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Britain’s educational crisis revealed: Indifference towards learning and development putting futures at risk

Britain’s educational crisis revealed Indifference towards learning and development putting futures at risk

The UK might be home to some of the most famous learning institutions in the world but many admit they are left uninspired when it comes to learning, with a new study by  AVADO revealing that almost a third (32%) have a negative or indifferent attitude towards learning, including feeling lazy, unmotivated, nervous, tired or bored.

Consistent learning and development will be essential in futureproofing the nation’s workforce if they are to remain a competitive powerhouse in the future. Our lack of interest in learning as highlighted in this research poses a real threat to future generations if they are to keep up with the ever changing career landscape.

It seems that perhaps this negative sentiment towards learning began in our school years. Whilst 22% said they enjoyed learning at school, a similar number (21%) admitted they definitely didn’t work to their full capacity, with one in ten saying they were lazy students (11%) or didn’t enjoy the learning process and just wanted to get on with things (10%).

Women in particular were twice as likely to feel nervous towards learning than men, (6% vs. 3%). This is despite them also being more likely to have a better attitude towards learning, with almost 1 in 5 (19%) admitting they worked their hardest throughout their education compared to 1 in 7 (15%) men.

The findings found it has been 9 years since the average person last invested time in furthering their education. It’s no surprise then that 18% felt Masters and PhDs were a total waste of time. A fifth (19%) also admitted that if they were offered the chance to further their education now, they would still feel that it wasn’t a valuable use of their time. 

Apprenticeships and workplace courses considered more valuable than degrees

When it comes to learning new skills in the workplace we are more likely to rate their value, with respondents rating apprenticeships and workplace courses as more valuable than degrees, although only 18% said a workplace course was the last time they learnt something, with more saying the last time they learnt was at degree level, college or at school (38%).

So why are we a nation of lazy learners? When it comes to furthering our education as adults, the perceived cost of learning (48%) is most likely to put us off. Other factors include travel (27%), family and work life (21%) and feeling back in the classroom (18%).

Some believe the opportunity for instant answers from the internet is to blame too.  Over half (59%) use the internet to look for an instant answer or to copy and paste from, leading 27% to say the internet has made us a lazy nation when it comes to looking for information. 

Conversely, over a third (35%) say they use the internet as a tool to further educate themselves, and 55% say they would definitely take part in an online course that further their education. 

Could online courses be the answer?

With increased flexibility, no need to travel and no danger of work interferences, it’s perhaps unsurprising that  AVADO averages more than 2 million hours of learning per year on their courses.

Whilst it’s a shame to see we were not surprised by some of the perceived barriers towards extracurricular growth and development, including cost, travel and family commitments. It was, however, really positive to see the high number of people who would consider partaking in an online course to further their education.

We do not believe we are a nation of lazy learners, but instead are looking for ways we can better ourselves that fit within already busy schedules. With online courses and learning opportunities now more accessible than ever, we would urge everyone to park their school-time prejudices and consider learning something new, whether it be to progress in your existing career or enter into a completely new industry.

Amy Crawford, Managing Director, AVADO aid

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