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E-learning market set to grow


Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government's trade and technology body, has released the results of a survey of the UK e-learning market across all industry sectors.

The survey (conducted between September last year and this month) reveals that UK investment in e-learning will continue to increase in 2002/3, as 83 percent of companies look to increase or maintain training budgets. With 73 percent of UK companies already using e-learning courses, results indicate an increasing year-on-year shift away from delivering training programmes by Instructor Led Training (ILT) towards e-learning. Additionally, 32 percent of companies with no e-learning quota at present are set to implement an online training solution in the next two years.

"The UK is clearly driving the uptake of e-learning in Europe," comments Patricia McLister, director of the software, telecom and e-business services division, Enterprise Ireland. "European spending on e-learning is set to exceed €4.5bn (£3bn) by 2004 - our findings show that with increased employee acceptance and the development of more e-training courses that concentrate on delivering non-IT skills, the European e-learning sector looks set to become a boom industry over the next few years."

Employees surveyed delivered a positive reaction to e-learning, with only 3 percent stating that they had disliked the course, and the overwhelming majority of companies also believed e-learning to be a cost-effective, time-saving, convenient and flexible method of training staff. Human Resources managers also highlighted the increased measurability and productivity of such courses compared to ILT.

The Enterprise Ireland survey indicates that sector growth will be in the deployment of e-learning in areas outside of its traditional bastions of IT and financial services - especially in the training of 'soft skills'


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