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SkillSet Marks 30 Years of Tailored Learning Solutions

SkillSet

SkillSet Marks 30 Years of Tailored Learning Solutions

In May 2022 SkillSet Limited, the specialist in blended learning programmes, celebrated the 30th anniversary of its founding in 1992. SkillSet invites its customers and staff to celebrate the milestones and challenges of the last 30 years, while looking forward to future opportunities. The company invited all employees and their partners to an exciting evening on a Thames River cruise to mark the anniversary.

Jemma Greener, operations director:

“This milestone is achieved through the hard work and dedication of our staff, and our culture of friendly customer service that exists throughout the entire organisation. We have dedicated ourselves to 30 years of delivering quality through a passion for innovation, providing our customers with the most effective tailored learning solutions. Throughout 2022, we will be looking at where we started, what we have achieved, and what our plans are for the future.”

From left to right - Corine Lebois-Lean, James Snook, Adam Brown, Jemma Greener, Vesna Kranjec, Russell Neame, Coleen Christie, Natasha Smith, and Laura Wingate.

Defining Moments

In the spring of 1992, SkillSet Limited was founded in Camberley, Surrey.

One of our original customers is the global energy supplier, BP. SkillSet has continued to support BP in more than 100 training and IT consultancy projects since then. We have carried on developing long-lasting partnerships with many other clients, like the Welsh Government, Jisc, the London Fire Brigade and Advance Northumberland.

In 2006 SkillSet was bought by Latitude 91 Ltd, who continues to be the parent company to SkillSet.

In 2008, SkillSet played a major role in BP Downstream’s Business Support Centre project. We provided more than 100 people to help our customer to streamline its European customer services, based in offices all over Europe, into a single centre in Budapest.

In 2014, SkillSet won a contract to support the Welsh Government’s learning management system. SkillSet developed and implemented the Business Online Support Service (BOSS) portal and continues to maintain it to this day.

SkillSet won another key contract in 2018. In partnership with the LivePerson Institute, we designed and developed a suite of courses to support LivePerson’s LiveEngage customer service messaging platform. This been rolled out in seven different countries and in three different languages. We’re continuing to develop additional courses for LivePerson.

And it’s not just clients that stick around! Paul Deed and Manoj Sindhu are SkillSet’s longest serving employees; Paul joined in May 2004, followed a few months later by Manoj, both as project consultants. Today, Paul is one of SkillSet’s directors and the group chief technical officer. Thank you, Paul, and Manoj, for your 18 years of dedication!

Today, SkillSet is headed by Jemma Greener and has a global network of long-term associates. The company works with clients worldwide, delivering training in more than 50 countries and in many different languages.

Paul Deed, director:

“When I joined SkillSet, learning technology was very fledgling. Most customer projects involved a lot of face-to-face delivery and a lot of air miles. It has been rewarding to see how we have adapted our offering over the last 18 years to keep pace and deliver effective learning solutions.”

From left to right - Directors: Nigel Coopey, John Rozek, Tim Stratton, Paul Deed, and Jemma Greener.

Looking to the Future

2022 looks set to be our busiest year yet. New customers such as Stannah, Seed Charity, and KeyStream have recently been won. This period of growth has led to several new starters joining the SkillSet family in the last few months, including Kiran MacLeod, James Snook, Natasha Smith and Russell Neame.

Thank you to all our customers and colleagues over the past three decades. Here’s to the next 30 years!

All Latitude 91 staff and partners.
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Jisc Case Study

SkillSet

Learning analytics

Delivered for JISC

AT A GLANCE

  • Development of the Jisc learning analytics service
  • Ongoing support

THE CLIENT

Jisc is a not-for-profit company whose role is to support higher education and research institutions. It provides network and IT services, digital resources, advice, and procurement consulting, while researching and developing new information technologies and modes of working. Jisc is funded by a combination of the UK further and higher education funding bodies, and individual higher education institutions.

THE CHALLENGE

The Jisc learning analytics service development project is the world’s first national learning analytics service developed to address the key strategic goals of HE and FE organisations. SkillSet CEO, Tim Stratton, was engaged in the early stages of this project and was tasked with managing the implementation of the service, even as it developed, in the “pathfinder” institutions.

These pathfinders included the very earliest adopters, such as the University of Gloucestershire and Cardiff Metropolitan University, who were very much involved in shaping the Jisc service.

Tim inherited a number of projects that had already commenced and implemented strong project management controls. He created project initiation documentation, planned and coordinated communication with the institutions and managed subcontractors.

OUR APPROACH

Jemma Greener joined Tim on this project due to the number of pathfinder institutions (more than 20 concurrent) and the consequent volume of work. Tim and Jemma worked closely as a team, providing the main liaison between Jisc and the pathfinders. This enabled the Jisc technical team to spend much less time dealing directly with the institutions and more time on developing and setting up the service.

The project management team developed, or helped to develop and manage, several processes:

  • Support, including the introduction of Freshdesk – a trouble ticketing system.
  • User groups for Data Explorer, Study Goal, and the core Learning Records Warehouse set of products.
  • Project set up and reporting.
  • Implementation of Jisc systems (Data Explorer, Study Goal, plugins and data extraction) for each institution.

THE RESULTS

Both Tim and Jemma had considerable experience with relevant systems, particularly virtual learning environments, but throughout this project they have developed a deeper understanding of the technology and issues relating to learning analytics. For example:

  • Data structures – helping institutions to understand how their data should be used to populate the LRW. The progression codes and assessment data fed in by the University of South Wales from its Quercus and Blackboard systems is a good example.
  • Predictive modelling – explaining to customers how the predictive models constructed in OLAP and Tribal Student Insight work. Discussing data and model quality with Unicon and Marist College.
  • Data protection – Tim helped to deal with queries from customers relating to both the original and new data protection/service agreements and for getting these extended/signed by the institutions. Tim and Jemma were also involved in some of the technical implications e.g. the withdrawal of consent by a student who had previously agreed to let their personal data be used for analytics purposes.

OUR CLIENT’S FEEDBACK

Jisc rated SkillSet as a 5 out of 5 on our annual customer satisfaction survey for project management and system implementation. They also provided us with the following feedback:

Very pleased with our dedicated resource.

PAULETTE MAKEPEACE, Jisc

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