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Learning styles not linked to age, says Santander HRD

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Implementing a company-wide training programme has revealed that different employee generations do not have learning styles wedded to their age, according to Santander people and talent director Simon Lloyd.

Speaking at the CIPD Learning and Development Conference in London, Lloyd said workers across all areas of the business showed similar learning styles and learning is something all employees must be engaged in themselves if it is to work.

"People will learn if they want to learn," he said. "If the people who genuinely want to learn are given the right frameworks and tools, you'll find that they will succeed."

Speaking at the same event, PwC head of learning and development Susannah Anfield said more experienced employees engaged well with technology in learning.

"It's well-documented that Gen Y react well to technological aspects in learning material," she said. "But that doesn't mean that others don't also find it useful and effective."

Michelle Parry-Slater, academy manager at The SantaFe Group, said learning schemes in companies must evolve beyond "injection education".

"If you give someone a one-off course that energises them in the short-term, this is clearly of some use," she said. "But after a while that benefit wears off. We need learning methods that empower people in their day-to-day working lives."

Helena Moore, director of organisational development and communications at the Bromford Group, said recruiting the right people is crucial to modernising learning and development structures.

She said that hiring people who "eat, sleep and breathe" new ideas in learning leads to innovation being carried through whole businesses. These people can be of any age, as long as they are open to the new ideas.