A specialist water engineering company in Scotland has spoken of the “transformative” affect the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board’s (ECITB) e-learning platform has on small businesses.

A & L Mechanical, which has 53 employees, started using the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) at the start of the year after the ECITB created a bespoke online digital learning academy for the business based in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire.

The LXP provides free-to-access online learning for all levy-paying employers from recognised e-learning providers.

The platform has helped provide better access to training for all parts of the engineering construction industry, including small and micro companies, who have less capacity to manage their own online learning system.

A & L Mechanical, which started using the LXP in January 2024, installing pipework in the water industry

A & L Mechanical, which started using the LXP in January 2024, installing pipework in the water industry.

In its first year in 2023, 107 of the 142 employers that used the LXP had never claimed e-learning grants before.

A & L Mechanical has grown 40% in size in the last six years, which has led it to review its training offering. In January 2024, it joined the list of employers benefiting from a catalogue of more than 20,000 free courses on the LXP.

Steven Morton, QHSE Manager at A & L Mechanical, said: “Our vision was always to expand and evolve, but we anticipated this particular growth phase to be a distant future endeavour.

“We were cognisant of our goals, yet given our current scale, they seemed neither feasible nor affordable.

“Despite significant investments in online training, the financial implications of procuring a custom Learning Experience Platform (LXP) were not justifiable at this stage. However, when this opportunity presented itself, we seized it without hesitation.

“This advancement has propelled us beyond our projected growth trajectory. What we had envisioned as a medium-term plan for the next five years has now been realised, marking a transformative moment for us.

“Such an initiative is typically expected from larger organisations. The sophistication of our onboarding process, facilitated by this platform, leaves new employees impressed with its polished and professional approach.”

LXP increasing engagement in training

The LXP, which is accessible from any device, provides access to a wide range of learning resources, such as e-learning packages, video courses, webinars, podcasts and e-books, and allows people to learn at their own pace.

In total, 10,089 courses were completed by 6,148 different users on the online learning platform in 2023, with more than 50% of the ECITB’s in-scope organisations making use of the platform in its first year.

The platform has enjoyed continued growth at the start of 2024, surpassing last year’s total course completions within the first four months of the year.

One of the new users for 2024, A & L has already used the platform extensively, in particular for inductions, with its most popular courses being health and safety related, such as asbestos awareness, abrasive wheels, manual handling and working at height.

Providing innovative water industry solutions in electrical, mechanical and fabrication work, the company’s main client is Scottish Water, while it also has contracts in Republic of Ireland and northern England.

Steven says the LXP has been a significant cost-saving addition which its workers have found to be user-friendly.

“Our workforce is experienced, and while technology may not be their forte, they have found the LXP to be quite intuitive once set up. We have encountered no issues with it; it has been a smooth journey,” he said.

“When our workers are on site waiting for a subcontractor, they utilise that time for e-learning. In the past, this would have required them to leave their jobs to attend a course or use a computer, resulting in lost production time.

“Now, they can access the platform through their mobile devices, wherever they are, and complete their training. This has led to increased employee engagement and timely completion of training by more team members.

“We’ve also observed workers broadening their skill sets by requesting ongoing training, such as Excel tutorials for those transitioning to office roles. Net zero is a current focus, and we also have a dedicated playlist for that on our academy.”

ECITB Learn Academy

The LXP, which has a catalogue of more than 20,000 free courses, is being widely used by smaller companies like A & L Mechanical, which  has 53 employees.

A & L Mechanical works in the water industry in Scotland
Find out more about the LXP and how to sign up

Watch our LXP video guide