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What is Training Within Industry?

What is Training Within Industry?

While some in management consider this an archaic program, Training Within Industry (TWI) still has relevance in today’s workplace.  Before we learn how TWI can work today, let’s take a brief look at its history and applications in the past.

Brief Overview of TWI’s History

Training Within Industry had its start about 80 years ago, during World War II. In that time, many trained workers (mostly men) were sent off to war, leaving the US manufacturing sector without experienced employees to run factories. Women, mostly housewives, were taking over these jobs; most of them had no work or factory experience. As a result, there was a need to improve workers’ training, knowledge of the job, and more.

The US government came up with a program called TWI, which originally served as a development program that was used to help managers and supervisors (or anyone directing others’ work) learn to instruct and improve the methods of workers in their jobs.

Over time, the use of Training Within Industry spread around the world; however, over the last decades, TWI has fallen out of use. Many in management fail to see the benefits TWI can contribute into today’s labour market.

What is TWI?

Training Within Industry is a program designed to help those in management, who supervise others, to learn how to teach workers their jobs and how to improve work methods. This method teaches managers and supervisors how to:

  • Job training: quickly train workers to do their jobs
  • Job methods: teach managers/supervisors how to improve job methods
  • Job relations: teach managers/supervisors how to handle and prevent people problems, while improving relations with workers

The program has many benefits including:

  • Reduced safety issues/accidents
  • Decreased training time for all workers, including temporary workers
  • Reduced labour hours
  • Reduced the number of workplace grievances
  • Transferred knowledge from skilled workers to those who were new and unskilled
  • And more

How is Training Within Industry Relevant Today?

TWI is known in the realms of management; however, it is seen as old-fashioned and out-of-step with today’s modern working environment. Even so, Training Within Industry is still relevant in today’s workplace.

For instance, consider the tight labour market. It’s difficult to find talented candidates due to the large numbers of opportunities job seekers enjoy. Another issue is ageing workers; Baby Boomers are getting ready to retire, taking their skills, knowledge and experience with them.

Benefits of TWI

Training Within Industry can help businesses with the very issues they’re currently facing. While originally developed for the manufacturing industry, TWI can be applied to businesses of all types and sizes. The benefits of TWI include:

  • The ability to quickly and efficiently train inexperienced workers
  • Build and sustain positive relations among employees
  • Increase productivity with standardized work methods
  • Increase safety
  • Provides the transfer of knowledge from skilled employees to those who are new

TWI’s a method that can be applied across industries and even combined with newer methodologies. Training Within Industry is a valuable way of keeping any business more productive and profitable in today’s tight labour market.


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