Let's keep learning and training!

We live in interesting times! The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy and many thousands of staff have been furloughed, waiting hopefully for their businesses to re-open and to return to their jobs. The lockdown has also given many businesses the opportunity to think about how they work. Many have turned to home working.

What has VQ Solutions done?

The week before the government’s imposed lockdown we had already trialled remote delivery. We have been using Zoom for a long period of time as it has helped us keep in touch with learners across the country. We tested online tuition with 3 groups of business administration apprentices. Once the initial technical issues were resolved and staff and learners understood which buttons to click we were up and running. We managed to quickly get over learners' nervousness of sharing their webcams - they quickly realised that no-one judges the wallpaper in their homes!

We initially tried to deliver workshops as we did in our training sessions but quickly realised that it was much more productive to deliver 3 short online sessions rather than a full-day workshop.

Since lockdown, we have delivered multiple sessions to all of our learners and interestingly, using online conferencing software has become second nature to trainers and learners alike although there was a little extra training needed when we introduced the “break out room” feature in Zoom.

Month

Number of Zoom meetings

Number of attendees

Number of minutes on Zoom

March 2020

112

404

21,202

April 2020

120

533

33,357

May 2020

119

516

32,353

Furlough Staff Training

We have also worked closely with our existing employers to ensure that learners continue on their programmes and also to identify new opportunities for staff on furlough to develop new skills and knowledge through our programmes. 

It is important that employers understand that they are able to let their staff pursue learning and development when they are on furlough. This is a government policy and this period is a good opportunity for staff to consider their CPD requirements.

Moving forward

Like many businesses, we have been thinking about what the “new normal” is going to look like. The use of online technology has to be a key part of development. Using Zoom has been great and now everyone knows how to use it or other systems such as GotoMeeting, Microsoft Team etc, it makes it easier to deliver more sessions but remotely. It also has a hugely positive impact on the environment.

We also realise the importance of great online resources. Learning management systems have to be more than a repository of information. Too often education and training providers use their LMS, (often just Moodle) as a place to store documents and links to information. Online learning has to be better than that and we have just started a project to develop a new e-learning content design system that will allow us to add great content in Scorm or HTML format.

We have also looked at additional programmes that will help employers and staff once we come out of lockdown and look to develop the economy again. 

We all have a responsibility to work together to open up the economy and make sure that people have the skills and knowledge to drive businesses forward. Training is so important as it is great skills and knowledge that will make us more productive.

posted 7 Jun, 01:53 (103 days ago)