E-learning is critical to achieving targets for e-government, says council IT group

Electronic learning is crucial to helping councils to meet the 2005 deadline for delivering services electronically, said a...

Electronic learning is crucial to helping councils to meet the 2005 deadline for delivering services electronically, said a report from the Society of IT Management (Socitm), the local authority IT directors group.

E-learning, delivering education through technology, is described in the report as "a cornerstone" of e-government.

"E-government will not happen unless all those involved understand and embrace electronic working methods. To do this they must be digitally literate," it said.

The research, published last month, claims that e-learning can provide local authority employees with vital skills; help councils to reinvent themselves to exploit the information age; help to bridge the digital divide; and enable council staff to drive up standards.

However, Socitm warned that good project management is key to the successful implementation of an e-learning programme. The report said, "Even if the project is to run an initial pilot with an aim of learning about e-learning, there is value in taking a controlled and measured approach." Project management will help to identify manageable chunks within the project, it added.

The report is the result of collaboration between Socitm, the British Education and Communications Technology Agency, the Improvement and Development Agency and the National Association of Advisers for Computers in Education.

Somerset, Hampshire, Warwickshire and Surrey County Councils contributed to the research.

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