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During Lockdown like many people I took the opportunity to have a clear out of my home office and I came across an old book entitled

‘Tips for trainer’s’.

It included instructions on how to prepare and share slides for Overhead Projectors-remember them? It got me to thinking of some of the changes I’ve observed during my time as a trainer.

Over-Head Projectors -As previously mentioned every training room used to have an OHP which the trainer laid slides on one by one and they would be projected onto a screen positioned at the front of the room. They were antiquated of course however a skilful trainer could use them to slowly reveal the material and using special OHP pens write on a blank slide instead of using flipchart paper.

Fax Machines –lying forgotten somewhere probably hidden under a pile of paper is the office fax machine. What was the role of fax machines in training circles you may well ask? Well participants often sent faxes to ask questions in advance, confirm attendance and on one occasion had to have my training materials faxed to me on the Isle of Man as a result of BA temporarily losing my luggage.

Chalkboards-Perhaps more of a relic of the school room but chalkboards were not unknown in some of the training rooms I used in the very early days of my career.

Training programmes conducted solely in the training room –it wasn’t uncommon for an organisation to a conduct induction training programme solely within the training room. New entrants to a company would attend a series of seminars often weeks long to cover every aspect of working for that organisation including the History, vision, health and Safety and everything the role demanded. Unthinkable now when subjects like health and safety would be conducted online.

So, when it comes to training and development in my career I have experienced change after change and if there has been one positive thing to come out of the pandemic and its subsequent lockdown -it is the recognition that so much more training can successfully go online.

As a result of using virtual Training platforms during the lockdown we realise we can make training and development more easily accessible. Of course, this has proved vital during lockdown but looking forward to more ‘normal’ times I can see this can be especially useful for people who have accessibility issues getting to and from training rooms. Likewise its flexibility is particularly welcome for part-time and key hours staff who sometimes have caring responsibilities making it difficult to attend training outside their normal hours. Sessions can even be recorded so staff in a different time zone can still have the opportunity to experience these sessions.

I see the future for training and development further accentuating the move from traditional face to face training towards an interactive and collaborative virtual world.