Aramco’s in-house interactive learning program wins more awards

Vocational Academic Skills Training Program (VAST) awarded Best L&D Technology Implementation and recognized for Best Innovative L&D Initiative in Future Workplace Awards.

Aramco’s in-house interactive learning program wins more awards

Aramco’s Vocational Academic Skills Training (VAST) Program continues to win accolades from prestigious international organizations, recently garnering two prizes from the Future Workplace Awards, which recognizes organizations that contribute to the improvement of the human resources profession in the Middle East.

Launched in 2018, VAST is a performance-based program developed by Training and Development (T&D) and uses custom content developed in-house that is delivered digitally to provide foundational academic, job-related, and soft skills training to the company’s industrial workforce.

VAST has won 10 awards from respected Human Resources and Learning and Development (L&D) organizations, including the two from the Future Workplace Awards. VAST won the Best L&D Technology Implementation award and was recognized with a mark of excellence in the Best Innovative L&D Initiative category.

The awards recognize the results VAST has obtained, including reduced attrition and absenteeism rates; increased satisfaction of stakeholders; increased satisfaction in apprentices’ English, clerical, and soft skills by supervisors; a 70% reduced reliance on commercially developed training content; a drastically reduced revision time for VAST courses; and cost savings of about $400,000 per year.

These wins reinforce that VAST … better prepares program graduates to hit the ground running.
— Susan Hamade van der Merwe

Interactive and engaging

Susan Hamade van der Merwe, an analyst in the Program Development and Evaluation Division of T&D, said the in-house program is an excellent example of educational best practice.

“These wins reinforce that VAST successfully attracts higher caliber candidates to the program, reduces program attrition and absenteeism, and better prepares program graduates to hit the ground running,” she said.

“This collection of performance-based programs is designed to be culturally appropriate, contextually relevant, highly interactive and engaging, and aligned with business line needs.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that having strong digital delivery systems for learning content is important to learning and development organizations, van der Merwe added.

T&D continues to refine VAST and is currently exploring options to make the program platform neutral, so that it will work with devices regardless of what operating system they use. The interactive content is currently only available on iPads.

VAST interactive training outcomes include:
- Reduced attrition and absenteeism rates
Increased satisfaction of stakeholders
70% reduction in commercial content use
Drastically reduced revision time
- $400,000 cost savings each year.

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