Airbus saves millions after building a digital learning library

Airbus has created a digital learning library that is helping more than 100,000 staff in 35 countries keep their skills updated

Global aerospace giant Airbus, which operates in 35 countries and has around 134,000 staff, is making multimillion-pound savings from a global digital learning library.

The library, which it has grown in the past two years, now has more than 6,900 items of usable, sharable learning content.

The development of the library is one of the main benefits so far to come from a five-year digital transformation programme that Airbus started in 2015.

Arnaud Raffray, vice-president of human resources (HR) transformation and digital and Airbus, said the 6,900 learning items, which are being deployed and used across the group, are being added to all the time.

“Digital learning is aimed at developing the skills of employees and management, especially in respect of spreading learning about our digital practices, new technologies and startup modes of operation,” said Raffray.

One of the main advantages of the training library is that it enables trainers in Airbus to learn quickly and in a more standard way. This means that Airbus can roll out and deliver face-to-face, team-based training modules faster, anywhere in the world.

Separately, the group’s one-year-old global HR platform, Pulse, is delivering a step-change in employee practices, engagement and satisfaction levels, said Raffray, speaking at an industry conference.

“This is only a beginning, as we see digital transformation as a five-year journey at least, taking us up to 2020, but we can see it is working,” Raffray told HR Tech World (Unleash) in Amsterdam.

“With particularly strong take-up in France and Germany, there have been 1.4 million total connections on Pulse since go-live in October 2016, driven by 160,000 active user registrations.”

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Raffray said that Pulse platform’s first release – built on a Workday human capital management system – has had a strong take-up because it offers employees a good user interface and gives them the ability to manage their own data.

“Before we embarked on this change, we took the time to step back and take a considered look at the market. We spoke with many people in many companies and developed our plans carefully,” he said.

The company carried out beta tests of three technologies before opting for technology from cloud HR and finance software specialist, Workday.

“We worked hard to ensure the onboarding process worked for everyone affected by the change to this new platform,” said Raffray.

He added that any security concerns created by the platform and its roll-out were identified from the start to ensure security could be addressed at every step and therefore never get out of hand.

“The platform can and will continue to grow. Learning, recruiting, workforce polling, employee self-assessments, compensation and benefits – all can be accommodated and driven by Pulse in time. We want to put our people at the heart of our transformation into a digital business, and we are off to a good start,” he said.

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