Last updated: 25.05.13

E-learning 'key to business development'

The best way for businesses to develop the skills of their employees without stretching budgets too far is by turning to online training.

According to Kevin Young, general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Skillsoft and AN IT expert, the impact of technology on learning in recent years has been "amazing".

He claimed that as well as cutting company costs, online education provides learners with a flexible course schedule that means they are able to attend sessions in a way that suits their individual needs.

In addition, digital training resources can be updated from any location and at any time, so they can keep up with the demands of staff and adapt to changes in knowledge and generational trends.

Whether the learning takes the form of online books, videos, virtual role plays or e-journals, it is a great way for workers to engage in an innovative and informative activity from the comfort of their own homes.

Mr Young said: "Forward-thinking businesses are already embracing these techniques and the expectation is that the use of virtualisation will become commonplace in the near to mid-term."

He added that moving forward, media rich e-learning content will take a leading role in workplace education and the best programmes will be interactive and engaging.

The expert further predicted that social media is set to become "an accepted practice" in organisations, as an increasing number of employees learn through internal social media applications linked with customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and human resources systems.

He remarked: "Tools need to be both easy to use and powerful with clear learning objectives, while learning systems also need to be unified, friendly, intuitive and highly visual."

Businesses should consider turning to the services of e-learning provider Virtual College, which boasts its own Learning Management System entitled Enable that helps employers organise their online training materials.

The platform allows users to provide individual members of staff with access to specific areas based on their role in the firm, plus each individual's log-in lets them view everything they need.