When to steer clear of IT departments

Having read Sally O’Reilly’s feature on e-learning (Training, September) I really must take issue with Donald Clark’s views – blaming trainers for the lack of progress in embracing e-learning smacks of naivety.

Training innovation, far from being blocked by HR, is frequently blocked by IT departments whose managers haven’t yet grown accustomed to the idea that corporate intranets are a useful tool for training delivery.

Often the best way to get technology-led training in the workplace is to avoid involvement with IT, as this is nearly always the department where under-resourcing and "more pressing priorities" are flagged up as reasons for inertia.

Because the infrastructure costs of introducing e-learning can be substantial, resistance to e-learning is more likely to come from accountants than from professional trainers, who in many cases, whilst wishing to embrace new technology, are resigned to living with far more humble resources.

Incidentally, neurolinguistic programming, whilst certainly not new, hasn’t been around for decades either.

Clive Bergmann

Regional training manager

Hanson Aggregates

Audits deserve closer scrutiny

Elaine Essery’s piece "Standards come under scrutiny" (Training, October) skated elegantly on some very thin ice! I was also struck by the moderation of the quotes she selected regarding employer attitudes to the bureaucracy involved in government-funded training schemes.

Many of the hundreds of training providers and employers I have encountered in the past three years have expressed considerably more robust views. I remember a provider in Wiltshire who said to me, while jabbing his finger repeatedly towards the ceiling, "Overheads! I’ve got two of them literally up there, employed full-time on paperwork to get the funding".

Many others have horror stories of dealing with the regulatory and funding frameworks – usually after they have withdrawn from them.

Yet employer-provided training is alive and well. Our accreditation service for short courses continues to grow at over 100 per cent year on year, nearly all non-government funded training provision. This shows that employers are not only providing ever more training for their staff, but are prepared to be externally audited. There is very limited tolerance indeed of additional audit requirements that add no value to employer, provider, or learner.

George Edwards

Development director


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