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Tel +44 (0)114 223 2442; Web www.learninglight.com
24th December 2010
Manifesto for e-learning published from the European e-learning
The results of discussions by the delegates at the European
e-learning Summit, organised by Learning Light with support from
learndirect and Creativesheffield and held in Sheffield (17th to
19th November), have been published in the form of a manifesto for
e-learning. The manifesto is intended to help delegates pursue
dialogue with their national governments to establish a single,
independent and impartial body representing the corporate e-learning
Although developed within a European context, the manifesto focuses
specifically on the corporate e-learning sector in the UK. Delegates
to the Summit from outside the UK are encouraged to adapt the
manifesto to the situation in their own countries and use this to
pursue the aims stated at the Summit.
The manifesto outlines the opportunities and challenges currently
facing the e-learning sector; explains the e-learning sector's
offering to ‘UK plc', and sets out what the Summit delegates believe
needs to happen. This includes: continued investment in the
country's technical infrastructure - including access to high speed
broadband for all; the adoption of system interoperability;
widespread e-assessment; simplified technical and funding
infrastructures; a change to UK Government procurement policy with
regards to e-learning materials and systems, and support for the
e-learning sector as an export driver.
"It's significant that, unlike the video games industry which is
pressing for tax breaks from the Government and the British Film
Industry which is asking for public money for further investment in
that sector, the corporate e-learning industry is merely asking for
UK Government recognition that it exists," commented David
Patterson, operations director of Learning Light, the
Sheffield-based organisation which focuses on promoting the use of
e-learning and learning technologies.
"Moreover, it is seeking an acknowledgement from the Government
that, as a sector, it is making a positive contribution to Britain's
competitiveness in world markets and is generating export income for
The key elements of the manifesto are:
1. Europe's economies face challenges including:
Demographics: Europe's population is ageing and its workforce
size is shrinking.
Competition: BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and CIVETS
(Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam,
Egypt, Turkey, South Africa) countries provide both competitors
and opportunities which demand a significant ramping up of
skills in our workforce.
Environmental damage: There are the costs and environmental
damage of travel, facilities and resources involved in
delivering ‘traditional', instructor-led training.
E-learning is uniquely equipped to meet these challenges, yet its
value is largely unrecognised. E-learning and learning technologies
can make a significant contribution to addressing these challenges
Europe's economies the competitive advantage derived from engaging
and effective e-learning which delivers flexible, innovative
just-in-time, just-enough learning solutions.
Equipping organisations to cope with the increasing speed of change
Providing cost effective, location independent and environmentally
Working at all levels of the employee hierarchy from 'hard to reach
learners‘ to 'industry leaders‘, e-learning is able to address
topics at all levels and of all complexities.
the e-learning industry must:
its successes and evidence the benefits that e-learning can offer.
Demonstrate how it improves performance by providing effective and
engaging training and learning on an immense scale and in rapid
Provide tool sets to support and influence the effective adoption of
e-learning and provide evidence of its benefits.
help it do this, the industry needs:
Government to understand the role that corporate e-learning
currently plays in enabling choice, freedom and flexibility for
learners and businesses; facilitating community and communication;
providing value for money and efficiency within a tight fiscal
climate, and building on the rapid roll-out of superfast broadband.
Acknowledgement from Government that the e-learning industry
comprises principally innovative small and medium sized enterprises
(SMEs). So Government procurement policy must enable these SMEs to
be given free and fair access to Government contracts. Government
procurement of learning services must focus on engendering an open
and innovative market.
export opportunity: It is vital, if UK e-learning companies are to
continue to win overseas contracts, that they have the kudos of
supplying the UK government. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the body
which works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in
international markets, needs to recognise the potential of
e-learning exports to the corporate training and learning market, as
much as it does to the education market.
Government education policy to recognise the huge changes in society
driven by internet adoption and how this impacts upon learning.
Today's students will spend up to 60% of their waking hours online,
living their life - and learning will need to be there.
"Thinking about the UK specifically, there are a number of
socio-economic factors driving the increased use of online
technology - in such areas as social media, gaming and sales," said
Summit delegate, Glynn Jung.
"This means that there's a greater propensity for people to be
engaged in learning this way. In addition, the Cabinet Office, under
Francis Maude, is currently engaged in encouraging the delivery of
more Government services online."
"One of the advantages we need to communicate to Government is how
e-learning meets the needs of the end user, whether that be
government itself, corporates - which, in the UK, given the recent
skills strategy announcement, will be expected to contribute towards
the cost of training - or individual learners," commented fellow
Summit delegate, Patrick Fitzpatrick, of PTK Learning.
"This manifesto represents an accord among key members of the
e-learning community, not just in the UK but across Europe," said
Learning Light's David Patterson. "It will form the basis of a
number of discussions which Summit delegates are scheduled to hold
with Government officials in the New Year."
Notes for Editors
About the Learning Light Report
This report began as a simple attempt to update the report written
by John Helmer, on behalf of Learning Light, in 2007 on the size and
value of the UK e-learning industry. The 2009 Report updated this by
interviewing a number of leading players (vendors) in the industry
to ask their view of the market and by further seeking to quantify
the market size. This series of semi-structured interviews was
continued for the 2010 report.
Over the last 10 years, learndirect has pioneered the large scale
delivery of learning - supported by people but enabled by
technology. Over the last ten years learning with learndirect has
been shown to transform people's lives and helps businesses thrive.
Whether it is to get a new job, a promotion or to gain the
confidence needed to do more with their lives - helping people is at
the very heart of what learndirect is about. learndirect has opened
up opportunities for many who'd been turned off by education by
offering people a new way of learning. This has been done on a large
scale - after all, more than 2.8 million learners to date can't be
Creativesheffield is the UK's first city development company,
charged with delivering Sheffield's economic transformation. Its
core activities are:
Investment - to build on the success of Sheffield First for
Investment in attracting quality inward investment into the city.
Marketing - to achieve a positive shift in the perception of the
city; by publicising events within the city and promoting the city
to the outside world.
Regeneration - to develop the city's physical infrastructure to
internationally competitive standards, in line with the Sheffield
City Centre Masterplan.
Innovation - to create initiatives that will promote the growth of
the city's scientific, creative and cultural knowledge base.
Business Support Services - support businesses within the city and
locating in the city, including access to property databases, HR
support and advice on financial support.
About Learning Light Ltd
Sheffield-based Learning Light is a centre of excellence in the use
of e-learning and learning technologies in the workplace. Its
knowledge base contains over 400 papers offering insights and advice
on how to use e-learning & learning technologies.
Learning Light, which operates www.e-learningcentre.co.uk one of the
leading resources on e-learning in the UK, works closely with the
Universities of Leeds and Sheffield and has undertaken a Systematic
Literature Review of the available papers on the effective use of
e-learning in conjunction with the University of Sheffield.
Learning Light occupies a unique space in the e-learning and
learning technology sector networking with:
Suppliers of e-learning and learning technologies to support the
growth of the sector
seeking out learning technology solutions to improve the
effectiveness of their business or organisation
Leading organisations worldwide who provide it with market knowledge
from around the globe
Provides unbiased and impartial advice to both suppliers and
Hosts events and workshops that provide the platforms to impart
and gain knowledge by encouraging collaboration and sharing of
Acts as a conduit between suppliers and buyers to forge
successful business partnerships
Provides market intelligence and benchmarking information gained
from its many contacts and networking partners
Provides access to research materials from leading learning
Further information from:
David Patterson/ Gill Broadhead, Learning Light, +44 (0)114 223 2442
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, +44 (0)1727 860405