Fuelling economic growth and competitiveness across the Asia Pacific region

LEARNING & DEVELOPMENTHere at Cegos Asia Pacific, we have invested heavily over the past 4 years to develop outstanding business operations and networks to support our customers across the region. There is much in the press around the Asian Talent situation. Some countries are battling with high turnover, some with poor levels of Talent, some with workforces – Managers and Teams - who have not been trained in years and are suffering in an increasingly competitive space. In fact this has resulted in a talent crunch which is putting even more pressure on competitiveness and finding, building and retaining the best and brightest for the medium to long term, not just the short term.Interestingly in this part of the world, the battle ground is now firmly focused on Learning and Development – a commitment to employees to grow them, nurture them and build their capabilities, above and beyond technical skillsets and know how.The 2015 Cegos survey – WorkplaceLearning Trends Across the Asia PacificRegion - consisted of 2.424 respondents from 6 countries - Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Respondents consisted of 460 Learning Professionals and 1.964 Learners (Employees and Managers). With data now available from our 2012 and 2014 surveys as well, the result will be the most comprehensive study into evolving learning trends across Asia Pacific ever undertaken.With the 2015 Cegos Asia Pacific Workplace Learning Survey, however, we can say with confidence that the state of training in Asia is on a positive trajectory and that we are seeing some of the most notable shifts in our 4 years of collecting Asian learning data.We are also seeing learning trends being driven by 2 of the biggest trends in global business today – the rise in multigenerational workforces and the unremitting pace of technology developments. Here are our key findings from the 2015 Cegos survey.
  • Human Capital is the key battleground - We can confidently say that learning provision is on the up in Asia and that human capital and its value to organisations has become the key battleground as organisations look to hone their competitive edges.
  • Learners want to improve their skills - Asian organisations have woken up to the fact that while economic growth is likely to create considerable opportunities over the next few years, they can only truly harness this growth if they focus on their talent and accompanying skills. And learners clearly know this. One of the key reasons for this is the growth in Generation Y within the workforce. The “I knowwhat I want” generation are highly technologically literate, are positive and confident, and expect their companies to support them through their necessary Learning & Development. If not, they will look elsewhere.
  • HR/L&D are finally retaking the initiative & learners are getting what they want & need – Learning supply is starting to meet demand: the result is that learners are feeling less compelled to look elsewhere and in their own time because they are not getting what they need.
  • The formalising of informal learning – This growing role of HR and L&D departments is also seeing a formalising of informal learning that was previously taken up by the learner alone, as they weren’t getting what they needed from within the organisation (one possible way this is being manifested is in e-learning taking over from the classroom as the main provider of learning).
  • Online learning has surpassed classroom learning - Online learning has now surpassed classroom learning as the most popular form of learning within Asia. While classroom learning is a still a key vehicle for learning in Asia and will continue to be so, this is a seismic shift and should not be underestimated. It’s also a culmination of the two main driving forces in Asian learning and global business today – the multi-generational workforces and the desire to receive learning in different ways and the technology developments that are enabling this to be achieved. This can also be seen in a dramatic increase in blended learning, which remains the fastest growing method of learning delivery across the region.
  • The growth in soft skills - Our 2015 survey shows business skills (from 12% to 15%), personal development (from 11% to 15%) and management and language skills have all increased. This is a reflection of the need for Asian organisations to fully embrace multi-cultural, multi-generational workforces.
  • Technology Being Used Like Never Before - More people are accessing learning electronically than via the classroom, tablet-based learning continues its exponential growth, and even desktop and laptops are growing platforms for training – an indication of more training taking place in the office and at the desk – probably due to a greater involvement from HR and L&D departments. The only technology not growing as a learning platform is smart phones despite their increased penetration – a cause for concern or just an indication as to how successful laptops and tablets are?
It is clear that Learning and Development is becoming a frontline weapon for organisations across Asia Pacifi c to improve their competitive position in the marketplace. Not just from a trading perspective, but from a perspective of being able to attract, build and retain Talent for the long term and build greater levels of “strength in depth” across their operations.It is no accident that the focus is squarely back of personal and professional effectiveness topics, after so many years of limited spend. Learning is at the heart of discussions at Leadership level again, as human capital is measured on the balance sheet with greater accuracy. After all, what is measured, is managed…Jeremy BlainJeremy BlainInternational Change Influencer