Last updated: 27.04.13

Online learning 'crucial' to oil and gas sector

Learning technologies are essential to improving the global future of the engineering and oil and gas sector.

At present, the industry is dealing with skills shortages and these cannot be addressed using traditional training methods like face-to-face instruction.

This is according to an article from Atlas Ltd, which stated technology has a key role to play in solving these problems and while there have previously been doubts about the effectiveness of e-learning, it seems evidence is now suggesting it could be crucial to advancing the sector.

Indeed, a recent survey from Towards Maturity revealed more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of firms are now using some form of e-learning, with many organisations reporting it has brought them countless benefits.

These include a reduction in training costs (41 per cent), a boost in staff satisfaction (23 per cent) and an increase in the number of qualifications gained by staff (18 per cent).

It was noted traditional training methods have two major weaknesses when it comes to dealing with skills gaps and taking on adequately qualified employees.

Firstly, manual methods are inconsistent and not every face-to-face training session will have the same message as the last, even though it should. Secondly, traditional education doesn't offer the same level of scalability as blended learning.

There is also more training to do than there are experts available to roll it out, which highlights that technology could be a great way of filling in these gaps in delivery.

Atlas claimed not only is online learning a cost-effective and efficient way of training workers, it also "allows rapid updating of content, is more accessible and delivers powerful management information for greater control and statistical analysis".

What's more, employees will appreciate being able to digest information at their own pace and take time to understand and learn new skills, while they also have greater authority over their education and can skip training they already know to focus on their weaknesses.