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By 8 May 2020 | Categories: news

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is opening its Learning-as-a-Service Platform to all, providing 30 days free access to anyone that registers before the end of May 2020.

Offering about 5000 hours of training across numerous modules, the HPE Digital Learner Platform is a leading global example of how digital learning is exploring access to education and skills.  

“As a prominent global edge-to-cloud Platform-as-a-Service provider, HPE is acutely aware that COVID-19 has increased the pressure on technology companies to innovate ever-more effective remote operability”, says Renay Rampersadh, education manager at HPE South Africa. “COVID-19 has not only cast the demand for remote capability into stark relief, but has also highlighted the shortage of skills currently facing companies in the rapidly evolving technology sector.”   

Once the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted, things are unlikely to return to normal. Millions of South Africans will have learned that activities which previously needed to be conducted in person can be accomplished – much more quickly and efficiently – remotely. A key appreciation that many South African students or families with school-going children will take with them will be a new understanding of, and demand for, online learning.

When HPE evolved its digital education platform as a Learning-as-a-Service tool for customers and partners, the focus was on in-depth technical training for HPE’s own technology. Specifically, training sought to grow the storage, server, data analysis and network management capabilities required to operate customer businesses in the cloud. Today the HPE Digital Learner Platform provides a vast array of HPE skill sets, as well as a many other global courses spanning a range of different fields.

In building out this education platform, HPE also discovered a shift in the culture of how people preferred to learn, especially among younger people entering the workplace for the first time.

Half of today’s workforce is comprised of millennials. By 2025 the proportion is expected to be 75%. Millennials work, think, consume information, and learn differently from past generations. They demand more from digital systems and business processes, and are less forgiving of companies that struggle to be forward-looking. New entrants to the workplace also are much more comfortable navigating digital learnings spaces alone, at their own pace, “self-selecting the skills combinations they require to tailor their capabilities to specific jobs, challenges or outcomes,” explains Rampersadh.

In short, millennials thrive on digital learning, “especially if it is flexible enough to accommodate different speeds, schedules and learning preferences,” says Rampersadh. This much more individually-driven approach also produces, “the diverse and ever-refreshing skills combinations required in today’s continually innovating digital work environments,” he adds.   

Content on the HPE Digital Learner Platform is constantly updated, ensuring that the latest learning is always available. The platform also offers the softer management, marketing and mainstream business administration skills required in modern digital businesses. Modules can be selected as, “standalone solutions for learners to update skills, cross-train into new technologies, or to complement traditional training methods with updated content reinforcing previous instruction,” says Rampersadh.

Learners using the platform can earn digital badges as they complete online assessments for courses and modules that offer verifiable digital certification. The platform also provides learners the opportunity to sign up for globally-recognised certification exams through assessment partners. Learners can then, “complete the exact modules, assessments and exercises that will prepare them to pass the evaluations booked after which they receive official, globally-recognised, accreditation,” says Rampersadh.

For individuals, the HPE Digital Learning Platform provides instant access to the latest global learning sourced from anywhere in the world at a fraction of the price of attending actual instructor-led training. As Rampersadh explains, “For businesses, the platform not only reduces the costs of training but also allows these costs to be more predictable as training happens wherever employees are and whenever it suits them - with minimal disruption”.  

Providing 30 days free access to the HPE Digital Learner Platform for those who register before the end of May 2020 offers South Africans the opportunity to use COVID-19 isolation to develop new skills to meet the challenging and rapidly evolving economy.

“I hope that exposure to the platform, even if people merely take a look, will help embed a culture of continuous independent learning as South Africans re-skill for success in the fourth industrial revolution,” concludes Rampersadh.

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