A World of Learning survey shows many enterprises are not ready for the Apprenticeship Levy, are not pushing their employees beyond their comfort zones and are not embracing the potential of Virtual Reality.
The World of Learning Conference & Exhibition has an esteemed history of tackling topics most current to the L&D industry. Each year World of Learning conducts a survey prior to the show, this year being held at Birmingham’s NEC on 19 & 20 October, the results of which facilitate industry discussion even before the event opens.
L&D professionals are asked to respond to several questions which gauge how the L&D community is responding to hot industry topics. This year’s survey of 120 industry professionals included two new areas coming to the fore in L&D: Apprenticeships and Virtual Reality (VR).
With apprenticeships on the rise and no sign of university fees decreasing, survey participants were asked: Is your company planning to increase its apprenticeship intake and decrease recruitment in other areas? Two thirds (66%) of respondents answered that no, they are not planning to adjust their recruitment plans in this way.
This result is interesting given that in July 2015 the government announced the introduction of an Apprenticeship Levy which many businesses will start paying in April 2017.
The levy will affect all employers that pay over £3million annually to their staff via PAYE. Employers will have to pay 0.5% of their total salary payments to the levy, regardless of whether an apprentice is taken on or not. So, for many businesses it could make financial sense to take on more apprentices.
Continuing on from the question of recruiting apprentices, when survey respondents were asked if they felt their company was ready for the Apprenticeship Levy, 56% answered, no. With a matter of months remaining before the levy is implemented, this result was unexpected.
Andrew Gee, Senior Project Manager for the World of Learning comments, “We were already aware that the impending Apprenticeship Levy would create a new challenge for many companies – that is why this year’s World of Learning show includes the brand new Apprenticeship zone which will connect L&D professionals with apprenticeship providers. However, it came as a real surprise to us that the majority of companies questioned in the survey stated that they are not prepared for the levy.”
Andrew continues, “The Apprenticeship zone at World of Learning will be a valuable resource for anyone wishing to progress their strategy for ensuring their company is prepared for the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017.”
A further surprising result revealed by the survey was that 90% or respondents stated they do not think companies do enough to push their employees outside of their comfort zone.
Matthew Hopkins, CEO of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals, NHS Trust will be presenting at the World of Learning Conference where he’ll be tackling the subject of turning top talent into leaders. His own career within the NHS, where he started out as a nurse, has panned clinical rooms to board rooms.
He comments, “As my own work developing talent within the NHS has shown me, this result further illustrates that companies continue to play it safe with strategies for their employees’ professional development. Organisations need to rethink their approach and trust that even their best people can do even better if given the latitude and a push beyond their normal comfort zone.”
This year’s World of Learning conference and exhibition programmes include sessions which cover the rise of VR within training strategies. A further interesting result delivered from the survey, then, is that 86% of survey respondents do not feel that Virtual Reality is being taken seriously by companies for L&D.
David Burden, MD of virtual reality specialist Daden Ltd, will co-present a conference session at World of Learning on Enhancing the learner experience, in which he’ll educate the audience on 3D immersive learning, VR and augmented reality.
After seeing the results of the survey, David comments, “Though we’re a while away from true VR reaching the ubiquity that the current hype suggests is only around the corner, VR does encourage a far more open and less linear approach to learning, so L&D professionals should certainly be looking to give VR and other 3D immersive learning experiences a try.”
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The World of Learning 2016 is held in association with the British Institute for Learning & Development.
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