News

On 17 March, ETSA secretariat was happy to attend the "Knowledge Network Open Day" hosted by the Textile Services Association (TSA) in the United Kingdom. There were six webinars throughout the day with topics ranging from health & safety to Apprenticeship.

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Given ETSA's work with the "Educate!" attending the day's showstopper webinar proved valuable as certainly there was a lot to learn, especially as it relates to digital education and training in textile services and textile care. While the Knowledge Network Open Day dealt primarily with apprenticeships, there is nonetheless a great deal of overlap where we can share best practices.

The meeting began by discussing the challenges presented by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic including how it has affected employee recruitment and the necessity for improving digital and distanced learning, particularly as it relates to employee education and the upskilling of employees. This presents a unique challenge as there are many different learning roles and skills to be learned all along the textile value chain. It is vital that employees understand the functions of machines even in the absence of automation. Obviously, in an industry as dynamic and multi-faceted as the textile industry, flexibility and dynamism among employees is also vital.

As it relates to digital learning, something key that was discussed was "gamification." This mode of learning emphasizes active interaction as opposed to a more passive modus viewership. Through gamification, training becomes more engaging, mirroring a video game. This was an interesting as improving interactions by providing employees with something energetic could certainly prove valuable in digital education.

Practical skills assessments and knowledge tests were also discussed, as well as ways to establish a productive communication between the employer and workers using digital e-learning software. Building bridges between employers and employees will also ensure a high-quality e-learning product, something ETSA has also emphasized in the project Educate! The ETSA secretariat would like to thank TSA for hosting such an insightful event, the information learned here are sure to benefit Educate! As well as other ETSA projects.

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