COVID-19 changed the world. In living memory, the world had never experienced such an event. Alongside changes in the ways that we lived and interacted with others came changes in the way in which people worked and trained. 

Since COVID-19, many organisations have struggled to keep up with their employee training. It is therefore important to be aware of the trends currently occurring in workplace training.


Hybrid Work

The pandemic mean that many people were suddenly working from home for the first time ever. Many people have been digital nomads for years, working from home, or anywhere that suited them, but suddenly millions of people were working from home. As lockdowns and restrictions reduced, some people returned to their usual workplace, but many didn’t.

Many businesses realised that having a workforce working from home had advantages –

  • It reduced the need for costly office space, so it cut costs having people working from home
  • It reduced travel costs for their staff
  • Many things could be done from home, just as easily from an office space. For example, meetings could be held online.

There are disadvantages and some restrictions in people working from home, but this is where the hybrid model works more effectively for some. With hybrid working, this means that people work at home (or the coffee shop or library or elsewhere) sometimes, but work in an office at other times.

How does this relate to training?

This trend to hybrid working fundamentally changes a few things about staff training –

  • Staff needed to be trained to be effective hybrid workers
  • Training might be required on how to work effectively from a distance
  • How do you train new staff when other staff might be working from home?

These are all things to consider when training staff.


The Great Resignation and Staff Shortages

The last couple of years have seen shortages in many professions, such as digital skills, agriculture and horticulture.

We have also seen The Great Resignation, where many people have chosen to give up their job to work somewhere else or set up their own business. The pandemic made many reevaluate their careers and lives.

This meant that many organisations have had to consider how to retain their existing talent.    Organisations that invest in their staff through training and development show their employees that they are important to them.  A report by LinkedIn found that 92% of employees felt a sense of belonging when they had internal learning opportunities.

The Linkedin report also found that employees who are trained internally stay twice as long as employees who are not given internal training.

How does this relate to training?

This trend shows that staff who are given the opportunity for training by their organisation are more likely to stay for longer and feel a great sense of belonging, and hopefully loyalty to their organisation.



Upskilling is basically improving the skills of an existing workforce or individual. Upskilling employees has benefits to the employer. A report by McKinsey found that 90% of managers reported skills gaps even before the pandemic, and the great resignation has made things substantially worse.

How does this relate to training?

Employers are finding it hard to get staff to fill vacancies, so by training and upskilling existing staff, they are able to fill the roles more effectively.

Also, organisations might also be willing to take on new recruits and train them in the skills that the organisation needs.


The Digital Revolution


It is estimated that by 2030 over 14% of the world’s workforce will be working

in occupations related to digital skills

such as

Robotics, AI and Automation.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital changes that have occurred in the last few years.   The pandemic meant that suddenly we were forced to communicate more online.  This made more businesses aware of the rapid changes that have occurred in terms of technology and the need for digital skills in staff.

How does this relate to training?

Organisations have become more aware of

  • The need for improved technology and staff awareness and training in the use of this technology.
  • The need for staff to fill the skills gap in digital skills that they may be experiencing

Training will play an important role in this transformation in technology. It is not just about training staff to use new technology, but also training them to adapt to rapid changes in technology and the working world. This ability to adapt is an example of a soft skill, something that is becoming increasing important in the modern workplace.


The Need for Soft Skills Training

Hard skills are specific skills, such as –

  • Speaking another language
  • Programming a computer
  • Copywriting

Soft Skills are the less obvious skills that employers value in employees.

For example –

  • The ability to work well with others – conflict resolution, good communication skills, good team work
  • Good time management
  • Good project management
  • Strong work ethic
  • Problem solving
  • Leadership skills
  • The ability to develop and improve over time
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Good communication skills
  • Good customer service skills

A report by Deloitte found that 63% of new jobs in Australia will be soft skills intensive by 2030.

This shows the increasing importance of the need for soft skills in employees.


How does this relate to training?

It may seem that soft skills are “natural”, but soft skills can be developed through training and experience.

For example,

  • Employees can take courses in problem solving, then use that training in their workplace.
  • They can understand what emotional intelligence is and how it can be used at work.

As soft skills become increasingly important to employers, they can ensure that staff are trained in soft skills.


The Rise of the Generalists

Generalists are also known as multi-hyphenates. They are not multitaskers, but someone who is flexible and able to work from anywhere.   They are able to use many different skills and qualities rather than just focusing on one.

A generalist is therefore someone who has the skills and abilities to move between different positions and may be different jobs. 

How does this relate to education?

Generalists will most likely have good soft skills, enabling them to transfer more easily from one job role to another. So as mentioned above, training staff in soft skills can help them to become more generalist employees, which is a useful way to fill existing job roles and upskill staff for promotion.



Movements, such as Black Lives Matter and Me Too, plus the increasing understanding of neurodiversity has increased the recognition that the workplace needs to be more inclusive, equitable and diverse.

How this relates to education?

Organisations and businesses may require training in neurodiversity and multicultural awareness to ensure that they have an equitable and diverse organisation.


Lifelong Learning and Training

The term lifelong learning has been around for some time. The world has changed. People do not stay in one job or career for a lifetime anymore. Therefore, there is the constant need to retrain and upskill.  This need for lifelong learning and training means that organisations need to be reactive, training their staff to future proof their organisation.

How does this relate to education?

Organisations need to future proof their business by considering their future planning –

  • Planning for succession training
  • Filling the skills gap
  • Ensuring staff feel respected and wanted
  • Staff need to be trained to ensure that they are up to date and efficient. This means that the organisation itself is up to date and efficient.

One-off training sessions are no longer enough. Staff need more training to be up to date and efficient in the modern world.


Microlearning, Short Courses and Longer Courses

As one off training sessions are not enough, and as there is an increasing move towards digital and online training provision, there is an increasing range of online courses available.

  • Microcourses are short courses that can be studied online in a specialist topic. They can be very short, for example, two to five minutes or longer, such as 2 or 3 hours.
  • Shorter Courses are usually ten to twenty hours. They may be taken face to face or online.
  • Longer courses can vary. This may be courses that last a week or take months or even years to complete.

How does this relate to training?

The pandemic made people realise that many things are now available online. Whilst distance and online education has been around for many years, it was the first time that many businesses and individuals recognised the value of online training.

Online training enables businesses to train their staff effectively without the need to attend a physical premises. Staff can be trained in the office, or the comfort of their own home, at a time and location that suits the business and the individual. 

Also, because there are so many courses available online that are not available from traditional, bricks and mortar establishments, businesses can choose training that suits their requirements and needs.


On Demand Training

As we have just seen, there is increasing demand from organisations for staff training. This training also needs to be specialist and specific.

Organisations need to train their staff –

  • When suits them
  • In a way that suits them
  • On a specific topic

This is where on demand training is so essential. Many organisations may not have the time or finances to fund a three year course in a topic, but they may want trained staff able to perform specific skills or having specific knowledge.

How does this relate to education?

Organisations will require more specific on demand training to suit them.

How do these trends affect the educational industry?

The pandemic and changes in technology have led to increasing changes in the education industry. The trends discussed above show that these changes are going to continue to happen.

Organisations need –

  • A way to upskill and train their staff in an effective and cost-efficient way
  • Training to fill the gaps in skills
  • Plans for training for succession
  • Courses to support a diverse and inclusive work force
  • Training when they want it and how they want it, such as microcourses, online courses and on demand courses.
  • Training that continues throughout an employee’s time with an organisation – Lifelong learning and training.
  • Staff who are generalists
  • Staff who have good soft skills
  • Staff who are able to adapt to different ways of working – at home, in the office, as a digital nomad, as a hybrid worker

This means that there is a massive potential for educational organisations.

Training staff means that an organisation is staying up to date and more likely to stay in business than someone who has out of date staff.

Training staff means that staff are likely to stay twice as long than staff who do not receive training.

Online training offers organisations the ability to train their staff in a more flexible and cost effective way.


How can ACS DE help educational businesses?

This need for continuous training means that there are many more opportunities available for you!

ACS Distance Education can help you to take advantage of this.

We offer over 700 courses. 

If you are an existing educational establishment –

  • Why not add our courses to your stable of courses?
  • Or focus on a specific topic, for example, adding more animal based subjects to yours?
  • Increase the number of courses you have to offer?

If you would like to set up your own school and take advantages of these increased opportunities, you could set up your own online school –

  • Be a generalist school offering all 700 courses
  • Focus on a particular subject or subjects to suit your particular interests

Why work with us?

We were established in 1979 and have a wealth of experience as educators, and specifically distance learning and online learning educators!

We know what works in online education, so continually improve and update our technology and courses to register those changes.

We have experienced and knowledgeable course writers and developers who update our courses and develop new courses to meet the changing needs of industry and employers.

Our staff are there to support new businesses and existing businesses to sell our courses.

We are here to help you. We want you to succeed!

We want to offer high quality education to people who need it and we want to work with different organisations to provide training and education to businesses and individuals throughout the world.


If you would like to take advantage of the increased need for training by businesses and organisations and set up your own online school, or expand your existing school, please get in touch with us. 


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What our partners say

We've been working with ACS over the course of the last three years. Being able to mix and match content to suit our students' needs has been extremely useful. With their material in combination with our own in house tutor service we have been able to provide a complete online learning service which has helped us expand our student cohort and advance our teaching techniques! We are thankful that we have had them as a partner throughout our time in the industry and look forward to many more years of growth together.

Jason T - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

ACS Distance Education have been fantastic to work with over our first 12 months as a start-up online short education affiliate.
They provided immense support in the foundation period ensuring we setup the best support mechanisms for students and engaging quality tutors.
ACS have continued to be receptive to feedback and promptly moved to make improvements wherever required.

David C - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

Having access to ACS' extensive library of digitalised education content has allowed us to scale our business quickly and efficiently. Their LMS is easy to access and manage, whilst also providing the consumer (student) with a professional and easy to use experience. John and Kate have always been a pleasure to work with and are quick to provide support when it is required."

Andrew O - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

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