There is a training evolution currently taking place that holds great promise for nations, organizations and workers throughout the world. It transcends the e-Learning technology advances that get all the attention because, for the first time, the training reach has become global.

That advance has to do with the large numbers of training producers that are springing up internationally. And, the quality of training products they are delivering over the internet or through your intranet is improving by leaps and bounds.

Interactive media training used to be a predominately American industry. The advances in Laser Videodisc, and CD-ROM primarily took place in the United States. And, those technologies were difficult to export due to the hardware investment involved.

The adoption of media training by business and industry was also greater in the United States than elsewhere. No longer!

Business and industry throughout the world is quickly gravitating toward an internet or intranet solution to meet their learning challenges. The industrial world has discovered that increased productivity and profits can be tied directly to better trained workers — and, that fact has opened the floodgates of opportunity for entrepreneurs throughout the world.

Nations, too, have discovered that investments in training have a significant payback in GNP and government revenue increases. Germany is leading the way, thanks in large measure to their investments in training and vocational education.

I have been fortunate to continue my international travels and to attend various training conferences and exhibitions. The quality of what I see today keeps getting better — and, the interest from international buyers has ratcheted up many times.

Let me list a mere few of the excellent training vendors located outside the United States:

Like ITC, Video Arts of London has been around for decades but a look at their current delivery methods illustrates what is happening internationally:

“In the past 40 years . . . . we’ve moved from VHS tapes to DVD and now video streaming, mobile courses and e-learning . . . .”

InterAction Training of Sydney, Australia has had a similar evolution in their three-decade history and today offers an award-winning LMS plus e-Learning courses in IT and HR.

Protomation of The Netherlands , serving the oil, gas and chemical industries, offers flexible and affordable simulation training (along with the advances made in gaming, the most rapidly evolving learning technologies).

Of course, there are many other success stories out there. And, one word of caution!

The other movement taking place in the vendor training industry is consolidation. And, that is bringing with it a decline in learning values. Large courseware providers, covering myriad subjects, bring with them a cookie cutter mentality in order that they may achieve economies of scale. For the user, the special learning culture and design requirements of a particular subject area are erased in a frenzied zeal to get an exclusive business arrangement.

Stay clear of those conglomerates. They cannot provide the training solutions you need. Look for the entrepreneurial training producers that have developed a learning niche in a particular subject area or business segment.

Your training needs are not general. They are specific. So, find the vendor organization that understands and can address those specifics.

More on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning (Tuesdays & Thursdays)