30 million Brits want to learn a new skill, yet over half will never act on their intentions.
Research commissioned by Fountech.ai among more than 2,000 UK adults has identified one of the biggest underlying barriers to the solving the skills crisis. The company’s survey has examined why people are giving up on their ambitions to learn something new. It found that the majority of UK adults (58 per cent) had wanted to learn a new skill in the past 12 months. However, less than half (46 per cent) successfully acted on this intention, while a further 26 per cent never reached the skill level they wanted.
The study by Fountech.ai found that money was a major problem – 63 per cent think it is too expensive to receive proper training from teachers or experts when learning a new skill, which rules out group classes or tutors for many people. Meanwhile, half (52 per cent) of UK adults said that finding time is the biggest barrier to learning new things.
And when people go digital, there are still issues; two fifths (38 per cent) of UK adults feel that it’s difficult to find reliable online resources for learning new things. The underlying problem is that many people are scared of trying new things for fear of failure – in fact, 27 per cent of people said they avoid learning new things because they are disconcerted by the prospect of failure.
Despite these challenges, new and emerging disruptive technologies have the potential to improve matters considerably. Indeed, 51 per cent of people want to see more technology-based solutions (such as online platforms and apps) launched to help people learn new things.
In particular, there is a growing use of AI within education, which can help learners of any age, cultural background and ability level. AI has the potential to deliver hyper-personalised courses that adapt the skill level and training methods to fit the needs of the individual – not only does this prevent people from becoming demoralised, but it also ensures that they learn new things in the most effective, efficient way possible.
“There is a clear appetite from UK adults to learn a new skill, yet the rate of people achieving this goal is resoundingly low,” said Nikolas Kairinos, founder and CEO of Fountech.ai. “As today’s research shows, there are significant barriers in the way, and it is disappointing to see that money is preventing people from pursuing their ambitions.
“However, it is promising to see from the research a willingness to embrace technology to overcome these challenges,” he continued. “AI tools found in the National Language Processing space, such as paraphrasing for example, can be used to deliver tailored, interactive and responsive learning material suited to an individual’s needs.
“We are already seeing the transformative role that AI is having on the way society operates, particularly in its ability to deliver personalised experiences,” he added. “Naturally, these innovations are geared towards the education and learning spheres, and I look forward to seeing how AI can help people learn new skills and reach their full potential.”