No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Training candidates’ needs vary with age, gender and context, finds research


A survey by Cambridge Online Learning reveals widely differing needs amongst potential candidates for training, depending on age, gender, location and domestic context.

1000 working adults were asked about the most important features in choosing a training course. Key findings included:

- twice as many 16-24 year olds (33%) were concerned about 'levels of support' on courses than more experienced respondents aged 45-54 (15%) and over 55 (15%)

- 16-24 year olds were also significantly more motivated by 'better job and salary prospects' (75%) than older colleagues (e.g. 47% of 45-54 year olds)

- by contrast, older employees appear to be less driven by self-interest; preferring courses with 'relevance to real-life work' (31% of 35-54 year olds vs. 23% of 16-24s)

- 'learning at a time and place that suits' is more attractive to female respondents (48%) than male (39%), and rises in importance for both genders if they have children, large households generally and internet access

- 'flexibility to pick-up or postpone modules' according to work / life load was also important, especially in regions reliant on seasonal jobs in agriculture and tourism. For example, 24% for Scotland and 22% for the South West compared with a national average of 18%.

The survey confirms COL's long-held view that a more flexible approach to management training is required for today's increasingly hyperlinked and hyperactive business world. Professor David Towler, CEO of Cambridge Online Learning explains: "Whilst demands grow – from both government and businesses – for a solution to the current UK management skills gap, training providers also need to cater for the aspirations and lifestyles of tomorrow's managers."

According to a recent survey of 400 UK organisations by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), many organisations put their performance at risk because their management practice is misaligned with business priorities. Indeed, 86% of senior managers viewed 'integrating management development with the implementation of organisational goals' as a key priority.

How important do you find individual candidates expectations and needs are in running effective programmes? Do you recognise common patterns, for instanct with regard to age? Let us know below.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!