Top HR Executives Predict that the Future of Learning is Online

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A poll of senior HR professionals has revealed that online learning will form the single, largest part of their organisations' future training delivery.

More than 55 senior HR professionals from organisations including Barnados, Deloitte, BT, LloydsTSB, O2 and Prudential took part in the live poll during an event about 'The future of learning', sponsored by online learning provider, SkillSoft. Almost two-thirds (62%) cited either online training via desktop courses, online training via virtual classrooms or online books and reference materials as the method they believe will form the single, largest part of their respective organisations' future training delivery.

This view is also shared by employees. Independent research conducted by SWNS on behalf of SkillSoft amongst 5,365 public and private sector employees revealed that 81 per cent believe they will be doing the majority of their learning online in the future. Most of this group expect to be doing so at their desks, whilst the remainder anticipate that they will be learning online "wherever they happen to be" via their laptop or other devices such as mp3 players. Podcasts, webcasts, online books and online simulations were also expected to grow in usage.

Interestingly, given the predicted growth of computer-gaming for training, less than 2 per cent of the sample think that computer gaming techniques will be more evident in the workplace of tomorrow.

Futurist and global future forum board member, Dr James Bellini, backed up the findings. He said:

"Ten years from now, the majority of employees won't be sitting in corporate headquarters or office buildings - they will be working at any number of locations. This will drive the need for easily accessible learning resources to support their development and their productivity.

"Consequently, the most important future competence for employees will be the understanding of where and how to find what they need to know and the ability to access this information and knowledge in a timely manner. Services such as Books24x7 are already helping to facilitate this, by providing instant keyword access to a vast depository of books and referenceware - allowing employees to develop their skills on-the-job and at the point of need, wherever they happen to be."

Kevin Young, Managing Director of SkillSoft, EMEA added:

"Speed, flexibility and mobility will be key to future workforce development and online learning resources will have an increasingly important role to play. SkillSoft's investment in research and development will continue to focus on providing rich, and easily accessible online content to help address the business challenges faced by global enterprises."

About Books24x7®

Books24x7®, a subsidiary of SkillSoft PLC, offers subscription clients online access to more than 10,000 IT and business books, book summaries, reports, and best practices. Books24x7's patent-pending technology platform enables users to pinpoint business-critical information quickly by performing multi-tier, online searches of the company's Referenceware® collections: ITPro™, BusinessPro™, EngineeringPro™, FinancePro™, HospitalityPro ™, ExecBlueprints™, ExecSummaries™, ExecSuite™, GovEssentials™, OfficeEssentials™, Well-BeingEssentials ™ and AnalystPerspecitves™.

Books24x7® Referenceware® bridges the gap between what employees know and what they need to know in hundreds of leading organizations, including Bank of America, CSC, Deloitte, EDS and Lockheed Martin. The company has relationships with more than 290 leading publishers, including AMACOM, Apress, ASTD, Harvard Business School Press, McGraw-Hill, Microsoft Press and John Wiley & Sons. For more information, visit

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals within global enterprises. SkillSoft's multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth content resources, learning management system, virtual classroom technology and support services.

Content offerings include SkillSoft's business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware collections and BusinessPro™, ITPro™, OfficeEssentials™, FinancePro™, EngineeringPro™, GovEssentials™, ExecSummaries™, ExecBlueprints™ and AnalystPerspecitves™ collections from Books24x7®. SkillSoft's complementary technologies include SkillPort®, the company's learning management system with its powerful Search-and-Learn™ technology and premium add-on modules, and SkillSoft® Dialogue™ virtual classroom, a tool that allows customers to create and deliver effective blended learning programs using custom content and off-the-shelf learning resources. For more information, visit

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, Ahead of the Learning Curve, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, Referenceware® , ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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