The B2W Group
This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2021 Growth Through People campaign.
Growth Through People is the Chamber’s annual campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity and grow through improved leadership and people management skills. In 2021 this involves 8 free online workshops taking place throughout March, and a virtual Growth Through People conference on 30th March. In addition, throughout the campaign the Chambers will be publishing thought leadership podcasts, videos and blog content such as this.
Thanks to our Headline Sponsors – Aston University, BMet College and the University of Birmingham’s Work Inclusivity Research Centre - all workshops are free to attend. Interested readers can find out more and register to attend Growth Through People workshops here, and the Growth Through People conference here.
At The B2W Group, we offer free online distance learning courses to the West Midlands. As part of our ongoing commitment to this provision, we recently surveyed our previous learners to get their thoughts on the changing landscape of business. What skills do they want to learn? What impact has Covid-19 has on their work-day? Is e-learning the future of continued professional development?
Let’s dive in.
Become your own cheerleader
When asked, all of our learners saw value in an online distance learning course. But why? A commendable 92% were interested in personal growth, while 69% wanted to add a recognised qualification to their CV and perform stronger in their current role.
In 2021’s more remote world, many employees find themselves isolated from their business and their team, whether they’re working from home five days a week, or simply more spaced out in an open-plan office.
It’s clear from our survey that employees are eager to demonstrate their worth and skills to their managers, and a recognised qualification is a great way to do that.
The challenges of remote working
With the government encouraging remote working wherever possible, it’s no surprise that workers are crying out for skills to support them while working from home.
Amongst our findings, 38% of our surveyed learners desired training in data protection and IT security – clearly a commentary on the more remote way of working 2020 gave us.
We found that 46% of learners wanted advanced Microsoft Office support, while 38% were eager for official training in video call and collaboration software such as MS Teams, Zoom, GoogleDocs and SharePoint.
While some businesses will have been using such platforms for years, many will have had to scramble to put tools in place when the first lockdown hit back in March 2020. Formal training in the IT programs that employers have rolled out is in high demand!
Looking after your mental health
There’s no disputing the impact the past year has had on the nation’s mental health. Home working “guilt” and isolation all play a part. 46% of the learners we surveyed were eager for more training in mental health awareness and management.
With more parents at home, we also found that the most in-demand topic was the mental health of children and young people. Parents who are challenged with working a full-time job while looking after (and sometimes tutoring) their children, are clearly on the lookout for any undue pressures or stress their children are under.
With the education of young people being tested, now is the time to ensure that parents are equipped to support their children through this challenging time.
The managers of tomorrow
Despite the ongoing challenges, all businesses and employees are in it together. We surveyed learners who have previously completed a management course with us, and found that all of them would like to further their skills with subsequent training and qualifications. Team leading, coaching, and mentoring proved popular across the board.
At The B2W Group we offer Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Levels 2, 3 and 4. When surveyed, our learners expressed a keen desire to progress through the ranks and increase their CMI status.
A staggering 71% of our learners wanted to pursue a Level 4 (Higher Education level) CMI course, while 57% wanted to go even further with a Level 5 (Diploma level) management qualification.
The CMI is the only organisation to offer Chartered Manager status, which is recognised throughout the public, private and third sectors across all managerial disciplines. With Chartered Manager status, learners join an elite group who prove they have the skills and knowledge to deliver results.
Shaping our future
At The B2W Group, we’re using the invaluable insights from our learner survey to shape our 2021 e-learning delivery. This will include higher CMI qualifications, and further courses IT training, digital skills, and mental health awareness for both adults and children.
About The B2W Group
The B2W Group provide professional training and coaching services to suit a range of employer and learner needs. Founded in 2012, The B2W Group has trained and supported thousands of people into work and help them to develop within a range of industry sectors.
The B2W Group provide pre-employment, distance learning and digital marketing apprenticeship programmes designed to make it easy and convenient for learners to find employment, upskill and develop their careers.
Head of Marketing
The B2W Group