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Lifelong Learning Week: D2L comments on life-long learning

Group of students sat and stood around desk

Ahead of Lifelong Learning Week next week, Alan Hiddleston Senior Director Corporate (International), D2L comments on the current skills crisis and how both enterprise learning and development (L&D) departments and educational institutions should adapt their programmes to facilitate continuous learning.

“The pandemic has proven that lifelong learning is vital. Workers need to be better equipped with the skills for tomorrow and the demand for training programmes and reskilling initiatives will likely grow in the coming months. There will need to be a serious cultural change, the way in which we value, deliver and measure learning will need to be reviewed – establishing a continuous learning culture is key. Students will need to overcome this idea that learning stops after tertiary education. Similarly, employees must realise that reskilling will remain a constant feature of their entire working lives.

“Looking to the future, businesses will likely require their staff to retrain throughout their career, and colleges will update their courses accordingly to ensure students are better prepared to enter the job market. Modularity, or an omnichannel approach toward education and training, will be essential. Working with industry, institutions can ensure desirable skills are embedded within their curriculum and delivered across all courses. Similarly, organisations can offer insight into how to design programmes that cater to lifelong learners. Afterall, businesses will require far more flexible short courses, that enable current employees, some of which will be mature learners, to easily re-enter the education system and attain new skills periodically.

“With micro-credentials, desirable skills and competencies can be compartmentalised into different categories, and HR leads can design more tailored learning programmes for specific individuals. L&D teams can condense skills and abilities into bite-size chunks, where results can be quantified and measured. Skills can then be more closely matched to individual job roles and learner needs – accounting for personal learning journeys. Organisations could put employees forward for a particular course if they have identified areas of improvement, or if staff are looking to expand their skill set.”

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