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Staff prefer informal training, study finds

Miya Knights

Employees prefer to update their skills through online portals, company intranets and colleagues, rather than through formal courses, a survey of 6,000 staff and senior HR decision makers has found.

However, the study by online training provider SkillSoft found that companies were spending most of their training budget on formal methods.

"The challenge for line management is to ensure that information resources are relevant, updated in a timely fashion and come from trusted sources," said Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft.

Sector skills council E-Skills UK said the findings were in line with its own research. It found that 60% of staff preferred informal training to formal methods, yet firms were likely to spend 30% of their training budget on online tools.

Laura Overton, e-learning champion at E-Skills UK, said, "Overall, 79% of firms said they would place more attention on informal learning opportunities to provide a context for learning in the next three years.

"But e-learning alone won't hack it - the technology has to be used in an integrated way."

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