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Coping with the credit crunch: Delivering more for less

UKLearning NewsCharity Learning Consortium

Organisations need to think more creatively about efficiency says Martin Baker, Managing Director of the Charity Learning Consortium. He'll be talking about the cost savings and other benefits of working together in a Consortium when he addresses Online Educa in December: 'Together we can achieve far more than one person on their own,' he says.

As we enter a new era of economic austerity, Martin Baker, Managing Director of the highly successful Charity Learning Consortium (CLC) is highlighting the benefits of working together.

He believes the example of the Consortium, which he founded, can be duplicated within other sectors and he'll be talking about the benefits of group power when he addresses Online Educa in Berlin on 3 December 2010.

"I believe that the simplicity of our strength in numbers is an example which can be duplicated by other organisations, in other countries, in other circumstances," he says. "The CLC itself started with just six charities, and look at us now!"

Martin explains that the idea for the Consortium formed when a charity L&D manager fell off his chair laughing at the proposed cost of eLearning. Together they set up a group of six charities to share the cost, and so the CLC was born.

"It's a great example of necessity being the mother of invention," says Martin. "And in the current economic climate, all organisations need to be inventive."

The power of the Charity Learning Consortium itself - which now has 75 member charities and counting - lays in simple collaboration, which makes eLearning cost effective for all members.

Although the cost savings of a Consortium may be the most obvious, there are other benefits which may not at first be apparent, says Martin. These include benchmarking, working towards common goals, learning from others' mistakes, and sharing resources and knowledge. A refreshing openness amongst members, and a willingness to collaborate, share and learn together is at the heart of the CLC.

"Third Sector organisations begin their journey with us because of the cost savings they achieve, accessing a suite of eLearning that otherwise they would never be able to afford. But once they have joined, they benefit in unexpected ways; by networking, sharing and learning with others - in this way they start, continue and progress on their eLearning journey," says Martin. "Together we can achieve far more than one person on their own."

Martin will be addressing Online Educa - the largest eLearning conference in the world - on 3 December 2010 at 2.15pm, talking about the ten benefits of working together in a Consortium. He'll be taking part in an interactive discussion to explore practical, innovative ideas on how to successfully deliver greater efficiency demanded by business while still improving the quality of learning demanded by staff.

Martin will be joined by: Lesley Price, Head of Regeneration and Skills at Becta, who will be talking about the eLearning lessons learnt from 50 case studies; and Cynan Houghton, Capacity Building Coordinator at Oxfam, who will be talking about establishing strategic business change under pressure.