Firms unable to take advantage of learning technologies due to lack of IT skills

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myteammonitorlearndirect publishes report and recommendations on making the most of technology-enabled learning

A report published today by learndirect has laid bare the challenges facing employers as they attempt to introduce learning technologies to their businesses. Drawing on research conducted by Towards Maturity, learndirect points to general fear of technology and a lack of IT skills as major obstacles to effective training[1]. Low confidence and a lack of awareness of technology-led training and the associated benefits are holding workforces back.

Despite the difficulties, many organisations remain committed to using new technologies to develop talent within their staff. The research from Towards Maturity, which informed the report and its findings, found: of those using learning technologies 98 per cent did so to increase access to learning and to make it more successful, 95 per cent wanted to share good practice and 94 per cent wished to improve the quality of learning.

Speaking today at the Learning Technologies Conference in London, Dereth Wood, Group Director, Adult Skills at learndirect, shared her experience of introducing technology into organisations’ training schemes: “It’s clear employers place a significant value on learning technologies, recognising they broaden the reach of learning, improve the quality of training and represent value for money. However, for businesses to truly realise these benefits they need to address and overcome the barriers , particularly those related to employee engagement. Our report aims to help companies do just that.”

Drawing on learndirect’s experience of helping millions of people learn online and the findings from the Towards Maturity research, the report outlines five steps companies can take to engage employees in using technology to learn new skills:

  1. Make a big splash to launch the learning and ensure staff know what to do next
  2. Spell out what everyone – from managers to the shop floor – needs to do. A staggering 50 per cent of all companies said that employees were reticent when it came to using new technology to learn so this is a real priority area
  3. 3. Show people how to use the technology and make learning manageable
  4. Review learning regularly and keep managers informed. Towards Maturity research revealed that 40 per cent reported that staff’s IT skills were insufficient to make full use of learning technologies
  5. Promote successes to colleagues and celebrate together

Laura Overton from Towards Maturity said: “From our research with more than 2,200 organisations over the last 10 years, it’s clear many businesses continue to struggle when it comes to engaging learners with new ways of learning. We welcome this report from learndirect. With their experience of supporting more than 3.5 million learners, they have valuable insights to share which learning and development professionals in business would be foolish to ignore”.

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