Caerphilly County Borough Council is deploying a mobile learning programme to deliver e-learning to users of the Caerphilly Local Service Board, which includes bodies such as the police, health board and voluntary organisations. The board will be using mobile and traditional e-learning to offer training solutions to staff.
In times of austerity, particularly for public sector organisations that have experienced and continue to experience funding cuts, making an investment in online learning in the short term can have huge benefits in the medium to long term. Knowledge and skills are at the heart of building for a better future, but training within many organisations has taken a big hit in the last few years, which will be detrimental to that organisation and the country as a whole. Caerphilly Council should be applauded for investing in their staff and for looking to innovative solutions to meet their needs.
We know that providing online training and making this continually available to staff, as and when they need it, whilst putting the knowledge into practice in the workplace, is a very successful model of learning. Follow this up with, incremental knowledge delivery in the form of short bite sized e-learning, or interval online training as some call it, to build knowledge and skills enables employees to effectively turn learning into competency.
Funded by the European Social Fund this project should demonstrate the cost effectiveness of online learning and improve staff knowledge retention. Surely the UK government should take a central lead with this type of project and enable public sector organisations across the whole of the UK to benefit. I am not suggesting a prescriptive system for delivery or catalogue of online learning, but there must be the potential for government savings if they ensure that public sector organisations, such as our councils, implement innovative delivery models that they have tried and tested. With a similar model to that at Caerphilly government funded organisations have the ability to source the online training to meet the needs of their staff, as and when required and at a price they can afford from a wealth of excellent e-learning available.
I don’t imagine it will happen, but it would be quite a revelation if the private sector were to take their lead from the public sector!