Logica gains with new-style training

Staff at systems company Logica are now taking charge of their own development while at client sites, following the introduction...

Staff at systems company Logica are now taking charge of their own development while at client sites, following the introduction of technology-based training and assessment, writes John Kavanagh

Logica's 6,800 professional staff access courses via an intranet or use CD-Roms in a scheme that is enabling them to learn at their own pace and at convenient times. It is also saving the company money.

Many staff are also studying in their spare time to learn new skills unrelated to their current work, or to brush up on familiar technologies in preparation for a new project. They then update their CVs on the Logica system so that they can be chosen for a project area they particularly want to work in.

Logica is using training resourses from specialist company NETg, which has a library of more than 300 courses covering such skills as Visual Basic, Java, Oracle and Web development, which are updated monthly. In the last 18 months some 27,000 courses have been accessed via the intranet and 11,000 CD-Roms have been distributed.

"Technology-based training offers consistency across the board, even to small project offices in remote places," says Brenda Myrans, Logica's global training manager.

"Traditional classroom training can be difficult to organise, because course timings rarely accommodate the individual needs of people working on projects of differing lengths at clients' sites," she says. "Today, all staff can access the same standard of training, wherever they are and whenever they want."

Slow communications to some sites raised problems of retrieving courses to laptop PCs. However, Logica has overcome this by using a NETg facility to take assessment tests to identify areas of weakness so that staff can then select only the most needed parts of a course. This also cuts the time that might be wasted going over old ground.

Staff also use self-study and the assessment tests before enrolling for classroom courses, bringing benefit all round, says Ger Nederpal, manager of Logica's Netherlands learning centre.

"The classroom training has become more cost-effective and targeted, meeting the employees' exact requirements," says Nederpal.

Myrans is pleased with the progress so far.

"We are noticing a cultural shift in our employees' attitude to training," she says. "They are now very motivated to take responsibility for their own training. We don't need to set guidelines or prescribe courses.

"This may be because technology-based training is a popular medium and is viewed as a resource rather than remedial, whereas classroom training courses can have that kind of implication."

Myrans concludes, "The main benefits are the availability of learning opportunities to individuals, and the instant access to training we can offer to staff of companies we have recently acquired."

Read more on IT jobs and recruitment