The Civil Service has long been respected for its career-long learning approach but in the spate of current belt-tightening it has been forced to re-consider the way courses are delivered. The resulting switch to online learning is expected to save nearly £90m per year on the Civil Service staff training budget according to government figures.

The move away from residential and classroom-based courses to e-learning and work-based training for learning and development of staff is already underway with a 76% increase in online training days in government departments already this financial year. The start of the same financial year saw the Civil Service Learning operation established as central purchasing facility based in the Home Office but covering training for the whole civil service to try to avoid duplication across departments. Part of the changes also include the National School of Government will closing in March to become a commercial traning venue under the name of Sunningdale Park.

Where governments follow, so the private sector is already leading the way. With the rise of social media as a support / networking tool and more budgets being squeezed, e-learning is set to increase in importance. If you run your own business and in-house training that could appear to be a costly set-up but there are many options out there. That includes using Moodle one of the free 123-apps that you can install on your 123-reg linux web hosting. Used and approved by Universities and Colleges across the world, it is simple to use from a teacher and student perspective and is a great way to get started with some online learning modules. There’s also networking tools like discussion forums and wikis built in so those learning need not suffer from the isolation many fear from working in a virtual learning environment.

Even if you don’t have the need to create your own in-house e-learning, you may be interested in knowing that the UK e-learning industry is thought to be worth £472 million  and rising and is the largest European market for e-learning. We all have skills we could promote and others would be delighted in benefitting from so why not set up your own training tools online to share your own knowledge.

Do you already use e-learning tools? Have you used Moodle? Do you have any tips to pass on to thise just making the switch?

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