The Benefits of Completing a Course in L&D Right Now

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on most Learning and Development budgets. Most HR practitioners will be familiar with the fact that when the purse strings need to be drawn in, training is one of the first things to be hit. This has serious implications for L&D professionals whose only role is to support business through L&D interventions and through our network we are hearing that many of our colleagues are sadly being made redundant.

There is no way of knowing how long it will take businesses to recover from this economic crisis, so understandably it is a worrying time for anyone seeking new employment in their chosen profession.

DPG is a leader in the L&D field and fully understands the enormous impact this has on individuals. With the labour market now so loose in this field we want to support L&D professionals to rise above the crowd and be seen. That is why DPG is now offering a 50% discount to all L&D professionals that have been made redundant or have been placed on furlough during this difficult time.

The outlook for learning and development is very uncertain at the moment, but one thing is sure and that is the race for the best jobs is going to be heavily competitive. I spoke to Nick Jones MBA, one of the founders of a leading UK L&D recruitment specialist Blue Eskimo, to find out exactly what this labour market looks like and how L&D professionals can prepare for a difficult few months ahead.

During our conversation Nick informed me “The labour market (specific to L&D) is currently seriously impacted by the pandemic situation, we are well aware of significant (as yet unpredictable) job losses across many sectors and we are also seeing very significant changes to current and planned working practices which will substantively change the way we work (and learn) in the future.  We have seen a reduction in live vacancies of up to 80% in the three months to July”.

In light of this, I was interested to find out how important it is for L&D Specialists to have achieved a professional qualification such as the CIPD Level 5 Certificate or Level 7 Diploma in L&D.

Nick explained “Qualifications certainly have value in the wider L&D community, typically though they have been a nice to have rather than a must have, with the real emphasis being placed upon demonstrable experience.  The concept of demonstrating one’s experience is much easier when we are talking about learning disciplines such as digital design and development because the application of our skills is easier to illustrate.  The difficulty arises with more strategic or consultative learning roles where the application of skills and experience is less easy to demonstrate and where qualifications really carry additional weight and value.

“As recruiters we believe that as we come out of the current crisis, the ability to add value to an employer and demonstrate the ability to understand complex business challenges through a learning lens will become a must and therefore increased attention on qualifications is likely. CIPD qualifications (certificate and diploma) provide evidence of a grounding in theory and practice which is broad ranging, qualifications such as The Learning and Performance Institutes (LPI) “Essential Online Deliver Skills” or “Certified Live Online Facilitator” are perhaps more targeted and therefore may provide evidence of key skills likely to be in demand as we exit the current Covid19 state”.

DPG understand the key differences between a strategic approach and the more targeted approach seen in the LPI qualifications. LPI recently partnered with the DPG to deliver the qualifications that Nick refers to. DPG has a unique offering therefore to support L&D professionals to develop their skills in a way that is appropriate for them at whatever stage in their career in line with this important insight from the L&D recruitment industry.

Some L&D Specialists that we have spoken to have also considered moving in a slightly broader direction and have chosen to focus their learning on the more general HR modules instead of those specific to L&D. The CIPD HR qualifications have Talent Planning modules that cover L&D but widen the net in terms of which jobs they might be able to apply for. In the HR field it is much more common to find that a CIPD HRM qualification is a pre-requisite to be eligible to apply for a job and most generalist roles specify that the candidate should be CIPD qualified at the level the role is. Recognising that this is a sensible approach DPG has extended the offer of up to 50% discount to both the HRM and L&D avenues of the CIPD qualification for those that have been made redundant or placed on furlough.

As a Facilitator on both HRM and L&D programs at levels 5 and 7, I have an in-depth understanding of the two approaches and I whole-heartedly encourage anybody that is considering upskilling themselves to gain a competitive advantage in the labour market to take full advantage of this offer whilst it is generously available. The knowledge and understanding that you will gain from studying a CIPD (or LPI) qualification will give you confidence to take on a new challenge without fear of imposter syndrome creeping in. (Subject of a forthcoming blog).

Before finishing our conversation, Nick from Blue Eskimo said “In recent years’ experience trumps qualifications. However it is obvious that in a competitive labour market such as the current climate, qualifications may play a more significant part, in part as evidence of competence and of strategic thinking (often the reason why hires are being made are transformational in nature) and in part due to the desire to reduce risk and hire proven skills”.

This is important and valuable insight from the L&D recruitment specialist and I would like to thank Nick for sharing his thoughts with me during this difficult time. Blue Eskimo are leaders in learning recruitment and they would love to hear from you and be part of your journey. If you have been made redundant of furloughed and are interested in becoming CIPD qualified, get in touch with us HERE.

Theresa Mayne – DPG online CIPD course facilitator and HR subject matter expert.