Learning & Development - Working for Essex
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Life-long learners

At Essex County Council we have developed inspirational and diverse learning opportunities to support our people to grow both personally and professionally.  Learning is a continual process, as we learn all the time from our experiences, interactions, training courses and a diverse range of other resources we consume on a daily basis, be it books, magazines or podcasts.  We encourage our people to be curious and look for opportunities to grow through experiences to learn on the job, from others (within the team, as well as the organisation and the wider system) and more formal learning which will enable you to flourish in your career.

A learning organisation

We are committed to building an organisation which enables every one of us to be the best we can be. We want to ensure that in our organisation learning is part of everything we do, enabling us to be the best in our daily roles and beyond.

You’re in control

Learning is integrated with all the work we do. Every member of our organisation takes ownership of their own development. You will also embrace being the master of your learning journey.

We don’t just offer formal programmes either. A wide range of support is available. This includes: 

  • A large suite of online training and tools 
  • Dedicated learning events such as ‘LearnFest’ – our flagship annual celebration of learning
  • Apprenticeships for both new and existing colleagues
  • Financial support to achieve professional qualifications 
  • Support from subject matter experts  
  • The opportunity to share your own expertise to up-skill colleagues 
  • Leadership and executive coaching 
  • Learning on demand 
  • Career pathways 


Learning is truly powerful when it’s embedded in everyday work – when it comes from having and sharing direct experiences.

This is the reason we created LearnFest, a week where we make learning a social occasion, where people come together to learn and celebrate. Each year, a range of interactive learning opportunities are hosted by our talented internal staff, as well as world-renowned experts in different fields of work, such as John Amaechi OBE, Corporate Rebels, MindGym, or Caroline Criado-Perez OBE to name a few. It is an experience that really stands out from traditional training activities and there is always something for everyone.

2019 saw the first LearnFest, centred on the theme of ‘curiosity’. We delivered five days of learning, across eight locations. There were over 200 learning opportunities in the form of launch events, marketplaces, competitions, games and online learning.

LearnFest came back in 2020, as a three-day virtual festival bringing together collective talents, ideas and experiences of our employees and building on the incredible success of the 2019 event.  The theme this time was ‘reimagine’, after COVID-19 had changed our ways of working forever. There were more than 100 original, creative, and unusual virtual events taking place throughout the week, all with our employees learning and development in mind. 

In 2021 LearnFest returned as a hybrid festival, built around the theme of ‘connection’. There were over 120 events taking place, with many continuing in a virtual format, as well as new and exciting learning also being provided in the great outdoors across various Essex locations.

Whether it is a virtual escape room or repotting plants, maths games using items from around the house or effective virtual working – we want to enable our colleagues to be true lifelong learners. 

Watch for yourself to see what we got up to.

My Learning Platform

Our strong learning culture is supported by My Learning, our state-of-the-art learning platform to which all our employees have access to. On this platform, you can access new development opportunities and resources, strengthen your skills and share your learning, knowledge and skills with your colleagues across the whole organisation. My Learning offers a personalised learning experience, by curating learning content that is relevant for your role and of interest for you. Its powerful search engine will allow you to browse the ample catalogue of learning resources by topic or type of learning (workshops, online courses, videos, reading materials, curriculum).

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