Responding jointly to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)’s Skills for Sustainable Growth (SSG) consultation, some weeks ago, the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and the eLearning Network (eLN) wrote: ‘Our response is brief and concerns a single cross-cutting issue.
‘We recognise that SSG is inevitably neutral about the “delivery techniques” used by providers of training and/or information, advice and guidance. But, that said, we are surprised at the almost complete absence in SSG of any references to technology enabled learning or to the internet and the web as central components in the infrastructure for vocational education and training, and for informal learning. We think that this represents a missed opportunity.
‘We propose the introduction of an additional principle to those listed in paragraphs seven to nine of SSG, along these lines: “The efficiency and effectiveness of the whole of the skills system (including training delivery, informal learning, partnership working between employers and training providers, and the provision of and access to advice and guidance) is dependent on astute use of information and communications technologies, and in particular, of the internet and the web.”
‘The inclusion of such a principle would make explicit the Coalition Government’s belief in the important of role of learning technologies in education and training, and it would encourage the main actors in the skills system to give appropriate emphasis to ICT in the policies and plans that flow from the SSG consultation.’
Comment: Over the years, successive Governments – and, perhaps more importantly, civil service departments – have staunchly ignored the opinions and even the existence of the corporate learning industry. There is always hope of course – but experience would suggest that things haven’t changed.