Virtual College

Report to Help Businesses "Revolutionise" L&D Programmes

Ilkley (UK), September 2021 - Following the success of their first L&D report in their three-part series, digital learning provider Virtual College has now released the second report, "The Importance of Investing in Your Learners". Exploring a question that every business is asking - How much time and effort do we need to invest into our learning programmes? - this report offers guidance and insight into why businesses must embrace this investment and how they can go about it.

With over 4.6 million registered online learners, Virtual College has a great interest in ensuring learners are getting the experiences they need. Last year the company surveyed over 2,000 of these learners to try and understand what they really wanted from their work-based training.

The survey threw light on many trends that are being discussed in the L&D industry. Recognising that the insights would be useful and beneficial to businesses that are trying to navigate these uncertain times, Virtual College is releasing a series of three reports under the title "The Evolution of L&D". The first report, which was released in June, focused on how to create training that suits the learner. The second one, released in Sept 2021, focuses on the role of the employer and the investments they can make into learning and development.

This latest report draws on a number of topics that were explored in the survey, such as the employees' motivations for learning at work, the question of who is responsible for learning at work - the employee or employer, and the different ways employers can support their employee's development.

With 83% of respondents saying that the responsibility of learning and development should be shared between the employers and employees, Virtual College wanted to help businesses address the issue of what this responsibility looks like.

The report's articles and thought pieces aim to do this and more, helping transform businesses' L&D programmes. It explains what the employer's role should be, shares examples of how they can invest in their employees, and, overall, puts forward a compelling argument as to why investing in learners and the learning is worth the time and effort.

The report covers topics such as

  • the benefits of L&D to the employer and employee
  • how to consolidate learning - embracing the pre- and post-training elements
  • a case study that highlights how one company went above and beyond for the learners of their training programme
  • why businesses need to take accountability for learning and what this looks like

It also includes an interview with L&D expert David James, author, host of The L&D Podcast, and Chief Learning Officer at Looop, who shared his thoughts on accountability, engaging learners and stakeholders, and investing in L&D for the future.

He explains why we need to support businesses to take a new view when it comes to L&D: "Many organisations have ineffective L&D functions. Whether it's how they engage with stakeholders or learners or recognising who takes responsibility, they need to look at L&D through a new lens. But it's not always so simple, which is why it's important to share insights and advice so that businesses can start making changes to their L&D programmes that really make a difference. Only then will they start seeing the value of investing in their learners."

Nicole Horsman, Director of Sales and Partnerships at Virtual College, explains why they want to support businesses in understanding their role in L&D. "We know that right now, in this time of change and uncertainty, there is an unprecedented amount noise and confusion about L&D and what direction training in the office should go. Understandably, businesses have many questions: Why do they need to invest so much in L&D? How far do they need to take it?  But what many businesses don't realise is that this isn't just an investment in the learner, but in the business, too. It's a way of supporting the business to meet its outcomes, which will help them succeed and flourish in the long term.

But, as is often the case with big changes, they have to accept that it isn't always going to be simple; that there often isn't the 'silver bullet' answer they are after. This report breaks down what they can do, giving them concrete, practical advice that will help revolutionise their training programmes."