People & Skills Projects - 23 January 2015

Mansfield e-learning company expands into India

Mansfield-based online education provider, bksb, has opened new headquarters in India as part of its continued growth and expansion.

bksb chairman Tim Clarke, Justice Mahesh Mittal Kumar, Dame Asha Khemka and Harvinder Atwal at the centre's official opening in ChandigarhOfficially opening the new Skills Anytime centre in Chandigarh earlier this month are (from left) Tim Clarke, chairman of bksb and Skills Anytime; Guest of honour Justice Mahesh Mittal Kumar, the Former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir; Dame Asha Khemka and Harvinder Atwal.

The company, based at the i2Centre, off Hamilton Way, has set up a head office and training centre in the northern city of Chandigarh to market its e-learning products to the sub-continent.

Operating in India as Skills Anytime, its popular software packages have been specially-tailored for the Indian market to enhance people’s career prospects and opportunities for further study.

The software enables people to improve their English by taking a short on-screen assessment of their current ability, followed by a series of self-paced tutorials to help them reach the required standard.

Suitable for all age groups, it is aimed at schools, colleges, employers and individuals.

Equipping more citizens with good English is considered an important part of the Indian Government’s ambitions for economic growth – and bksb, with its strong track record of success, is keen to support this.

A subsidiary of West Nottinghamshire College, bksb has seen its online learning resources used by more than 25 million people and thousands of education-providers across the world since it launched almost 20 years ago. In the UK alone, over 80% of colleges and hundreds of schools, training providers, local authorities and employers use its solutions to improve teaching and learning.

bksb’s managing director, Harvinder Atwal, said: “It is predicted that by 2025 a quarter of the global workforce will come from India. Our tried-and-tested English language solutions will enable people to improve their skills, progress to further education and, ultimately, secure employment.”

College principal and chief executive, Dame Asha Khemka, said: “I am confident its online learning tools will soon be used by many businesses and education providers in India; adding real value to the training of their employees and students by honing their speaking, reading and understanding of the English language.”

Meanwhile, West Nottinghamshire College has announced a partnership with the Indian-based Cordia Group of Educational Institutes, which is creating a new vocational training centre in the rural village of Sanghol, Punjab, specialising in masonry, carpentry, plumbing, and painting and decorating.

Using its experience and expertise in construction-related training, the college will design the courses that will be offered at the new centre – part of the Cordia Group’s campus of educational institutes – as well as training the tutors that will deliver them there.

Dame Asha is the founding chair of AoC India – an organisation launched by the Association of Colleges to establish mutually-beneficial links between educational institutions in the UK and India.

The Cordia Group is a venture of the Lord Rana Foundation, set up by successful businessman and member of the House of Lords, Lord Diljit Rana.

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