How to keep L&D a Focus in Tough Economic Times

May 26, 2017 | Activate Learning | 2 min read


2016 began with Brent crude prices experiencing the sharpest fall in the past 30 years, while OPEC oil supply growth slowed and non-OPEC production fell dramatically largely due to a massive drop in US light tight oil production. Then to add to this, natural gas saw declining numbers with US production falling greatly because of a drop in gas drilling activity.

In short, the oil and gas industry was taking some hits; hits that were impacting the workforce and bottom lines. Despite such challenges, Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, continued to believe investing in their people was the way to continue to provide world class service.

I think we can all agree that training is imperative; but perhaps when an industry is facing turbulent times, needs to continually innovate and evolve to remain competitive and profitable, even more so.

A study by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce (EQW) of more than 3,100 US workplaces, found that on average, a 10% increase in workforce education level led to an 8.6% gain in total productivity, whereas a 10% increase in the value of equipment increased productivity just 3.4%. Furthermore, LinkedIn's first annual Workplace Learning Report, shows that 90% of business leaders believe learning and design programs are key to closing the skills gap.

So, the question wasn’t about continuing their L&D, but how to continue in a way that was cost effective?

The answer they found was to partner with us and integrate our solution into their organisation. This enabled them to deliver on their learning initiatives by mapping content to a competency framework, providing leadership content that supports managers and leaders, and offering an online library of books for their large population of engineers, delivered easily via laptop or mobile and providing significant cost savings.

Making learning so available saw learner numbers jump from 12,000 to 110,000 reinforcing the effectiveness of the solution, while simultaneously ensuring that because the content is aligned to company objectives, the overall goal of continuing to provide employees with the necessary skills today and into the future, is met.

Tony Glass is the General Manager and VP of Corporate Sales for Skillsoft EMEA.