Traditionally, training in the licensed trade has meant face-to-face engagement — taking staff out of their working environment and gathering them together in a classroom. More recently we’ve seen the development of e-learning, available online. What blended learning does is meld these two forms of training together, where it is appropriate to do so.
An example of this blended learning approach would be training in cellar work. Cellar management is part of basic craft training, and hugely important. There’s a theoretical aspect to this and a practical aspect.
The theoretical aspect can be addressed by e-learning online, done before the practical training that takes place in the cellar.
This blended approach has two main advantages: it enables staff to do part of this training either at work in a quiet period, or at home. It also means that when staff with different levels of experience arrive for the practical training, they do so with the same knowledge of terminology and basic principles of cellar management. This gives the added advantage that the training doesn’t need to proceed at the pace of the slowest, or least well-informed learner.
This approach requires a training provider that can provide both face-to-face training and e-learning. One of the problems in the past is that trainers have tended to specialise in one or the other.
It is equally important that you feel confident in the content of the training provided — regardless of how it is delivered. Make sure that your training provider understands education and training, has sector specialists, formats the training appropriately, has the detailed content right and the accreditation required to deliver successful training programmes that add value to your business.