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Spring workshop

We would like to remind our clients and contacts about the latest in our series of highly successful workshops for learning professionals on March 20th on the highly topical subject of Reducing the Cost of Learning Delivery. This session will focus on the alternatives to face to face training now being used by some of our major clients, including the Virtual Classroom for global on-line delivery and Train Trainer solutions. Invitations will be going out soon but please email learn@mtpplc.com if you would like to reserve an early place.

See below for more about these activities.

Economic position

In the Autumn we reported that, despite the gloomy news on the economy, MTP’s programmes and forward bookings were looking good. Since then the external gloom has clearly increased but we are pleased to report that the present and forward position are both strong.

We believe that this is partly because we work with companies and managers who believe that continued investment in management training is essential to long term success and should not be sacrificed for short term reasons. Another factor is that we now work in a wide range of industrial sectors, most of which are resilient to global downturn. It is also a lot to do with our quality and flexibility of delivery method, with a lot of our new business coming from innovative non-classroom solutions.

We would be interested to hear from clients and contacts about the impact of the current economic environment on spending this year.

Virtual Classroom Training

Our innovative work in this area – the delivery of live, interactive, on-line learning – has been steadily developing over the last few years and we have already delivered virtual sessions for Unilever, Financial Times and Barclays. Our most ambitious project yet was started in October when we launched a virtual version of a two day learning programme in business acumen for the HR professionals of one of the world’s biggest high tech companies, a household name throughout the world.

This programme went much further than our previous virtual classroom projects, extending to four sessions of three hours and including many of the features that make our ‘face to face’ courses so successful – quizzes, polls, case studies and even a role play exercise. The session also includes a video covering the company’s investor relations strategy and it is all brought together by an MTP tutor working from our offices, using the most up to date on-line learning software.

The following quote is typical of the highly favourable response so far

“I was very surprised at the level of interaction and engagement with the use of the VC and teleconferencing technology. I’ve been in L&D roles and have really struggled with how to best facilitate this type of program at low cost to an audience that is spread across such a vast geography. This is definitely a big leap forward and I see huge opportunity for using this technology. Overall, the program was fantastic, delivery and use of technology was great; I hope we can do more of this in the future.”

The success has been confirmed by the booking of more than twenty programmes this year, with around 90% delivered via virtual classroom methodology and an audience extending for the first time beyond the HR function. We have also begun a number of new projects for Barclays, including the virtual delivery of role play exercises and a business simulation.

Train the Trainer

At one stage in our history we were reluctant to provide ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes and packages but we have changed our response as more and more clients search for low cost solutions to the achievement of global reach. Therefore we have, during the last few years, run Train the Trainer programmes and produced trainers’ manuals for a number of our courses, in circumstances where, after discussion, we believe that successful delivery can be achieved by an internal person.

We find however that the implementation of trained trainer deliveries is usually much more difficult than was anticipated by the clients concerned, particularly where it requires technical expertise outside the HR function. Colleagues in finance or marketing functions do not always have the time or the confidence to deliver, once they find out what is involved. We have however seen effective implementation by some clients – notably Unilever – where the necessary commitment and support was available.

It is interesting that the virtual classroom session mentioned above was developed after a train the trainer initiative had failed to be implemented, because it was difficult to find enough people with the right combination of business education and training expertise.

Computer Based Training

We are pleased to report that one of the world’s top oil companies has purchased a global license to use our on-line financial learning programme – Learning Value Creation – as their main medium for training middle managers in the basics of financial and management accounting. This follows a period of assessment of our programme by a selection of the target audience, in comparison with other products on the market.

Previous licenses for tailored packages have been granted to TNT, Unilever and another major food company.. These companies have found that the uniquely interactive and engaging nature of our programme appeals to management audiences, as does the practical approach of the content.

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