IDeA Learning Pool, an e-Iearning service for local authorities provided by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) has been sold to the private sector in a deal designed to improve continual development of Learning Pool for its local government subscribers.
The agency has incubated IDeA Learning Pool from an original concept in 2001, taking the first steps in an emerging market and providing real benefits and value for money. Now it has over 90 subscribers providing access to tailored local government learning and opportunities to collaborate to gain economies of scale.
Explaining the decision to find an alternative home for Learning Pool, Caroline Mikardo, director of resources at the IDeA said: 'We were keen to find a company to take Learning Pool forward who understood the unique challenges facing local government. I am delighted that Learning Pool Limited will be developing Learning Pool, not just as a commercial success, but as an integrated tool to help local authorities improve their services.'
Over recent years the commercial e-Iearning market has matured, creating new opportunities for the technology to be exploited as an integral part of the government's improvement agenda. The local government sector currently spends in the region of£300m annually on training and it is estimated that by 2008 over 50% of learning in the UK will be done electronically or on the internet.
Following a formal sale procedure Learning Pool Limited was selected from a shortlist of six companies.
Agility Consulting is the major shareholder and driving force behind Learning Pool Limited. Agility Consulting has an enviable reputation for providing high quality technology and business advisory services to customers in the public sector. In the last year Agility has managed the successful delivery of projects for the LGA and DCLG in the shared service and e-government area.
Mary McKenna, director at Agility Consulting said: 'Agility Consulting is really excited by this opportunity to expand the footprint of Learning Pool and to continue to help local government in innovative ways. We see e-Iearning as an important part of the blend of helping local authorities to improve how they do their business and develop their people. In time, we hope that Learning Pool will be the logical place for local government to start building their whole training and leadership strategies.'
As part of the transfer, Learning Pool Limited has taken on the Learning Pool core team. This team will continue to provide services to customers and Emma Goss has been appointed as operations director at Learning Pool Limited.
Ms Goss said: 'This is a fantastic opportunity to grow Learning Pool and build on the great start made by the IDeA for the benefit of all our customers. E-Learning is becoming more and more mainstream as a cost effective way to develop staff. Learning Pool takes the risk of entering this area away from local government by providing an independent channel to the market as well as high value consultancy support at discounted rates for subscribers'.
Moving forward, Learning Pool will build relationships with market leaders in the e-Learning space such as Epic Multimedia in order to bring this expertise to Learning Pool customers. Learning Pool will be working with Epic over the coming months to create high quality, high value e-learning content for the benefit of local government.
All future enquiries relating to IDeA Learning Pool - now simply called Learning Pool - should be addressed to Learning Pool Limited at +44 207 993 8193.
For more information about Agility Consulting, go to www.agilityconsulting.co.uk