Today’s professionals are worried. Among workers, there is an ever-increasing concern that automation and artificial intelligence will begin to encroach on, and eventually replace, elements of their role. 

On the other hand, workers are also becoming more demanding of employers. A UK worker will now change employer every five years on average. Opportunities to progress and to get great training are now some of the most important considerations when people look for work. Furthermore, workers expect fantastic training opportunities from their employers.

Flexible learning, especially bite-size online learning, is rapidly overtaking the old-fashioned ‘classroom’ type learning style. Leaders are constantly battling to keep up with the new developments and changes. And new technology is providing both the challenge and the solution. 

While we’ve witnessed change in the past twenty years, this change will be insignificant to the change that’s coming. As the nature of work becomes more transitory and tech-focused, professional training needs to keep pace with this changing environment.

The future of learning

Here at AVADO, one of the UK’s largest online education providers, we wanted to find out what employees think about the “future of learning”. 

In November 2017, we commissioned a survey of 2,000 UK professionals from companies with over 500 employees. In order to gauge their opinions about professional training in today’s transitory world, we asked them a variety of questions about their current corporate training and the type of programmes they feel would benefit them and their jobs the most.

Here’s what we found:

  • 81% of employees say that continuous investment in training to acquire new skills is essential for them to be able to do their job
  • Only half (53%) of staff say the current way they receive training allows them to keep pace with developments in the industry
  • 29% can’t keep pace because training isn’t regular enough
  • 11% say the quality of online courses is too poor
  • 84% would be able to learn more effectively if they could choose the training that is most relevant to them, at the time it will be most convenient
  • 63% would consider switching employers if they were offered lifelong/regular training opportunities elsewhere

What does this tell us?

Firstly, there is a problem with the way that learning programmes are being delivered. Training isn’t offered regularly, and the way that they’re being delivered, employees feel, isn’t allowing them to keep pace with industry developments.

Second, people want a more engaging and effective way to learn – and they want learning to be much more regular. How can learnings be adapted to the workplace effectively if they’re not taught as ‘ongoing’?

Third, training is essential for people to do their job well – which makes sense as we don’t live in a static world: knowledge and technology are constantly changing, and in order for workers to deliver their best work, they need to be kept up-to-date.

And lastly, without good training, people are tempted to leave. This is a worry for employers, and a clear indicator that people value their professional development.

What could the future look like?

These results show that there is a very real problem in the professional training space – one that can’t be ignored for the next 5 or 10 years.

The answer, it’s becoming increasingly apparent, is a fresh approach to corporate learning. According to our findings, companies could benefit from investing in learning content which doesn’t involve travelling or high costs. Employees don’t want face-to-face training in places far away from home – they want personalised, digestible content with bite-sized learning. This could all be solved through the use of new technology, such as AI and VR. 

Employers need to take the initiative and prioritise training for their staff. We recommend establishing a company culture of “lifetime learning”, and ensuring that employees have the potential for progression within the company. This should have two major benefits: increasing the quality of their work, and increasing the likelihood that they’ll stay at the company.

Join the conversation with experts from the world of work

At AVADO, we help people and organisations achieve their potential with inspiring digital-first learning that has a lasting impact. We offer a range of professional qualifications, capability-building programmes and apprenticeships – all built to work at scale.

We are proud to be sponsoring the CIPD Middle East People Conference & Awards, which brings together up to 150 people professionals to discuss the future of the people profession.  

Centred around the theme of ‘HR Now and in the Future: Leading The Change’, the two-day event will address topics such as diversity and inclusion, the future of learning, organisation design and business effectiveness, employee experience and more. 

If you’re interested in joining the conversation, sign up now.

To discover more about our digital capability-building programmes, get in touch with our Corporate Partnership Team at

Media Centre

If you’re a journalist or member of the press looking for more information or to speak to one of our experts, please contact our press team. 

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About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.