The importance of staff training is unarguable because professional development of the individuals improves the company’s performance and productivity. However, while employee development is a key investment, it does require funding and resources. One of the reasons for the current high levels of unemployment amongst 16 – 24 year olds is that companies, in their attempt to trim their budgets, prefer to employ experienced workers instead of training promising beginners.
Things have changed dramatically since 2008 when the private and public sector organisations in the UK spent £37 billion training their staff, according to the Learning and Skills Council’s national employer skills survey.
“There is a good argument that a recession provides an opportunity to re-skill and up-skill the workforce, to be ready to take advantage of future improvement in market conditions, but in reality cost pressures often mean training budgets are cut” says Peter Phillips, chairman of Unicorn Training. “However, the impact of reduced training budgets has actually had a positive impact on demand for e-learning in this recession, largely due to its ability to deliver training at lower cost.”
What about e-learning?
Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, recommends that employers should look to online training and e-learning resources. Spellman believes that e-learning can benefit three areas: knowledge, skills and networking.
“With knowledge, it can stimulate areas not covered in an everyday job, giving individuals a wider knowledge base,” she says.
Spellman believes that using e-tools has never been more important. “It’s very important, in the form of social networks, discussion groups, online dialog boxes on websites, getting involved in networks across the world.”
E-learning is more than ever an alternative to the old fashion training. Thanks to the internet and new web-technologies, any company can easily organize training sessions for their employees in-country and abroad. Even the language barrier can be removed with subtitles, dubbing and phone interpretations. E-learning can also be used to accelerate and propel other traditional forms of employee training in a blended learning way.
“Employers are happy to supplement e-learning solutions with other, more traditional, forms”, says Dr John McGurk, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development adviser on learning and talent.
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The main concern about e-training is the quality of learning. “The real measure is the ability to apply the learning in the workplace”, says Peter Phillips, chairman of Unicorn Training.“By designing e-learning experiences to focus on practical application, through scenarios and case studies, it is possible to get closer to measuring competence rather than compliance.”
5 reasons to implement E-training
There is still a lot to be done to provide effective e-training and this type of learning might suit better disciplines that do not require technical manual handling. However there are a lot of advantages in comparison to traditional training which include:
1. It can reach a wide audience saving time and money.
2. E-training does not need classrooms.
3. Delegates can learn at their own pace.
4. They can resume learning sessions where they left off.
5. Progress can be measured, assessed and evaluated automatically and /or instantly.