From education to employment

30 million Brits want to learn a new skill, yet over half will never act on their intentions


Money is one of the biggest barriers to learning a new skill.

New research among more than 2,000 UK adults commissioned by has revealed why so many people are giving up on their ambitions to learn something new.

It found 58% of UK adults wanted to learn a new skill over the past 12 months – equivalent to 30 million people across the country

However, of those, only 46% actually acted on their desire to learn a new skill, and a further 26% never reached the level they wanted

So, what is preventing Britons from picking up new skills? Fountech’s research revealed:

  • 63% feel it is too expensive to recruit the help of proper teachers, professionals or experts
  • Over half (52%) of UK adults say time is the biggest barrier to learning new things
  • When taking to the Internet, 38% struggle to find reliable and engaging online sources
  • One in four (27%) avoid learning new things because they find the process demoralising

Is there a particular skill that you would like to pick up but constantly fail in achieving? Well, you are not alone, and new research from has revealed the true extent of this common problem.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) company commissioned an independent nationally-representative survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, which found that the majority of UK adults (58%) had wanted to learn a new skill in the past 12 months. However, less than half (46%) successfully acted on this intention, while a further 26% never reached the skill level they wanted. 

The study by found that money was a major problem  – 63% think it is too expensive to receive proper training from teachers or experts when learning a new skill, which rules out group classes or tutors for many people. Meanwhile, half (52%) of UK adults said that finding time is the biggest barrier to learning new things. 
And when people go digital, there are still issues; two fifths (38%) of UK adults feel that it’s difficult to find reliable online resources for learning new things. The underlying problem is that many people are scared of trying new things for fear of failure – in fact, 27% of people said they avoid learning new things because they are disconcerted by the prospect of failure.Despite these challenges, new and emerging disruptive technologies have the potential to improve matters considerably. Indeed, 51% of people want to see more technology-based solutions (such as online platforms and apps) launched to help people learn new things.
In particular, there is a growing use of AI within education, which can help learners of any age, cultural background and ability level. AI has the potential to deliver hyper-personalised courses that adapt the skill level and training methods to fit the needs of the individual – not only does this prevent people from becoming demoralised, but it also ensures that they learn new things in the most effective, efficient way possible.
Nikolas Kairinos, Founder and CEO of, commented on the research:

“There is a clear appetite from UK adults to learn a new skill, yet the rate of people achieving this goal is resoundingly low. As today’s research shows, there are significant barriers in the way, and it is disappointing to see that money is preventing people from pursuing their ambitions. “However, it is promising to see from the research a willingness to embrace technology to overcome these challenges. AI tools found in the National Language Processing space, such as paraphrasing for example, can be used to deliver tailored, interactive and responsive learning material suited to an individual’s needs.
“We are already seeing the transformative role that AI is having on the way society operates, particularly in its ability to deliver personalised experiences. Naturally, these innovations are geared towards the education and learning spheres, and I look forward to seeing how AI can help people learn new skills and reach their full potential.” 

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