simulators.

Simulators in 1:1 sizes are, of course, expensive training materials. But some tasks cannot be taught without using simulators, for the real machines and materials are very valuable and/or dangerous.

Modern computer technology has created many more virtual simulation tools. For example, bus drivers are trained in a real cab, but with the use of a computer program.

4 - The trainer