A foreman is a man or woman who manages a group of workers who is typically engaged in either factory work or some form of skilled or unskilled labor. The type of foreman training that he or she will undergo depends largely on the industry in which he or she works. In some industries and jurisdictions, a foreman may be required to complete government-mandated courses on safety or regulatory issues. Many foremen may be trained entirely on the job, typically by working with more experienced foremen and supervisory staff. In some cases, foremen may seek out additional educational opportunities to develop their leadership skills and industry knowledge.
The term foreman may be used in a variety of industries, each with its own complexities and level of risk. For example, landscapers may operate under the direction of a foreman, as may factory assembly-line workers or construction crews. Typically, the jurisdiction in which the foreman works has its own regulations governing the operations of certain industries. These regulations often address health and safety issues, which may mandate foreman training so that these managers are aware of appropriate standards. In the United States, both federal and state laws may mandate certain types of foreman training, particularly if the foreman must also hold a trade or professional license in order to do his or her job.
Individual employers will also develop their own foreman training programs. These programs can vary from being extremely informal to quite comprehensive, depending on the employer as well as the aspiring foreman's new responsibilities. In some cases, a person may be promoted to foreman after working for the employer for several months or years and may even serve as an assistant to the foreman for a period of time. Some employers may also provide classroom training to new foremen or may expect the foreman to attend training at the headquarters of the parent company.
Some foremen may decide that they would benefit from additional education in either their own industry or trade or in management skills. Depending on the industry, the foreman may be able to find specialized training classes available through proprietary educators or even industry vendors. In other cases, the foreman may need to take courses that are not specifically designed for foreman or even for people in his industry, but that may provide good-quality training in leadership, management, or budgeting.