11558  adulteducation
Published: 01 April 2009

As the deepening recession continues to leave thousands of Kent workers facing redundancy, a new website has been launched that makes it easier than ever for people to retrain, broaden their qualifications, or learn new skills.

The website, www.kent.gov.uk/adulted, has been created by leading Kent design and marketing agency Sagittarius Marketing. The consultancy was commissioned by Kent Adult Education (KAE) following a three-way pitch, and was asked to design an easy-to-use site that would appeal to all ages and encourage people to enrol for courses online. KAE has between 30,000 and 40,000 customers each year but just 7% of all enrolments are currently made via the website.

KAE’s Head of Business Development and Marketing, Terry Botfield, said: “Increasing the number of enrolments made online is one of our key objectives.

“The old website was not user friendly. There was no clear structure and it was very difficult for people to search for and ‘purchase’ courses. We were looking for a specialist agency that could deliver an engaging, informative site that was easy to navigate and would make the whole process quick and simple.

“Sagittarius Marketing has an excellent track record for creative, effective web design and they demonstrated a clear understanding of our customers’ needs. Thanks to their experience and technical ability, we now have an exciting, interactive website that enables us to communicate with new audiences while sustaining and developing existing markets.”

Julia Crompton, from Sagittarius Marketing, said: “The KAE website needed to be much more customer focused rather than product focused, and had to appeal to a diverse range of users – from company directors seeking training solutions for their staff to those simply wanting to start a new hobby or to develop their life skills.

“The first thing we did was to make it easier for users to identify which sections are most relevant to their needs, by introducing a clear distinction between the key business areas – Life, Leisure and Work.

“The home page has a course prospectus and search facility, and links to everything from new ‘pay as you go’ membership and courses to details on how to enrol, payment and pricing, and advice to help you make the right choice. We’ve also introduced a facility which allows visitors to sign up for e-mail updates so they can keep abreast of new courses and events.”

The award-winning agency, which has also designed promotional banners for each Kent Adult Education centre, is now working on the website’s second stage of development, an online ‘shopping tool’ for courses which will make searching and booking even simpler.

Almost 4,000 courses are available on the KAE website as well as a range of training and skills development programmes with nationally recognised qualifications. Options range from care work, computing, marketing, management and customer service to complimentary therapies, floristry and childcare.

Terry Botfield from KAE added: “With the majority of our tuition fees frozen at 2007/08 prices, over 2,500 new courses to choose from and a brand new website that makes it simple to enrol online, there’s never been a better time to join.”

For further information about Sagittarius Marketing, visit www.sagittarius-marketing.com, call 08450 553883 or email julia@sagittarius-marketing.com

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