Solved: Solution for shortages of skilled staff

Solved: Solution for shortages of skilled staff

We hear it in the media and see it around us; there is a shortage of skilled personnel. This is not only the case in IT and education, but also in the production and manufacturing industries, as well as in the healthcare sector. If we can believe the reports by Unesco, Deloitte and CBS, then this is just the beginning of the tsunami of rising shortages of skilled personnel that await us in the coming decade

Change is the only constant

Whereas in the past personnel worked for a superior for twenty years or more to usually do the same work, we are now ending up in an age of continuous learning and development. This is a time in which employees have to acquire new 21st century skills in a rapidly changing world, which results in an increasing workload.

Fortunately, we currently live in the age of visual communication. Long texts or monotonous recitals prove to be ineffective if we assess them on the retention of information. The way we study and process information is changing. Instead of studying with bulky books or inaccessible mountains of (digital) data, we as a society are increasingly set to communicate and process information in a visual and interactive manner.

Educational courses, students and industry professionals have a need for:

  • visual and interactive educational resources
  • personalized training sessions
  • the use of new means of technology to increase learning efficiency

Companies and government require:

  • trained employees with the right knowledge and skills (skills)
  • expanding of knowledge and skills through further training (upskilling)
  • the relocation of employees through retraining (reskilling)
Skilled for Life

As usual, the solution to a problem consists of several sub-solutions. The “Skilled for Life” method is an important sub-solution. This method consists of the trinity of creativity, technology and business in which people are central.

Before we take a closer look at the trinity, we need to consider our starting and end points; humans. There are so many people with many perspectives. This means offering personalized content in a controlled manner through interactive (work) instructions. An effective instruction focuses on knowledge, skills and attitude carried out in compelling learning experiences and based on the science of how people learn and how the brain works.

Various didactic principles have been brought together in the Skilled for Life method, such as ‘Five moments of learning need’, ‘Learning pyramid’, ‘Forget curve’, ‘Mindpalace’ and ‘Explicit direct instruction’. By using the Skilled for Life method we are able to continuously investigate and provide feedback on the effectiveness of the interactive instructions.


We run into some sort of instruction on a daily basis. As consumers, we all know the frustration when we want to install a new TV or assemble a piece of furniture. In the professional environment we come across instructions, for example as part of procedures, much more often and more intensively. This ranges from operating machines and equipment to dealing with customers and visitors. Unfortunately, instructions often have a form that does not appeal to users. Or even worse when instructions are downright annoying to use, causing the instructions to be ignored or not executed properly. This leads to error on error, ineffectiveness, increased work pressure and even to unsafe situations.

Creativity allows us to put an end to this. Looking from different perspectives, we ask ourselves the question: “Is the status quo still correct?”. Creativity has a lot to do with the “why” question. Why are the current preconditions there and are they still true? Why are new instructions needed and for whom are they needed? A common term in the creative industry is “kill your darlings”. This does not only apply to the creative process for coming up with potential solutions, but also to deviate from the beaten or worn paths.


Technology is supportive to the user and currently has an indispensable facilitating role. In addition to content such as text, photo and video, the Skilled for Life learning platform also consists of an LMS. An LMS stands for Learning Management System and this makes personalized learning possible which is tailored to the individual. But technology goes further, things like Virtual and Augmented Reality are examples of the technologies we use in all branches and companies or institutions.

Developments are processing at a fast pace, so fast that they may sound unbelievable. However, technology is now so advanced that in the very near future classes will be taught by virtual teachers. Imagine: the content of the best teacher available brought in an inspiring way. And … the “virtual teacher” also speaks every language fluently, moves lifelike, and is almost indistinguishable from a real person.


Increasing learning efficiency is one of the most important KPIs from a business point of view. The learning output can be explained in 5 parts:

  1. Response: What did employees think of the course material and method?
  2. Learning effect: Measuring knowledge, skills, and attitude
  3. Behavior: Has the behavior seen any changes?
  4. Result: Is there measurable effect on business objectives?
  5. ROI: Is there a positive business case?

We often see examples of increasing learning efficiency applied to one or more of the formulas below:

  • Blended formula
    1. Pre: Prior to the physical lesson, the quality of the student is increased through a digital learning platform by enriching his/her knowledge through short and relevant teaching material.
    2. During the physical lesson we will zoom in on specific things that are best suited for face-2-face training
    3. Post: Shortly after the physical lesson, the knowledge gained is tested and secured via the digital learning platform.
  • Continuous formula
    The wish is to keep knowledge at a predetermined level. By frequent training and testing, the desired level and knowledge is. This is often done in a digital learning platform.
  • Just-in-Time formula
    By means of learning snacks: as short and to-the-point as possible, tailored to personal needs and immediately available (in context) in an interactive and visual way.

Effective interactive instructions start with a well-designed strategy. This sounds complicated, but fortunately really isn’t. The well-known economist Michael Porter wrote a great article for Harvard Business Review why every organization needs an Augmented Reality strategy.

Measurable results count. Effectiveness as these Forbes figures show:

First-time right diagnosis

Success ratio*

Required service trips


Costs of labor



* = – Enterprise AR use cases

Advantages of interactive instructions

What does it mean to optimize current instructions? Perhaps more than you would initially think.

+ Improved business processes + First-time-right installation
+ Improved safety and reduced risk + Just-in-Time learning & mentoring
+ Improved customer satisfaction + Sales team & sales campaign improvement
+ Improved opportunities for collaboration + Remote assistance and inspection
What interactive instructions can you think of?
  • Safety instructions and training
  • Work instructions and work preparation
  • Product installation instructions and guidance
  • Maintenance instructions and training
  • Educational learning programs
  • Behavior training
  • … and much more!

Creating effective instructions is a job in itself. U.NXT’s partner SintLucas developed a special program for this together with professional adult professionals from the digital industry. The latest methods and technologies are used and offered to the business community. You can find more information about these instructions here.

U.NXT believes that AR and VR will play a tremendous role in the future and has incorporated this development into the curriculum to prepare our students for the world of tomorrow.

Written by Bas Roozen