Following the huge overhaul in working practices triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, new research has revealed that the majority of employers are looking to increase their L&D budgets in 2021.
A study by Arden University found that more than half (52 per cent) of organisations are planning to spend more on L&D next year, with 6 per cent predicting a significant rise.
The Covid crisis has changed the perception of L&D, with more than a quarter of employers (28 per cent) saying that it is likely to be more important to their organisations as the UK emerges from the pandemic.
In fact, nearly three in five respondents admitted that the coronavirus crisis had changed their organisations’ attitudes towards digital learning. And 32 per cent also said in-person learning would continue to play an important role in the future.
However, businesses also raised some concerns about digital learning, with 44 per cent stating they found it difficult to find high-quality training courses. Fears of staff cheating or plagiarising to pass (36 per cent) and employees having limited access to IT equipment (35 per cent) were among the other concerns cited.
One in three L&D professionals added that one of the key challenges they faced as employees shifted to remote working was switching to online training, along with increasing flexibility and access to training.
Caroline Evans, corporate strategy director at Arden University, said: “This research backs up what our clients and learners have been telling us for a while – that online, flexible learning solutions are becoming increasingly important to them.
“It’s clear that the quality of online learning now means it is seen as on a par with and even a very viable alternative to traditional face-to-face formats. What we can also see is that the disruption caused by the pandemic has accelerated the transition to more online learning [...] and could mark a real shift in access to development and talent growth.”