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Home Arrow Employer Stories Arrow Howden’s use of creative flair to ensure eLearning leads to business success.

Howden’s use of creative flair to ensure eLearning leads to business success.

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DateApril 17, 2012 Posted by: Charles Humphreys   Keywords: blended learning, Evidence for Change, induction, innovation, learner engagement, productivity

From its roots in 19th Century Scotland, Howden now operates in 20 countries, employing 4500 staff in its core business: the design, engineering and manufacturing of industrial fans, compressors and rotary heat exchangers.

One of the keys to Howden’s success is its ability to innovate; and this inspirational story demonstrates clearly what can happen when a company applies its flair and works closely with an eLearning specialist, eCom Scotland, to the design of eLearning for its staff.

If you are looking to deploy an engaging, cost-effective induction programme across a global business, Howden and eCom Scotland can offer some creative and inspirational ideas!

Following a period of sustained growth, Howden needed to recruit an additional 350 graduate-level engineers over a five year period. To help attract the best talent and to ensure they would assimilate and become productive as quickly as possible, Howden introduced The Howden Academy in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University. However, despite the Academy’s success, Howden became aware that it could become cleverer in the way that it delivered training to students – reducing the time given non job-related and less technical issues and increasing the time made available to specific job-related training.


This need to adjust the training focus was also highlighted through student feedback.


The challenge that Howden faced was to modify and re-platform their training offer to graduates that would:

  • Improve the capability of Howden to develop graduate engineers recruited by the business.
  • Further enable their newly recruited graduate engineers to be more effective more quickly.

Note from Editor

We are pleased to include this case study in our Evidence for Change programme because new graduate engineers at Howdens reached competency 3 times faster as a result of new technology enabled induction programme

Howden's approach resulted in a number of benefits compared with their traditional induction approach:

  • The eLearning has also contributed to a significant reduction in staff turnover rates from 7% to 2.5%
  • The new-style training also freed up 30% of students time.
  • 79% of line managers agreed that student performance had increased following participation in the new Academy.

FInd out how they did this by downloading the case study below.

This case study has been independently investigated and developed by Towards Maturity as part of our Good Practice Partnership with eLearning Age and the eLearning Awards. It was first published in eLearning Age Magazine in 2012.

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