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Home Arrow Research Arrow In-Focus: Preparing for the Future of Learning (2016)

In-Focus: Preparing for the Future of Learning (2016)


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DateMay 09, 2016 Posted by: Laura Overton   Keywords: In-Focus, IT skills, learner engagement, learners, managing change, Next Generation Learning @ Work

This report is free to download, thanks to the support of our Strategic Partner, the CIPD.

One year ago, in a joint research report from Towards Maturity and the CIPD, we reported the need to ensure that there is a clear line of sight between L&D activity and organisational performance. However, twelve months on, there are still significant skills gaps in critical areas of business and commercial influence, understanding and technological ability amongst L&D professionals.

This report presents the evidence for leaders in learning and development to reflect on changing approaches to workplace learning and consider the skills they need for the future. It aims to stimulate action amongst L&D professionals around the globe that will:

  • Inspire them to embrace the increasingly self-directed nature of today’s learners 
  • Harness the potential for learning innovation through technology
  • Modernise their approach to developing the skills they need to facilitate social and experiential learning
  • Help them to engage with business leaders and enhance business performance

What you'll learn in this report:

  • What the priority skills for L&D should be
  • Where L&D currently sits within the business
  • How to move beyond the course and get closer to the business
  • The dangers of ignoring technology
  • What L&D professionals look like as collaborative learners
  • The impact of investing in L&D skills
  • How L&D professionals are learning on-the-job

Fast Facts from this report

Leverage learning optimism 
Many organisations have increased their overall training budget in the last two years and expect it to increase further. They are also expanding their L&D teams. However, those reporting the best outcomes do not necessarily have the biggest budgets or L&D teams.

  • 38% of organisations have seen an increase in their training budget over the last two years and 36% predict further increase in the next two years 
  • 36% have seen an increase in their training team in the last two years and 31% expect further increase

Integrate learning and work 
The future of learning is in the heart of the workplace. Currently: 
  • 85% of L&D leaders want to improve business performance 
  • 61% say L&D activity is aligned to the strategic goals of the business 
  • 54% consider their role is shifting towards performance consultancy

In some respects, the L&D profession has come a long way in the last five years. L&D staff are better able to create engaging online content and apply principles of instructional design. They are more aware of the potential of technology-enabled learning, and they are much better tuned into the needs and priorities of their business. But are they keeping up with the pace of change? 

Download the infographic

Towards Maturity have a produced an infographic in conjunction with the CIPD for the launch of the report at the CIPD Learning and Development Show - download it for free here, or at the bottom of this page.


Data for this report is drawn from the Towards Maturity 2015 Benchmark™ research with over 600 L&D leaders, reported in Embracing Change (see Appendix B for study methodology and participant demographics). The benchmarking review process included questions on the priority skills for L&D professionals and how they are acquired. Embracing Change is free to download, thanks to the support of the Towards Maturity Ambassador programme. For more information, visit: www.towardsmaturity.org/ambassadors.

Reference is also made in this report to Towards Maturity’s Learning Landscape™ research, when we explored how individuals learn what they need to do their job. We draw data from two sources in this report: 1,600 workers using learning services within their own company (gathered in 2015) and 200 L&D professionals who have invested their own money in online learning (gathered in 2016). Evidence is also included from around 170 L&D professionals who attended CIPD Leaders in Learning network events around the UK in Spring 2016. 

Prepare for the future of learning with the Towards Maturity Benchmark

If you want to future-proof your L&D strategy and equip your team with the essential skills needed to succeed in the future, the Towards Maturity Benchmark is a great place to start. Confidentially review and compare your strategy, for free. Head to www.towardsmaturity.org/benchmark to get started.


This report is free to download, thanks to the support of our Strategic Partner, the CIPD

Please note, you need to be logged in / registered to download your copy - the download link will take you to our registration page if you are not logged in. By downloading this report, you agree for your email address to also be shared with our sponsor (Please contact us directly for a copy if you do not wish for your address to be shared).

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