Top managers at financial services company Pearl are being taught the basics of e-business by some of the firm's youngest staff in a pioneering new initiative.
The e-possum scheme is the brainchild of Duncan Hopper, director of e-business for Pearl's parent company AMP UK, and after a successful trial in Peterborough it is to be extended to the rest of the group worldwide.
He said, "We decided that if we could get some of our members of staff under the age of 25 who were Internet and e-savvy and twin them with directors and general managers they would transfer some of their skills and knowledge to the older generation."
Fifteen members of staff bec-ame e-possums, and they were carefully twinned with the company's general managers by two of Pearl's young HR trainees and scheduled to meet with them for two hours every two weeks.
Hopper said the initiative had significantly improved the managers' skills as well as their understanding of e-business.
The e-possum scheme has been such a success that the Department for Education and Employment is looking into adopting it.
AMP is to extend the initiative worldwide and Hopper estimated that within 18 months there would be 150 e-possums in the group.