Firms unable to take advantage of learning technologies due to lack of IT skills

30 January 2013

A report published today by learndirect has laid bare the challenges facing employers as they attempt to introduce learning technologies to their businesses. Drawing on research conducted by Towards Maturity, learndirect points to general fear of technology and a lack of IT skills as major obstacles to effective training . Low confidence and a lack of awareness of technology-led training and the associated benefits are holding workforces back.

Despite the difficulties, many organisations remain committed to using new technologies to develop talent within their staff. The research from Towards Maturity, which informed the report and its findings, found: of those using learning technologies 98 per cent did so to increase access to learning and to make it more successful, 95 per cent wanted to share good practice and 94 per cent wished to improve the quality of learning.

Speaking yesterday at the Learning Technologies Conference in London, Dereth Wood, Group Director, Adult Skills at learndirect, shared her experience of introducing technology into organisations’ training schemes: “It’s clear employers place a significant value on learning technologies, recognising they broaden the reach of learning, improve the quality of training and represent value for money. However, for businesses to truly realise these benefits they need to address and overcome the barriers , particularly those related to employee engagement. Our report aims to help companies do just that.”

Drawing on learndirect’s experience of helping millions of people learn online and the findings from the Towards Maturity research, the report outlines five steps companies can take to engage employees in using technology to learn new skills:

  • Make a big splash to launch the learning and ensure staff know what to do next
  • Spell out what everyone – from managers to the shop floor – needs to do. A staggering 50 per cent of all companies said that employees were reticent when it came to using new technology to learn so this is a real priority area
  • Show people how to use the technology and make learning manageable
  • Review learning regularly and keep managers informed. Towards Maturity research revealed that 40 per cent reported that staff’s IT skills were insufficient to make full use of learning technologies
  • Promote successes to colleagues and celebrate together

Laura Overton from Towards Maturity said: “From our research with more than 2,200 organisations over the last 10 years, it’s clear many businesses continue to struggle when it comes to engaging learners with new ways of learning. We welcome this report from learndirect. With their experience of supporting more than 3.5 million learners, they have valuable insights to share which learning and development professionals in business would be foolish to ignore”.

To download the full report visit


learndirect will be exhibiting at stand 62 at the Learning Technologies Conference, which takes place on 29 and 30 January at Olympia in London.
For more information please contact or call 0207 025 6500.

About learndirect

  • learndirect is the UK’s leading online learning provider
  • Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked with more than 6,000 organisations – large and small, public and private – to help them develop the skilled staff they need to thrive
  • And we’ve already helped more than 3.5 million people transform their lives with new skills, so contributing to national workforce productivity
  • We’ve delivered hundreds of thousands of qualifications with high success rates and robust quality processes
  • 10,000 people log on and learn with us every day, and our learner satisfaction percentage is consistently in the upper 90s

About Towards Maturity

Towards Maturity is a benchmarking research company that provides independent expert advice and support to help organisations use learning technologies to accelerate business performance. It leverages the data of its in-depth Benchmark Study, the largest learning technology benchmark in Europe. Since 2003 over 2200 organisations have contributed to  Towards Maturity’s leading benchmarks. Thanks to the support of Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors (21 learning organisations), annual benchmarking findings, case studies and resources are available to download for free at  To find out about Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors visit To learn more about Towards Maturity’s unique benchmarking tools and models visit