Thursday, 21 February 2013

#LT13UK: Learning in the UK - and my own support

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 14.17.27.png  I've previously posted on my first couple of sessions at Learning Technologies this year but never got as far as the afternoon sessions.

But after lunch we had Bersin, describing some of the findings from their UK Training Factbook, and they've also since ran a webinar describing some of these findings in a bit more detail.

Heavier reliance on instructor led training than in the US, supported by higher trainer staffing levels (10.1 vs 4.2 L&D staff per 1000 learners), leads to a much higher spend per learner - £838 vs £441.

I had hoped this was due to a more progressive vs hire and fire culture in the UK (which is still think is partly true) but no, learners get just 7.4 hours learning in the UK vs 22 hours in the US, and the cost per hour is £63 in the UK vs £34 in the US.  We're doing less learning, but spending more doing it!

No wonder that 65% of large UK businesses cut their L&D spend last year.

The findings are particularly sad given the uptake in learning support elsewhere, i.e. that spend on training in the US grew by 12% last year, showing that companies there are tuned into the growing difficulties finding the required skills, despite growth in unemployment.

Of course, there are some encouraging signs too - for example instructor led training has declined from 77% of hours in 2009 to 53% now.  Online learning has increased from 14 to 21%.  But this still compares with 34% in the US (though geographic scale has something to do with this too).

And we are also using more traditional and social tools:

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 14.19.08.png

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 14.19.36.png


But we do still need to do more about this - firstly by ensuring that real learning needs are being met, and secondly, by moving much more rapidly towards newer, online, informal and collaborative forms of supporting learning.

Note that having just written this I probably should acknowledge that my own main contribution to UK's learning is pretty traditional - i.e. I deliver quite a lot of sessions to the UK HR community through Symposium Events.


Some of these sessions are fairly interactive - and I do pout particular effort into making sure that the learning, and organisation development sessions, do have less slides and more discussion.  But they're all delivered in a fairly traditional way - even if their focus and content I describe are often far from traditional!

So I am really pleased that we are at least starting to catch up.  So as well as these face-to-face sessions, we've recently added in a couple of webinars as well:


Also of course, besides all this, I remain heavily involved in ConnectingHR which through its unconferences continues to lead the move towards social learning within UK HR.  If you've not been to one of these events, you really should.  (The next unconference is pencilled in for Friday 21 June - more details here, or at closer to the time.)


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