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Simulation of the effects of different skill learning pathways in heterogeneous construction crews

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  • The problem of low-skilled workers is an obstacle in the development of the Chinese construction industry. Although many efforts have been focused on occupational training, there were several obstacles in implementing training sessions to labours. Other learning pathways were identified and introduced, but not many efforts could be found in the comparison of different learning pathways. This research simulated different skill learning methods in heterogeneous construction crews. With quantitative simulation, it explored general rules of skill learning and learning limits; discovered different learning patterns in heterogeneous construction workers; compared the effects of different learning methods; and identified the most beneficial learning pathways for workers with different learning patterns. A pre-modelling survey was conducted to determine the distributions of parameters. A network model was built to describe group interaction. Nodes in the network represented individual workers learning from repetitive work and influenced by training sessions and interpersonal communication. Results show that (a) besides training sessions, automatic on-the-job training and interactive learning from co-workers are also sources for working knowledge; (b) workers can be categorized into 5 groups according to their knowledge accumulation patterns; (c) formal training sessions and informal interactive social learning have different impact on workers with different accumulation patterns. The main contribution of this research is that it is among the firsts to discuss and simulate the multi-sourced learning process as supplements to skill trainings, identify different learning patterns corresponding to different learning groups, and make comparisons to give guidance on targeted learning strategies.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 90B15; Secondary: 90C39.


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