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"Collaboration is key, at ICOED learners are inputted directly into training design"

Interview to Ronan Emmett, member of Boston Scientific and partner of the FIT4FoF.

Ronan Emmett is HR, Learning & Talent Management Leader at Boston Scientific and also member of the FIT4FoF. He answered some questions about the project and the development of the Irish pilot.

What is the reason to participate in the FIT4FoF project?

The FIT4FoF project aims to address workers’ training needs, analysing technology trends across key industrial areas such as robotics, mechatronics/machine automation. This is a key part of our expansion strategy and when we look to the workplace of the future we are interested to define new job profiles, which will inform education and training requirements of our workplace of the future.

What do you think is the most interesting aspect of the FIT4FoF?

The FIT4FoF Consortium was formed as a multisector and multi-area consortium. I is partners from the education (vocational education and university), advanced manufacturing, production technology and heavy machinery, automotive sector, aerospace industries and defence sector, medical and home appliance sector. The FIT4FoF project consortium brings together a diverse mix of large industry, industry clusters, research, and educational organisations from vocational training schools to university level third level institutions. It has been very interesting to see how other organisations have managed this changing landscape. I have enjoyed learning from them and the different pilots.

How does the project help an institution like Boston Scientific?

Ireland will focus upon the application of the FIT4FoF training approaches to extend our existing GROW programme for workplace training that is being run by BSCI at its Cork site, enabled by MTU and other educators. The GROW Program is a critical training program used to develop operators to take the next step and GROW their career to the next level. As we introduce our automation strategy it means we need to develop new skills and competencies. The FIT4FoF project helps us to enable that strategy. 

How has the planning process for the educational pilots been?

We used the ICOED methodology that was developed as part of the FIT4FOF project. It is an excellent tool that uses best practice in training design. It forces learning professionals to look at each element in detail in a drilldown approach. It examines what sometimes can be taken as ‘for granted’. Collaboration is key. Learners inputted directly into training design. It was very intuitive to use and certainly a best practice tool to be used in any training design process. 

How has the COVID affected a medical company like BSC? How have you dealt with it so far?

COVID has placed challenges on how we deliver training. Moving from classroom to all virtual learning has been a journey. We are still learning and refining our approach.

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