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Aluminium Industry Trend & Analysis, Technology Review, Event Rundown and Much More …

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5 initiatives to train the shopfloor employees in the aluminium industry

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Aluminium industry employs more than a million and half workforce across the world, considering both upstream and downstream across the globe, along with the directly related and peripheral industries . More than 60% of this huge workforce is blue collar or people working outside the office. They are the people working in the bauxite mines, alumina refineries, potline in the smelting plants, heat treatment plants or cast houses – people related to production or maintenance and material handling and the like. They operate the entire production of global aluminium, thus forming a major portion of the value chain.

Training this workforce is a key growth driver not for one or two companies but for the entire aluminium value chain. This is of great strategic importance, too. Well trained employees can be critical to success for major companies and the main recipe for staying ahead of the competition. However, training the workforce is not easy. The people on the shopfloor are busy and they cannot spend a significant time in training. They also need to get the training at their convenience and the mode of instruction in many cases should be in their own native term.

Types of shopfloor training

Shopfloor or work training in the aluminium industry may be divided into 3 major categories. Understanding these categories is important as that also determines the best mechanism to impart such training. These three types are:

1. Induction and corporate training

These are part of induction training and class room based training, focused on the company, its vision and core values, and overview of the work of the team of people taking the training. This can also be a part of periodic refreshment training on the company’s code of conduct or ethical guidelines, communications, etc.

2. Job related training

These trainings are usually related to the core work areas of the shopfloor employees. For example, for the maintenance engineers, the training on equipment monitoring will be very relevant and pertinent. For a quality inspection person, when and how to check the process parameters will be very important training. All these trainings are not necessarily niche or specific to a job. For example, the safety training, fire drills, etc. are applicable to all the employees.

3. Continuous training or information processing

This is a very important training area. The employees on the work floor or shopfloor are the people who at times give excellent solutions to critical problem. Hence it is imperative that they are informed about the global dynamics, market details, pricing, etc. of the aluminium industry. The major hurdle in this continuous learning is language barrier. The two major countries from aluminium production perspective are China and India. Both the countries have a requirement of consuming the information in the local language. Middle East and African countries are also no exception.

5 key initiatives to train the aluminium industry workers

To meet these learning aspirations, the global aluminium industry is turning towards the following 5 major initiatives.

1. Focusing on usage of Virtual Reality driven trainings

Companies are increasingly turning towards Virtual Reality related training for generic ones like company introduction video, safety training, etc. A few companies are also using VR-AR (Virtual Reality – Augmented Reality) to enhance the capability of the R&D departments.

In July 2023, Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters, partnered with Atyaf eSolutions Co. W.L.L. to implement Virtual Reality (VR) technology to train employees for ‘Potline Emergencies’. The VR training will provide a safe and realistic platform to learn about potlines, operation procedures, as well as safety measures to be taken in emergency cases such as tap out, open circuit, prolonged power outage, failure of alumina supply & failure of compressed air supply.

2. Platforms with native capability on including multiple languages

Recognising the multi-lingual requirement, the global platforms for information dissemination in the aluminium world are also thinking local. For example, AL Circle, one of the highest visited Aluminium information platforms in the world has a multi-lingual feature, which may be accessed from any part of the world.

3. Training on as and when needed basis

The large aluminium corporates are creating their own corporate training hubs or portals where employees can visit and create their own learning path.

4. AI based content generation and staying relevant

Generative AI models like ChatGPT are getting increasingly used to ensure that the training contents are up to date. This ensures that the training materials are most relevant and useful to the work environment and the employees also stay relevant in the industry.

5. Integrating training to ROI

Increasing an accountability is getting defined to the training in the Aluminium industry. The big Aluminium companies are all measuring the outcome of the training programs and taking the continuation decision based on the same. This is also increasing the engagement of the trainer and trainee as well.


Training of more than six hundred thousand shopfloor or works employees is a mammoth task, but the Aluminium industry is increasing realizing that the same is critical to their success. Technology, multi-lingual platforms and continuous evaluation and monitoring will surely improve the performance of the training programs in the near future. Team AL Circle keeps monitoring such programs and keeps its readers updated about the interesting training initiatives. To know more about the digital solutions that are reshaping the global aluminium industry, click here.

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