Last updated: 25.04.13

Too few UK firms using e-learning

Not enough businesses in the UK are making the most of the opportunities available to them through online training.

This is according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which found while almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of firms currently use e-learning, just 15 per cent feel it is among their most effective educational practices.

However, the CIPD/Cornerstone OnDemand Learning and Talent Development Survey 2013 said if British companies are to stay on top of the impact of globalisation and capitalise on improved connectivity and flexibility, this gap will need to be closed.

Organisations' perceptions of online learning has improved in the past five years, but it seems there is still a lot to be done before they recognise it is equally as valuable as face-to-face training.

Dr John McGurk, learning and development advisor at CIPD and author of the report, said online education in the workplace needs to be embraced and seen as essential to developing talent and capability.

"Disappointing completion rates highlight that organisations need to do more to encourage their employees to take-up and finish existing e-learning courses," he added.

While predictions were made in the 2011 Learning and Talent Development Survey suggesting e-learning would make up an increasing proportion of training, the 2013 survey noted little has changed over the past 24 months.

Indeed, around two-fifths of businesses admitted online practices account for less than ten per cent of their total training time and one in ten said it accounted for less than half.

Dr McGurk remarked low rates in the use of mobile learning packages and games also indicated firms could be doing more to "keep up to date with the latest developments and remain relevant for today's workfore, many of whom embrace modern technology at home".

Companies could seek assistance from an e-learning provider like Virtual College, which is a member of the CPD Certification Service and supports the use of technology for continued professional development.