BUSINESSES PUT MORE FOCUS ON LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

EMEA – BUSINESSES PUT MORE FOCUS ON LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT IN BID TO CLOSE SKILLS GAPS: LINKEDIN

Budget constraints felt by EMEA learning and development professionals have nearly halved in the past two years, decreasing to 26% in 2019 from 49% in 2017. At the same time, 37% reported their talent development budgets are increasing, according to a report from LinkedIn.

The report found that with less budget constraints, those working in learning and development feel much more empowered to affect change within companies.

With extra budget, the top priority highlighted by learning and development professionals in 2019 is to look beyond day-to-day challenges and into assessing and closing their companies’ skills gaps. This priority grew 32% year-on-year in the EMEA region.

commented, “The opening up of budgets has left the learning and development profession at a tipping point,” said Jeff Matthews, head of LinkedIn learning EMEA. “This transformation comes at a critical time. As the war for talent rages harder than ever before and demand for certain skills is at an all-time high, businesses are recognising the crucial role learning and development play in identifying and bridging skills gaps and giving them that all-important competitive edge.”

According to LinkedIn’s behavioural data, the most in-demand hard skills across Europe for 2019 are cloud computing, analytical reasoning, people management, AI and video production.

The top in-demand European soft skills are creativity, persuasion, time management, adaptability and collaboration.

LinkedIn’s report showed that 92% of UK talent professionals believe that soft skills are now as or more important than hard ones.

Meanwhile, learning and development teams across EMEA are using a multipronged approach to build the right skills for their business, with performing internal skills gaps assessments the No. 1 method of choice (73%), followed by monitoring business key performance indicators and key metrics (63%), attending meetings with executives and senior managers (61%) and looking to industry trends (52%).

LinkedIn’s data also showed that 61% report spending more on online learning over the last year.