E-possums give older staff Net advice

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.

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