By Kevin Young
In the days following 2010’s protracted UK election result, the press was full of speculation and analysis on how and where £6 billion of cuts can be made to address the country’s towering budget deficit. Politicians – on all sides – have been keen to pledge that “frontline services” will not be affected by the cuts but many in the public sector are looking over their shoulders, wondering where the axe will fall. Even if they are not in fear of their own jobs, there is uncertainty over how any cuts will affect the departments and agencies they run or in which they work.
Irrespective of which services stay and which will fall as part of the deficit reduction programme, there’s no doubt that there will be a wholesale reconfiguration of services across the public sector. And this is where the need for efficient, effective and affordable training and e learning will be critical if reconfigured agencies are to work effectively.
Cutting costs need not mean cutting training – departments can’t afford to if they are making changes to the way they operate. It may simply mean thinking smarter and changing the way that training is delivered. The availability of highly-effective online learning courseware and performance support solutions provides an affordable and effective option. The strategic application of self-paced, online learning – conducted in a virtual classroom at the desk, on the job – provides users with new skills and knowledge which they can immediately apply to their work processes – all without interrupting productivity. It’s also been proved to be more effective as well as more affordable than conventional classroom training. This kind of on the job training could be critical in achieving an effective transition to the reconfigured public sector workplaces we will see under the new coalition government in the months ahead.
Kevin Young is SkillSoft general manager EMEA, based in the UK.