Skills management hedges to C-level

Training has become such an important factor in company performance that Alex Smith, CEO of Learning solutions integrator Impart confidently predicts the days of the CLO (chief learning officer) are not too far distant.

Along with this, he says, intellectual capital will be treated as a marketable asset and capex budgets will have a line for learning.

Training gives companies a competitive advantage, Smith said, and has a growing importance in companies. A CLO would be responsible for the skills level and achievements of an organization. Companies face a challenge with the loss of such intellectual resources and need to deal with the impact of an ageing population where "skills and knowledge walk out the door". This drain on intellectual resources can, he said, adversely affect services and companies find that bridging the gap can be difficult.

Impart, which is a joint venture of Central Queensland University, Griffith University, m2m Corporation and the University of Wollongong, will resell the learning management software solutions of US-based Plateau Systems.

Smith said Plateau would augment Impart's three lines of business are content, services and software, and would be the foundation layer for its software division.

"This package integrates the three," he said.

Impart was previously the exclusive reseller for Docent in Asia Pacific which merged with Click2Learn. "We couldn't reach an agreement with the new entity, SumTotal Systems," Smith said.

Plateau's CTO, Ed Cohen, in Sydney for the launch if the company's services, said the learning management solutions provider notched up revenues in 2003 of $25 million.

Clients include GE which keeps track of some 3.4 million training records.