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Technician Training Cballenge

The way managers attempt to help their people acquire knowledge and skills has absolutely nothing to do with the way people actually learn ...we learn by doing, failing and practicing.

Roger Schank,Author.

Author: V. Narayan

Location: 2.2.1 Liquefied Natural Gas Plant

Background

The plant was located in a heavily forested area in a relatively undeveloped part of the world. There were very few industries. Agriculture, fishing, and timber logging were the main sources of livelihood. The most advanced machinery items in the local area were chain-saws and bulldozers. Maintenance meant replacing complete engines or other large sub-assemblies. There were no repair workshops other than those for automobiles. Perhaps not an ideal location for a large LNG plant with all its complexities, but that was the way the cookie crumbled.

Workers had been recruited locally. Most of them were young men in their 20s, with middle-school or high-school education and no exposure to technical training or process equipment. We had to train them to work in a high-hazard industry with sophisticated equipment and materials with complex metallurgy. We needed skilled mechanics, machinists, welders, electricians, instrument technicians, insulators, riggers, and crane-operators, and this had to be done in three years. English was a foreign language and some of them struggled to cope. We had to start at the very beginning to improve literacy and numeracy standards before tackling the technical elements. On the plus side, the workers were enthusiastic, and very keen to learn.

 
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