Shell’s new college has over 50 per cent take-up

The Shell Open University has registered more than 5,500 staff from a
potential 10,000 in its first six months of operation.

The international university provides a mix of e-learning, blended learning and
classroom training for its exploration and production staff and is accessible
through the company intranet.

Loknes, senior learning and development adviser of Shell, said, "The new
model was put in place as we had to revise our strategies to become more
effective, flexible and cost effective to service our internal customers."

Most corporate universities simply focus on an e-learning approach, which
has a 70 per cent student failure rate, he said.

The £3m project is also an important recruitment and retention tool for the
petroleum firm.

Loknes said, "It is used as an offensive recruitment tool in order to
differentiate Shell from other competitors.

"It is also a key part of retention, as it is also linked to external
accreditation from other universities to ensure staff have the development
options they need and can pursue them inside the company rather than

He also believes the university will contribute to the company’s
performance. "Our contribution to profitability is by ensuring we have
competent staff globally. There is a business process in place linking
competence and numbers of staff to business performance, and the university is
a key player in this," he said.

The university offers 240 different classroom training courses that are run
in learning centres in the Netherlands, Oman, Sarawak, Nigeria, and the US, as
well as online courses and e-learning modules.

Courses last from half a day to five weeks, and staff can study during
office hours and in their own time. It also offers them access to coaching and
mentoring schemes.

By Katie Hawkins

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