In the newest addition of their Learning at Work report, CIPD has highlighted some of the challenges being faced by the UK workforce. Skills and labour shortage in the UK have been a point of focus for a while now and this report only emphasizes on it more.
The study was conducted with 1,108 people who are in charge of helping others learn at work. It was discovered that although more organizations have provided resources for learning and development (L&D) in the past year, 53% of those working in learning and development roles feel that their team’s workload has increased.
And despite the increase in budget and headcount, L&D functions are struggling with an increased workload. Moreover, business leaders are lacking capacity as well as insight about what is needed which only adds more fuel to the fire.
The report also mentions how external factors such as digital innovation, cost of living, and the war in Ukraine have all affected the UK workforce in some shape or form. In December 2022, the month ChatGPT was launched, there were about 100 million users on it. This kind of unprecedented growth in the AI field is slowly changing the way organisations operate.
L&D is Not Aligning with Business Priorities
Compared to the last two years, the Learning at Work report has found that most L&D strategies are not aligning with the business. Additionally, only 41% of workers in learning roles (L&D practitioners) feel the company provides them with an environment where they can learn and develop. That leaves us with more than half of the survey respondents not feeling that way.
At present, the top priority for L&D practitioners is addressing the skills gap. However, with increased workloads, the biggest hindrance to them is the lack of time with about 42% of learners feeling that way. This is closely linked to the lack of priority from the businesses side with around 24% of workers struggling with line manager support.
There has also been in a decline in overall worker confidence as only 59% of the participants in the survey believe that they can quickly adapt to the changing skill requirements of their organizations, compared to 69% in the previous survey conducted in 2021.
Despite its Challenges, L&D Professionals have a Meaningful Career
This report takes a close look at the L&D profession to see how people in the industry add value. Around 65% of L&D professionals feel they have a meaningful career and leaders in the profession feel they have a growing impact in their organization.
Some of the key findings have been that L&D leaders have decision-making power and a certain amount of influence, both among peers as well as in their profession. However, practitioners still feel they are undervalued. But not all hope is lost as leaders who want to add value are encouraging their teams to develop professionally through online classes and webinars.
As part of their recommendations, the Learning at Work report suggests embracing the digital side of the world to accommodate the increasing workloads. Businesses need to be curious about the different digital avenues they can explore and use them to their advantage. With generative AI coming into the picture, L&D functions also need to jump in on it.
The report urges L&D leaders who hold a position of influence to come together and create an environment where practitioners can evolve. It is important for leaders to lead by example, create more opportunities, and not follow the blueprint of the past.