Within a space of just three weeks in March 2020, the centre transitioned from face-to-face teaching to entirely online course delivery, fast-tracking instructors and delegates to a new way of working. The shift demanded instructors rapidly assimilate new presentation skills, and course material adjusted to fit shorter, more flexible webinar delivery. At the same time, management turned to social media to reach out to customers to update the industry using LinkedIn and Facebook, acquiring new clients along the way.
Hendrik (Rik) Dermont, Acting Head of the ALC, says a lot happened in a short space of time. “We had to re-invent ourselves and we did all this while working from home. We were very quick off the mark.” The previous business model, designed to bring people together from many different locations, was turned on its head when travel ground to a halt. “We learned as we went along, for example by organising webinars to train the trainers, most of whom are between 55 and 60 years old and unfamiliar with this environment.”
Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority was among the recent clients to take advantage of online teaching and has since increased the number of safety-related training contracts it places with the Aviation Learning Centre. ALC also reports a doubling of e-learning activity during the pandemic as attendees found more time to access these services. Prior to COVID-19, the centre delivered more than two thirds of teaching face-to-face in Luxembourg, and one third at customer premises. By the start of 2022, face-to-face teaching had recovered to about one third, while two thirds still remained online. Rik Dermont anticipates a 50/50 split by mid-year and expects face-to-face classes to exceed online teaching in the second half of the year; however, he predicts clients will continue to rely on both delivery methods in the future.