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Industry and training sector create e-learning welding resource

24 February, 2009

A DVD demonstrating real life welding principles to apprentices is now available free online to industry.

The project, funded by the national training system’s e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework, involved the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association, Stoddart Manufacturing and SkillsTech Australia.

The DVD was produced in Stoddart’s Brisbane workshop. SkillsTech Australia, the leading TAFE institute for trade and technician training, ensured the DVD fit the criteria for competency-based training.

The Gas Tungsten Arc Welding E-Learning Demonstration was produced to address the skills shortages of stainless steel fabricators and welders.

For the first time, a nationally-recognised e-learning module is available to teach the foundations of Gas Tungsten Arc Welding online, without the need to attend a theoretical class.

The program was assessed by a pilot group of stainless steel fabricators with extensive knowledge and experience of the process of Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, many of whom were training managers in fabrication workshops.

Stoddart Manufacturing managing director Bill Stoddart said traditionally, the basic principles of welding were shown by the trainer to the apprentice one-on-one.

“This e-learning initiative means apprentices are already across the basics before they come to a real demonstration so it saves time and improves skills levels,” he said.

"The advantage of the DVD is the ability to view the welding arc. The apprentices’ first experience of what is happening in the weld pool is through looking and discussion in front of a computer. This improves the confidence and success of the first live welding lesson.

“The apprentice is doing repetitive practice in a much shorter time frame." Stoddart trainer Ross Wilson, said the DVD freed up approximately an hour of his time per apprentice in a workshop with approximately 60 apprentices.

“It means when they come to me for the practical, they’ve already gained the theory. It gives them an instant insight into welding. The nervous ones are not so nervous after seeing the DVD. We train a better class of welder.”

SkillsTech Australia assistant director Gordon Elledge said the e-learning project was an example of the institute’s commitment to flexible learning and relevant industry training.

The DVD covers:
- Safety
- Equipment and set up
- Preparing to weld
- Striking the arc and welding
- Butt welding

To access the industry e-learning demonstration, go to: www.industry.flexiblelearning.net.au
Click on ‘Industry e-learning demonstrations’ then select ‘Manufacturing’ , then Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA) and click on ‘Enter the demonstration here’.

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