Dear mister Uğurlu, the skills shortage in the textile care business has been a problem for years now. Why is it difficult for the potential new generation to find access to these jobs?
When we talk about skills shortage in the industry, we are talking mainly about textile cleaning and service driver apprenticeships. I think one of the main reasons why these jobs are considered unattractive is that they are not associated with a social identity. Most young people having to make a decision about their future jobs cannot imagine being a textile cleaner to be cool. In the case of jobs in retail it is easier to awaken their interest, because they have a vague idea about the job's everyday work-life and tasks as well as its requirements. Our industry is different. In addition, I believe that the term "textile cleaning" is very misleading. We should rather use the term "textile care" as they do in Switzerland. The job is about a lot more than just removing stains, as has become evident in the current Covid-19 pandemic. There is a lot of textile disinfecting going on. Another challenge is to increase the number of companies offering apprenticeships in order to make sure that we return to having vocational schools in all German states and manage to keep them open.
Together with other European textile care associations and the Institut Heurekanet you are developing a digital learning platform for the industry. How exactly does a career with "Educate!" work?
Our digital learning platform "Educate!" in its current form is meant mainly for low-skilled workers, particularly in big textile cleaning businesses, but naturally also at the small textile cleaner's next door. We are targeting single parents in particular. We want to offer them an incentive and an opportunity to make progress and acquire new knowledge and skills while taking care of their children. Presently, dual education can only be complemented on a digital basis. New technologies, however, like virtual or augmented reality also offer new opportunities for vocational training in general, but that is still a long way off.
How can an E-learning offer change the everyday work-life of people in times of corona and working from home?
Empiric research on e-learning shows that digital learning should be accompanied by a teacher like in real schools, otherwise there will be no sustainable learning process and motivation can be so low that a lot of students drop out. We developed our project for the use within a company and aims at making "blended learning" possible. This means that digital learning takes place in combination with activity based or social learning situations at the workplace. Let us have a look at a possible example case of a small workshop: in the best-case scenario, the employee is standing next to her ironing machine, smartphone in hand, using a dedicated app and watching an instructional video. She will then playfully answer quiz questions and get an immediate feedback from the system. If all goes well, she should then be able to start ironing correctly. This way, also career changers and people with limited work experience can learn how to iron, for example, a blouse in the best possible way. Applied to big industrial operations, a special kind of quiz on the mangling of hospital linen is conceivable.
#Texcare International #Frankfurt am Main #Germany #Textiles #Textile industry #Digitalisation #Innovation #New Work #New Learning #E-learning #Apprenticeship #Deutscher Textilreinigungsverband #DTV
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