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Should employers encourage lifelong learning?

Learning can take a range of forms – from official training courses to software skills.

Why should employers promote lifelong learning?

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Not all learning takes place in a classroom.  

Your staff can learn new skills everywhere. It can take a range of different forms – from an official training course to new software skills. As long as they're self-motivated, it's easy for staff to build knowledge and improve their professional development.  

We all know how lifelong learning benefits individuals – more skills equal better pay. But how does it benefit organisations? 

Build skills  

Employers can use lifelong learning to fill their skills gaps and meet their business needs. Your staff can learn more about their field, and you can use their knowledge to grow your business – it's win-win.  

Increase productivity

Staff that are constantly learning are more likely to take risks and complete high-level tasks – increasing innovation, staff morale and productivity across your workforce. The boost in productivity could off-set some of the initial training costs – and once one employee has learnt new skills, they can share them with the rest of the team. Now that's what I call value for money.

Healthy staff

It's a fact – people who learn more have higher health and life satisfaction. These people are also more likely to stay in work longer, be more productive and progress their careers further. This is good for individuals and great for business too! 

Recruit & retain

Staff love it when their company invests in their future, so putting a learning and development plan in place will help you retain your existing employees. It'll also attract the best new recruits to your team.  

Spend your levy

If you pay the apprenticeship levy, you can invest the funds in your lifelong learning strategy. The funds can be used to pay for any type of apprenticeship training – from an entry-level course to a degree-level qualification – so there are loads of options for your team. Your staff will love learning new skills and gaining a recognised qualification – and you can use your levy to pay for fees.  

What can businesses do to improve lifelong learning?  

There are loads of initiatives you can put in place to help you staff learn every day: 

  • Invest in workplace training  
  • Create professional development plans for staff  
  • Encourage sharing of knowledge  
  • Use apprenticeships to boost skills 
  • Set team targets  
  • Monitor your KPIs to track the impact of skills development 

How can OneFile help?  

With our all-in-one learning software, you can deliver, track and manage all types of workplace learning – from apprenticeships to professional development. You can create SMART targets, build learning plans and set assignments. You can also use OneFile to track progress, generate reports and manage the whole process for all your staff using one system. And learners love OneFile too! 

So, if you thought introducing lifelong learning was going to be difficult, think again. OneFile makes learning easy.  

To find out exactly OneFile works, and what other employers think, download our free guide 

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.