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Coronavirus marks an increase in digital learning, says CIPD


The impact coronavirus had on the world of work has meant learning professionals are now more forward-thinking, according to a new CIPD report.

There has been a surge in digital learning, as seven in ten organisations (70%) reported an increase in use of digital or online solutions over the last year.

The latest Learning and Skills at Work report from the CIPD and Accenture, found more than a third of organisations (36%) have also increased their investment in learning technology.

Lizzie Crowley, co-author of the report and senior skills adviser at the CIPD, told HR magazine learning professionals have been good at adapting in response to the pandemic, especially in the widespread shift to remote working.

She said: “Hybrid working models are on the rise, and therefore it is going to become increasingly more important that employers make sure learning is available to everyone, no matter where they are based.

“This will play an important part in ensuring the focus the UK government has put on up and re-skilling is still at the forefront of businesses agendas.”

Crowley noted an uptake in webinars as a popular form of training.

She added: “Over this past year, learning professionals have been able to identify the platforms and tools employees find most engaging, and will now be utilising them moving forward.”

The switch to a more digital model has worked for the majority of businesses, as 77% of organisations said they’re successfully using learning technology and 69% said they are innovating in their use of learning technology.

Learning professionals have also been prompted to reflect more widely about the future of work.

Over half (51%) have assessed the impact of automation on roles and how to redeploy talent, up from 40% in 2020.

Whilst two thirds (64%) have assessed which roles are changing and how to re-skill employees, up from 56% in 2020.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said being able to re-skill and redeploy workers during the last year has been essential.

He said: “It’s been great to see the learning profession stepping up and delivering, despite many having their budget and headcount reduced.

“Digital learning done well delivers benefits in building new skills, and the pandemic is catalysing shifts in learning capabilities that are much needed.”

The last year has also prompted learning professionals to take stock of forthcoming changes, particularly in relation to automation according to Cheese.

He added: “We hope to see the innovation and adaptability they’ve demonstrated over the past year continue as they help individuals and organisations adjust and excel in the ever-changing world of work."

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