Designing a mobile application that is well used and liked is no easy feat, just ask SkillPlan, a nationally recognized non-profit organization in workforce development programming.
With over 30 years of experience, SkillPlan provides workforce development services and resources to the construction industry. The organization pinpoints foundational skills problems, addresses learning challenges and delivers industry-specific educational programs to help workers succeed. The organization serves 14 international unions and their affiliated training centres and contractors, along with numerous private and public technical training institutions.
Among its core objectives is to provide mentorship programming that enables clients to establish and apply industry best practice in knowledge and skills transfer. To achieve this objective SkillPlan created Mentorship Matters, an on-the-job mentoring program between journeypersons and apprentices. This industry-aligned and endorsed program has been extremely effective at helping apprentices learn the skills they need to be successful on the job. To support the program outcomes, SkillPlan worked with 14-Oranges to develop a customized and fully integrated mobile application to reinforce core competencies in both mentorship and practical skills.
The first version of the mentorship application was designed to address mentorship skills but had limited integration of apprentice practical skills. Initially designed by another app developer, SkillPlan was in a position to find an experienced and collaborative app developer to bring both expertise and a strong team approach to advance the existing mentorship app.
Our team got to work to address the pressing needs of the current app and re-released it to the public within months. But didn’t stop there. Working in collaboration with the SkillPlan team we lead the development of a new app structure to better address the needs of their clients providing both guidance and expertise in optimal user experience and offered flexibility to customize elements of the newly designed app.
Over the course of a few months, 14 Oranges worked together with the team at SkillPlan to better understand their goals and objectives and guided them towards a solution that would result in a better uptake while remaining on budget. As part of that exercise,, we decided to add a virtual logbook to the mobile platform to help apprentices track their skills and hours. Since its launch, it has helped apprentices stay organized as they travel between worksites, eliminated the possibility of losing or damaging their logbook, and made it easier for mentors to monitor and provide feedback on their apprentices’ skills development. Furthermore, Apprentices can print out their logbook which captures both practical skill, hours and mentors sign-off on practical skills.
By adding the logbook to the app we were able to make it a valuable tool that solved a real-world problem and it is now used every single day by thousands of apprentices and mentors across Canada.
What to learn more about SkillPlan and its Mentorship Matters program? Go to their website or visit Google Play or the App store to download the app. If you would like to explore how 14 Oranges can help your company or organization improve its mobile app please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Sylvain Marcotte is CEO and President of 14 Oranges