Global spend on e-learning rises despite falling profits

June 8, 2001

The corporate market's appetite for e-learning is unaffected by the global economic slowdown, according to a new survey.

More than half of the 223 corporate training managers and human resources executives surveyed at e-learning company NETg's recent conference in Las Vegas said their firms' e-learning budgets had risen in the past year, while 84 per cent believed their senior management had become more committed to the concept.

More than 50 per cent said e-learning would have an impact on their recruitment and retention efforts within the next three years.

Nigel Howarth, NETg's vice-president of marketing, said training budgets had not been slashed because companies trying to get by with fewer staff realised its importance in helping employees learn new roles.

The survey also indicated growing acceptance of the "blended" approach to e-learning, where it is combined with some face-to-face teaching. More than a third of respondents said the approach helped their organisation increase efficiency.

Andy Rosenfield, chief executive officer of UNext, which develops courses in conjunction with five universities including the London Business School, said the economic slowdown would help drive e-learning in businesses.

"They have to be more economical ... while trying to improve quality. E-learning is one of these rare things where it is possible to have simultaneously both higher quality and lower cost," he said.

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