Training on the Net - whatever next!

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7th Jun 1999
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Training on the Net – whatever next!

As the fastest growing marketplace in the global economy, the Internet provides a huge opportunity for the delivery of training and development materials to businesses worldwide. With over 80,000 new users coming on-line every day during 1998, the need for flexible, low cost and tailored training via the Internet is growing steadily.

Small and medium sized enterprises [SMEs] in Stockport and the High Peak are among the few to benefit from Internet training, following a pilot project by Stockport and High Peak TEC. The Virtual Management Centre provides an innovative way for SMEs to access the very best in Management training, using the Internet as the medium.

The project ADAPT: Adrian, worth £500,000 of European money over two years, is designed to support SMEs in adapting to industrial changes through training. The project is currently being piloted in selected local companies, but if successful, could
be made available on a wider commercial basis.

Flexibility and convenience are the major benefits of the ADAPT website; employees can learn at their own pace at a time and place to suit them. Access is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no geographical restrictions, or diaries to fit in with. The ability to tailor cost effective training to an organisation’s needs is another major factor in the website’s success. Businesses can pick and mix suitable training, combining on-line learning with traditional methods such as classroom-based courses or in-house training.

The Virtual Management Centre comprises two levels, Stage one: Virtual Management Video Store and Stage two: Executive Business Excellence. The Virtual Management Video Store is currently being piloted with eight local companies, and enables them to view management training videos from the selection available. Subjects include Quality, Change, Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage, Managing Performance and Team Working. Businesses can also access information on the latest training and development services delivered by Interloc, the TEC’s training and consultancy division. There are also links to sites, such as Institute of Personnel Development, Institute of Management and Management Charter Initiative, and European partner websites.

Stage two: Executive Business Excellence is a suite of programmes offering a range of
self-assessment tools to aid continual improvement in organisations. Executive Business Excellence enables busy managers to work through one or all of the programmes, providing them with a benchmark score for themselves or their organisation and a tailored action plan for improvement.

Building Business Excellence
Managers are able to assess their organisation’s performance against a world class best practice model.

Investors in People
Providing a planned approach to setting and communicating business objectives, this programme helps the organisation to integrate human resource and business strategies and deliver them.

ISO 9000
By providing a framework to develop an effective quality system in the organisation, the ISO 9000 programme will help the organisation achieve accreditation to international quality standards.

ISO 14000
This programme provides managers with a framework for developing an effective environmental management system for their organisation, with the aim of reducing its impact on the environment.

Building World Class
By distinguishing leading edge organisations from run of the mill ones, Building World Class enables managers to measure their own organisation’s performance and find ways of enhancing it.

Lean Manufacturing
Lean Manufacturing is designed to help organisations reduce waste and add value to their manufacturing process, to streamline the organisation and encourage flatter working structures. Currently being piloted with 75 employees in 15 local companies, benefits have included a 5-10% reduction in costs and a marked increase in sales for businesses involved.

There can be no doubt that the Internet has revolutionised training, offering significant advantages for businesses, regardless of size or high tech knowledge. Although the Internet may seem a daunting prospect for some small companies, the benefits of
on-line learning far outweigh the fear of the unknown! In Stockport and the High Peak, companies can be sure that the TEC will continue to offer support in this innovative way, helping them adapt to change and retain a competitive edge.

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