The award is aimed at training organisations which are under three years old and is already making an impact on the learning sector. It is one of fourteen awards to be presented at The Learning Awards 2014.
Nick Jones, director at Blue Eskimo, believes that it’s right to reward promising newcomers – and encourage others to enter the sector. “It’s fair to say that the learning industry is a mature sector,” says Jones, “but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for newcomers – especially ones which innovate, change the status quo or even shake things up a little.”
Companies which want to be considered for the award have to provide evidence of innovation, plus endorsements from clients – and have a strong, unique proposition. This year’s shortlisted companies are English Bubble, Go Berserk, ITB Competence Assurance, LearnToProgram, The Inform Team and VLinks Media.
Like many sectors, the learning industry has seen a tough few years while the UK rides out the global economic downturn. But Jones feels that the sector has performed solidly and is ready for growth. “Our last six salary and work surveys – the most comprehensive in the sector – have tracked the learning industry as it has held its own. We want to do whatever we can to encourage the vital infusion of new talent that keeps the industry fresh and keeps the established players on their toes.”
Blue Eskimo’s last salary and work survey – just published – has shown that the industry has a renewed optimism for 2014, with those who responded feeling that trading will be “a bit easier” jumping from 7.98% last year to 29.43% this year. Those who felt that trading will be “a bit tougher” dropped this year from 40.56% to 23.72%, while those who think things will be “a lot tougher” dropped from 14.33% to 7.51%. “These are encouraging signs,” says Jones – most people taking the survey were more optimistic about trading in 2014 than they were in previous years.
The Learning Awards will be held at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London, on 6 February 2014 – and are organised by the Learning & Performance Institute. Blue Eskimo’s directors Nick Jones and Nick Bate will be attending; Jones says, “We’re really looking forward to shaking the hands of the winner.”
Printed copies of the key findings of Blue Eskimo’s survey will be distributed free, at the Learning Technologies exhibition and conference on 29–30 January, at Olympia 2 in London. Anyone wishing to discuss the survey can meet with the team from Blue Eskimo on stand 17. You can also download the survey from Blue Eskimo's website.