Some of the tech talent involved in Techies in Residence comes from the best talent and companies in Northern Ireland, including the excellent Learning Pool, who are working with the Old Library Trust on the SWEET Project. We sat down with Paul McElvaney, CEO at Learning Pool, to talk about why they got involved.
1. Paul, tell me a little about Learning Pool
Learning Pool offers a complete service to our customers. This includes a library of online learning content and innovative technology, all to improve job performance.
We work closely with each of our 400 customers and 1.5 million learners, who include the Houses of Parliament, Boots, and Jurys Inn, to deliver high-quality service that produces real benefits and tangible returns.
We’ve recently received the Customer Focus Award at the Institute of Customer Service, been listed on The Sunday Times Best Companies Top 100 two years in a row and gained an accolades Deloitte Best Managed Companies.
I’m a strong advocate of CSR, and we have a dedicated team at Learning Pool, who everyone gets involved to help make a difference.
2. What attracted you to the Techies in Residence Programme?
At Learning Pool we take our CSR seriously, and we love to give back. From bake sale for charity, career enrichment to university scholarships, it’s pretty busy!
We focus our activities around three main areas:
- Education: Our scholarship with University of Ulster to support to support undergraduates for 3 years of their degree programmes is in it’s second year of success. This totals £4000 support to each of our students and we also employ them for their year’s placement.We also encourage our staff to volunteer and support Young Enterprise, School Employer Connections and other local initiatives with community and educational outreach on a regular basis.
- Community We’re heavily involved local community activities. I served as board member for CultureTECH for 3 years and helped establish this as one of the biggest festivals in education and the tech industry in Northern Ireland.
- Charity: In the last year, myself and other members of the team have done Charity cycles, walks, we’ve held a book sales, had a team of volunteers help out at Rainbow Child and Family Centre and had an annual bake sale.
Normally Learning Pool will match the funds raised by a member of the team to create a bigger impact for their particular charity and this creates a great atmosphere among the team.
We were approached by Conor Doherty who provided us with an overview of the programme and we thought it was a super opportunity to get involved in a local community imitative.
3. What attracted you to working with Old Library Trust?
The Old Library Trust is a wonderful initiative supporting local people to take control of their own health and well being.
The Learning Pool team are really passionate about corporate social responsibility, so working with George and his team to produce a module to combat childhood obesity makes perfect sense for us.
By creating a module we can scale the number of people who will benefit from the programme. Rather than attending a session, they can review the module whenever suits them and use it as a reference point going forward.
4. Tell us a little about what’s exciting about this project?
We’re really excited about working with George and his team to make this module come to life.
We plan to include some video demonstrations on food preparations and making the module interactive and fun for the end users.
I believe the Old Library Trust have delivered this training to about 1,000 people at the minute. An online module means the reach could be extraordinary, and something that could be shared nationwide promoting the Old Library Trusts profile.
5. What challenges do you think you’re going to face in this process?
As this project has been so successful as a face to face workshop the biggest challenge is the transition to a digital platform.
We will work with George and his team to ensure that the e-learning solution we design is engaging and fun with a gamification element to ensure that the learner absorbs the information in the best possible way.