Learning transformation

Learning in the new normal era

Etienne Hirsch,  head of PwC’s Academy, PwC Luxembourg  PwC Luxembourg

Etienne Hirsch,  head of PwC’s Academy, PwC Luxembourg  PwC Luxembourg

The post-COVID “new normal” is a turbulent time for the learning industry. In Luxembourg, the talent acquisition and retention challenges bring an extra layer of complexity. In this article, we share our high convictions about the stakes and opportunities in this period of change.

The learning industry is undergoing an accelerated transformation post-COVID. On the global scale, triggered by massive reliance on digital learning channels during the sanitary crisis, Darwinian moves are at play across the industry with online mass-distribution platforms and bespoke training boutiques at the edges of the spectrum.

Given its size and the historic importance of proximity, Luxembourg is not exposed to this phenomenon to the same extent, even though critical mass has become a growing concern for some players. At the same time, in a resource-stretched market such as Luxembourg’s, the scissoring effect of the talent acquisition challenge along with the “Great Resignation” reinforce the paramount importance of continuous learning for organisations.

In the Luxembourg business ecosystem, being diverse and international, there is room in the new normal for a variety of learning players operating under distinct business models. However, careful consideration should be given to what vocational education and training entails in this new era given the respective business models.

Here is our take on three major trends shaping the demand for learning solutions nowadays.

Audience centricity

PwC’s Academy leverages PwC’s expertise to provide organisations with premium learning journeys. At the very heart of our mission is the collaboration between PwC pedagogic and technical experts, who convey their knowledge and know-how to the audience. Our learning solutions are tailor made and relate to the Firm’s expertise. They specifically address the needs of specialist audiences and decision makers.

The new normal is characterised by an increased dialogue between learning and business line managers to define the audiences and to co-design with us the most adapted learning solution. This dialogue translates into sharp pedagogic goals and optimal business added value for the learning solution.

Beyond the topic is the experience

Another remarkable characteristic of the new normal observed across organisations and sectors is the strong appetite for experiential learning solutions which go beyond the simple acquisition or update of knowledge.

The rise of experiential learning stems from the increased proximity between learning and business line managers. Our role is to advise with the support of our technical experts on the most relevant scenario, then tailor the related solution given the pedagogic objective pursued.

Responsibility of learners

Last and by no means least, the new normal rhymes with learner empowerment. The learning appetite has never been so high, digital channels provide access to unprecedented amounts of information and the COVID lockdowns have fostered the virtuous habit to learn on demand, easily and across topics.

This overarching trend goes beyond Luxembourg and will deeply impact vocational education and training for the better. For instance, self-directed learning is an excellent catalyst to crafting engaging learning pathways for the employee and strengthening the bond with the employer.

The new normal brings a unique opportunity to further engage the workforce through audience-driven learning innovation. And the commitment is here as 73% of Luxembourg CEOs consider workforce upskilling an investment priority for the year to come[1].

[1] PwC 26th Annual Global CEO Survey - Luxembourg edition

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