The global corporate training market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.8% and reach $114 billion by 2022, according to industry experts. Furthermore, a combination of economic, regulatory, demographic and technological forces is reshaping the labour market and forcing employers to increase the speed and efficiency with which they train employees. Meanwhile, ongoing changes in how people consume information and engage with educational content have unlocked new opportunities for innovative training companies to significantly enhance the learning experience. These factors have led to a strong interest in training firms, with much of the interest over the last few years coming from players outside the industry, who wouldn’t traditionally be linked with training.
Some of the high-profile acquisitions coming from adjacent markets include recruitment companies looking to use training as a way to strengthen the marketability of their talent pools and help employers bridge the skills gap. For example, in May 2018, Adecco Group announced it was acquiring General Assembly, which provides courses in web development, coding, and other digital skills. A few years earlier, LinkedIn enhanced its training capabilities by acquiring Lynda.com, an online education company. Penn Foster also partnered with EmployBridge, a large commercial recruitment company, to provide online courses to EmployBridge employees for free.
Furthermore, several factors over the last decade have given employer-sponsored training an increased share in the market. The most significant is that the ever-shortening technology is cycle is accelerating the rate in which certain skills become obsolete. As a result, employers are being driven to make investments in hiring, training, and re-training qualified workers. Increasing regulations and changes to the policy are contributing to the industry, increasing demand for regulatory and compliance monitoring training.
Key Industry Trends
· eLearning: The increasing use of eLearning has grown to become a multi-billion-dollar market. Factors that have contributed to growth in eLearning include the rising costs of instructor-led, classroom-based training as well as the need for continuous, life-long learning. Awareness and compliance training were two of the first to use eLearning, however sophisticated platforms have made even soft skills training a practical reality for this approach. Add to that the potential for significant cost savings, and it’s not difficult to predict the continued expansion of eLearning for years to come.
· Training being used to attract and retain employees: Training is increasingly being viewed as an employee incentive, along with perks such as healthcare and retirement benefits. Employees appreciate that access to training will help them hone their skillset – as well as developing new skills. This also helps businesses retain employees, a recent poll found that more than half of all currently employed adults are either actively searching for a new job or are at least passively entertaining other career opportunities. Using training is a way to help develop your employees while keeping them engaged and productive.
· Skill gaps continue to grow: According to a report by Payscale Research, 33% of employers had positions open for over six months due to a lack of skilled or qualified candidates. As such, companies must take it upon themselves to provide future employees with the training and development opportunities to meet the demand of the role.
· Convenience: With the ever-increasing rise of technology, more people are demanding that training is easily accessible. They expect learning to happen at any time, in any place. As the vast majority of people use smart phones, this means they don’t have to wait to access training.
· Personalisation: Off-the-shelf training programs are on a rapid decline, employees expect training to be relevant to their unique situation. This means adapting content based on factors such as work environment, the culture within the organisation, employee experience, location, and job performance. With eLearning, there is cause for optimism and excitement in the industry that customised training will become the norm. While training improves, so will company performance.
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