Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 1 April 1972


Operation Vulcan is a survey of the state of the art in training for manual, craft or physical skills. This is the traditional area of training expertise: companies and countries usually take this aspect of training to a fairly advanced stage before they consider extending their in‐company training activities into other fields such as management training and clerical training. Even today in Britain, this is the only form of training in which some companies engage. When small companies assemble together in group training schemes it is usually for the purpose of pooling their efforts in craft training. Historically craft training precedes technological and technician training by several decades. Here we have, then, the traditional training area. But it is important from another point of view: it is also the biggest training area in the sense that more people are trained in manual and physical skills than in other aspects. These facts make it all the more remarkable that the training revolution in physical skills has yet to happen. We have seen a revolution taking place in management training and, to a less extent, in commercial and clerical training, but in the sphere of physical skills things tend to jog along just as they ever did. We have, it is true, seen ‘Sitting Next to Nellie’ giving way to off‐the‐job training workshops; we have the module system which enables the individual to build up his own unique personal repertoire of skills designed to meet his own needs. We have skills analysis, but this is only vaguely‐comprehended and only partially‐digested. In no way, at present, is skills analysis seen as one of the indispensable fundamentals on which skill training should be built. A great deal of existing training in this field relies on getting yourself a good syllabus and then using this as the basis for instructing by telling and demonstrating. It is almost as though the sheer ponderous dead‐weight of tradition linked with the huge scale of the problem has absorbed whatever electric shocks could be administered by the technical innovators and the reformers. And yet, all the components of a comprehensive, rational and analytical system of skill training exist at this moment. Operation Vulcan is an attempt to collect the scattered and random elements and assemble them in some co‐ordinated form.


(1972), "OPERATION VULCAN 2", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 168-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb003208

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Copyright © 1972, MCB UP Limited

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