eLearning for the Chemical industry‎ with eFront

There sure is a lot of chemistry between us.

And I mean it not in the “we are attracted to each other” sense, but in a much more literal sense: we live in a world that is densely populated with the products of the chemical industry.

From consumer goods ranging to personal care products, soaps, cosmetics, and food supplements, to raw manufacturing materials such as plastics and paints. Even the laptop that you’re using to read this post is 50% physics and 80% chemistry.

And yet, despite all the huge demand and all the scientific breakthroughs related to chemistry, there is a substantial lack of skilled chemists and technicians in the industry.

In fact the problem is so big, that a recent study on the UK chemicals sector [1] shows evidence that apprentice training is gaining ground, due to the inability of the labor market to supply a sufficient number of experienced chemical technicians.

eLearning can be the catalyst (pun intended) that will enable the mass scale, cost effective, and flexible solution to this training demand.

Employee orientation

Employee orientation is the task of introducing your hires to their new working environment and giving them the information they need to start being productive, including your company’s operating procedures, policies and guidelines.

If your business frequently hires new people e.g. to cover increased seasonal demands or to ramp-up production to handle a big customer contract, then automating employee orientation is one of the best investments you can make, and eLearning management software like eFront is your best option for achieving this.

With eFront your orientation material can be organized in accessible units (courses and lessons) that can include video, audio, images, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations etc., and even integrate material from third parties (YouTube, Wikipedia, RSS, etc).

And because eFront is a full blown LMS as opposed to a static content management system, you can also include tests and quizzes to help you access your hires’ progress and understanding of your on-boarding material.

eFront’s attendance and progress logs can even be used as proof that you have informed your employees about labor safety, environmental protection laws, sexual harassment issues, etc. in case of legal dispute (consult with your legal team before relying on this, though, as it might not apply to your jurisdiction).


Chemical industry technicians can be assigned a variety of tasks, ranging from process operation, mechanical testing and maintenance, electrical maintenance, control and instrumentation.

That, combined with the pace of technological progress, where manufacturing infrastructure and materials can change every few years, means that you will frequently need to retrain your employees in order to keep their skills up to date.

eLearning makes this training and retraining easy and cost effective, while enabling your employees to complete their training at their own pace — something which minimizes operation disruptions and reduces employee overtime.

And unlike traditional classroom-based learning, where you only have some periodic tests and final exam results to go by, eFront’s comprehensive reporting system gives you quantifiable information and statistics on your employees’ attendance, progress and understanding of the training material in real time.

An eLearning-based solution also gives you additional flexibility in updating and expanding your training material, e.g. to introduce new chemical processing machinery or new raw materials, to teach your employees the production process for a new product and inform them of the associated safety guidelines.

eFront, for example, allows you to update all your courses without costly printouts (and dead trees), re-use and expand content as you see fit, and share courses between different departments and branches.

And with eFront’s integration to the OpenSesame eLearning content marketplace, you can buy ready-made professional courses in thousands of topics, including environmental and green energy issues.

Knowledge retention

Alchemy, the middle-ages predecessor to modern chemistry, had tried (and failed) to create the so-called “philosopher’s stone” — a mythical substance capable of turning base metals to gold.

eFront won’t do that yet, but it is capable of turning operational intelligence into long-term informational gold.

In all businesses there are a few employees whose experience is crucial for the company’s day to day operation, or who are the only ones that know how to handle some rare emergency situation.

If your supervising technician takes the day off or quits to start an organic farm, can the rest of your employees manage the plant by themselves? Can they handle any sudden disruption or malfunction that might occur during the manufacturing process?

eFront can help you store all of your organization’s valuable operational knowledge in a formalized and easily accessible way, and help you keep it safe from changes in your personnel and ready to be accessed and consulted at any time.

By putting this information in an LMS, as opposed to some content management system, you ensure that it’s not just a set of static documents sitting on your intranet servers, but rather live content that you can use to educate the rest of your staff and train new hires with, leveraging all of your LMS’ learning related functionality, from tests and quizzes to gamification and certification features, and everything in between.

Take eFront for a test drive today, and see for yourself how eLearning can be the catalyst that helps you boost your employees’ skills and increase the output of your business.

[1] http://www.gatsby.org.uk/uploads/education/reports/pdf/chemical-industry-technicians-report.pdf

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