As they say every cloud has a silver lining…. Here in the UK it is becoming increasingly clear that whichever party comes to power in our general election (which must take place before the beginning of June 2010), there will need to be huge cuts in public spending in order to balance the books.
At the moment politicians are engaging in a kind of phoney war; both sides competing to show how they will bring spending under control. But there’s little doubt that, in the public sector, training will once again be in the front line. This is despite of skills shortages in several areas key to the economy – and the need for good leadership to steer us out of this situation.
Therefore, it was heartening to discover that one local authority, Nottingham County Council, has taken the situation into its own hands and substantially increased its investment in e-learning. The council has purchased up to 30 courses from SkillSoft with the potential for up to 1,000 users to access each one.
The learning and development manager told us that old-style teaching on such an extensive scale would, “not be an option given the current economic climate”. Yet he believes that providing these courses will more than maintain the quality of training while extending its reach across the organisation.
Of course everybody would prefer there not to be cuts. But if the situation forces organisations in general to take a step back and seriously consider the way they do things, investigate what is available to help and adopt a positive attitude about new ideas such as e-learning, then in the long-term we might be grateful.
By: Kevin Young