The Toolkit Skills and Innovation Hub, in collaboration with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and Dig In Vision, has recently introduced an innovative program to enhance the expertise of Kenyan Welding Instructors. The comprehensive program, titled "Train the Trainers," aims to elevate the skills of these instructors to meet European standards. Through intensive sessions on Virtual Reality (VR) and hands-on welding workshops, the program brings together instructors from esteemed institutions such as the Kenya School of TVET (KTTC), Toolkit, and Don Bosco.
Together with our Dig in Vision representation, a top welding instructor from the Welding Academy also came to Kenya. The Welding Academy is our long-term substantive partner and one of the top units in Europe that certifies welders.
Upskilling Kenyan Welding Instructors
The "Train the Trainers" program focuses on two crucial aspects: technical welding skills and soft skills required for training others. The instructors undergo a 40-hour dual training program conducted in both virtual reality and real welding environments. Divided into two groups of eight participants each, the program encompasses the following stages:
The instructors undergo preliminary tests in both virtual reality and real welding setups to determine their skill levels, aptitude, and knowledge of welding techniques. These test results help in tailoring a customized training path for each participant.
The next stage spans three days and includes practical welding exercises that cover fundamental joint connections in commonly encountered welding positions, such as T-Joint PB, T-Joint PF, and Butt-Joint PA.
Advancing Welding Instruction in Kenya: A Comprehensive Approach
The "Train the Trainers" program in Kenya revolutionizes welding instruction through its unique and comprehensive approach. By combining virtual reality (VR) training with hands-on practice in a real welding environment, this program allows instructors to gain comprehensive skills and knowledge in welding techniques. This dual training method leverages both immersive simulations and practical experience, providing a well-rounded learning experience for participants.
Cost and Time efficiency
The "Train the Trainers" program excels in cost efficiency by implementing a dual training approach, with 90% of the practice conducted in virtual reality (VR) and 10% in a real welding environment. This strategy proves invaluable, especially when facing limitations in the availability of materials. Welding materials such as welding wires and gases are known to be very expensive. By utilizing VR training, participants can engage in extensive practice without the need for excessive material consumption.
During the training, the trainees made 3077 attempts in VR, which gives us an average of 170 attempts per person. With the average price of the samples, the material alone was worth €52,000 - the scale of savings thanks to VR is huge! The program's focus on cost efficiency allows for optimal skill development while mitigating financial burdens associated with traditional training methods.
Ecology and sustainability
Based on general observations and industry trends, it is estimated that VR training can lead to CO2 emissions reductions ranging from 50% to 95% compared to traditional welding practices. This estimation takes into account the elimination or reduction in the consumption of welding materials, such as welding wires and gases, which are known contributors to carbon emissions. This not only significantly reduces costs but also ensures that valuable resources are conserved. VR welding training is a milestone in the green revolution and the drive to achieve zero carbon emissions!
Diversity in the welding industry
The program also focuses on promoting gender diversity in the welding industry. By actively including female welders, the program challenges gender stereotypes and showcases the exceptional precision, dedication, and attention to detail demonstrated by these underrepresented participants. Through highlighting their achievements, the program aims to inspire more women to pursue welding careers, fostering greater gender diversity and breaking barriers within the profession.
Another crucial aspect of the program is the provision of professional instruction by experienced trainers. This addresses the common issue of self-taught welding practices among experienced Kenyan welders. With guidance from expert instructors, participants can refine their techniques, eliminate bad habits, and improve the quality and safety of their weld joints. The expertise of these trainers ensures that participants meet international standards and deliver exceptional results.
The "Train the Trainers" program, spearheaded by the Toolkit Skills and Innovation Hub in partnership with GIZ and Dig In Vision, represents a significant milestone in the advancement of Kenyan Welding Instructors to meet European standards. This comprehensive program highlights the importance of its dual training approach, which combines virtual reality (VR) training with hands-on practice, leading to cost and time efficiency, promoting gender diversity, and emphasizing the value of professional instruction.