The 5 Key L&D Trends We Noticed at the CIPD L&D Show

We had a blast at this year’s CIPD Learning and Development Show, held at Olympia London at the end of April. Thanks to everyone who visited the Thinqi Stand over the two days, we enjoyed some really interesting discussions and look forward to continuing them!

Since we’ve returned to the office, we’ve been thinking about the topics that kept cropping up during our conversations with the L&D community at the show. We got in touch with our event partners and stand buddies CAKE to compare notes, and found they had been noticing many of the same trends.

So here they are: the 5 key L&D trends that we and CAKE picked up on from the 2018 CIPD L&D show.

1. Blended Learning is No Longer a ‘Nice to Have’ – It’s an Essential Strategy

L&D professionals now rightly see blended learning as the most effective way to reduce time to competency. Blended learning also enables them to provide greater ROI on L&D programmes. The LMS you choose needs to provide an ‘ecosystem’ that supports all modes of learning, not just the structured training courses and programs that make up the 10% of the 70/20/10 model.

2. Some Classroom Trainers Still See Digital Learning Solutions as a Threat

Although some still see digital learning solutions as a threat to their practice, the truth is that classroom trainers are indispensable when delivering a blended learning strategy. Recent research suggests that the top-performing training teams are four times more likely to involve classroom trainers in engaging learners with digital learning solutions, and so organisations that allow their training staff to design and deliver their own courses are reaping the benefits.

3. Coaching and Mentoring Drives Engagement

Organisations are beginning to realise the significance of coaching culture, and how it supports development solutions, organisational change, apprenticeships and overall employee engagement. Managers and leaders who operate in a coaching culture are typically the ones who support learning and give regular feedback. This offers opportunities for growth and creates a more engaged and energised workforce.

4. Apprenticeships Aren’t Just for Junior Staff

Apprenticeships have long been viewed as opportunities for school leavers to gain skills and experience in a trade. However, with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, organisations can now look to invest in and upskill their existing workforce. This not only supports technical apprenticeships, but also managers and leaders.

5. Learner Engagement is Still One of the Top Challenges for L&D Managers

No matter what mode of delivery they choose, L&D Managers are still reporting difficulty in driving engagement for learning. Various strategies can be used to counter this and improve engagement, including making learning easier to access; making it more learner-led; delivering content in a bite-sized format; making it more personalised, relevant and useful; providing reward and recognition; supporting social learning; and nurturing a learning culture.

We’re going to be exploring each of these trends and others in coming weeks, so keep an eye out on our blog and social media channels to see when these insights are published.

In the meantime, visit to discover the intangibles that empower your people and book a demo.