A business consultancy has been appointed by The Open University to encourage more employers to bring learning into the workplace. The consultancy firm, Partnership Development Solutions, will look at opportunities for learning and training in the IT and telecoms sectors, which are key markets for the university. It will act as a broker between businesses and the institution to attract new students. Bob Coates, The Open University's executive director for IT employer engagement, said he was confident that businesses would view the institution as an attractive partner. "In difficult economic times, The Open University solution has significant cost-reduction benefits for employers, as minimum time is spent away from the workplace," he said.