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Head in the Clouds: Industry leaders share thoughts on future of ‘hybrid’ training platforms

London, United Kingdom ⁠— In the midst of COVID-19, countless companies have brought their collision repair training initiatives online. Now, representatives for collision repair training programs are saying a hybrid of online and in-person training sessions could become standard post-pandemic.

During the December 17 IBISTV Global Summit broadcast, Dave Flockhart, COO of BETAG Innovation; Chris Humphries, president of WorldSkills; Mario Dimovski, owner of TradieBot and Guillaume Grucy, senior EMEA business development manager for PPG Europe discussed the implications of skilled training in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three panellists all agreed that remote learning has a series of benefits, including more accessible, more flexible and results in lower student travel costs. However, when technical skills need brushing-up, the industry needs to get creative to keep users engaged.

In the face of the pandemic, Flockhart said BETAG has taken a “holistic approach” to training with a mix of in-person and online initiatives. The company has launched an E-Learning platform and the ‘Ask Our BETAG Trainers’ service, both of which complement in-person training sessions. He also revealed that BETAG is “quite close” to offering a bi-directional live-streamed training package.

“I think we need to excite technicians about our industry. At the end of the day, it’s a craft that needs to be practiced and honed. Virtual training absolutely has its place, but face-to-face training is a must-have in an industry like this,” said Flockhart.

Grucy of PPG said that, when it comes to painting training, there’s no question that in-person sessions are the preferred choice. 

“Online training provides technical elements,”  said Grucy. “For practical paint training, you need to be in-person.”

“There is no doubt we’ve learned powerful lessons about the role technology can play in education, exciting them and helping them reach their full potential,” Dimovski chimed in. “There are, however, elements of the final stretch, when you’re finishing training, where online platforms become difficult.”

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