Learning and skills at work survey 2021

Foreword from Accenture This last year has been one of social, economic and digital upheaval. In many spheres of life, our world has been turned upside down. But there have also been glimmers of how we can change rapidly and moments of reflection about purpose and possibilities.

This is particularly true of the world of work, skills and learning. This research captures a snapshot of upheaval and rapid changes in learning. But it also raises questions for the future about how we continue to reinvent and reimagine learning and skills for ourselves and our organisations.

The need for learning is greater than ever. Business priorities have shifted rapidly, creating needs to flex the workforce and their skills around new work. Digital workplaces and the acceleration of cloud computing have demanded more specialist data, security and technology skills. A desire for more inclusive and meaningful experiences continues to drive needs for empathy, leadership, communication and other human skills. And probably the greatest need has been from individuals, who see personal growth as an essential part of meaningful work and careers.

Executive summary The CIPD's Learning and skills at work survey, in partnership with Accenture, explores organisational approaches to learning and skills to provide learning professionals and senior leaders with evidence-led recommendations to transform the learning provision within their context.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought massive disruption globally, impacting not just the way people and organisations work, but also how they learn and develop the skills they need now and in the future.

Learning and development in the pandemic The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced significant metrics of organisational learning and development for about a third of participants, with higher declines in larger firms

However, it should be noted that the majority of organisations saw stability in budgets and a smaller group saw increases in funding and resources.

Digital decisions Yet, even last year's survey, 3 conducted just before the pandemic, raised important concerns about the preparedness of organisations to deliver such a shift. Our report showed that while technology-enabled delivery had increased in importance, the adoption of more emergent technologies to support the delivery any time, any place, any way was sluggish: for instance, mobile applications were only being used by a very small proportion of organisations.

As well as the types of technology being used, the tactics and strategies behind implementation also need consideration. Though further CIPD research found that quality digital learning can be just as effective as in-person or classroom learning,4 adopting technology to support learning must be framed within an overall learning philosophy. Thought must be given to which types of learning are best suited to digital platforms rather than simply transferring all face-to-face content online 'as is'.

Key Takeaways

About This Report

1. Foreword from Accenture

2. Executive summary

3. Learning and development in the pandemic

4. Digital decisions

5. Back to business

6. Clarity, connection and collaboration

7. Agility and future skills

8. Evidence and evaluation

9. Conclusions and recommendations

About the Publisher

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development The survey was targeted at people in HR/learning and development or in senior roles as the questions require specific knowledge on learning and development practices and policy. Over half (56%) report they are responsible for, or involved in, determining the learning and development needs of their organisation. Figure 36 shows a broad spectrum of respondents, with over half (55%) coming from either an HR or L&D background, while 15% are line managers, 9% general managers and 15% are senior managers or directors.

Publish Date

October 2021