Revealed: Two thirds are retraining to find new jobs

  • Two thirds (66%) of us completed online courses in 2020
  • Over nine in 10 (93%) plan to use these new skills to find work this year
  • 64% year-on-year increase in student enrolments for online courses on

Two thirds of workers completed online courses to learn new skills in 2020, according to our latest research*. 

Not only does this demonstrate the dynamism and flexibility of the UK labour market in light of the pandemic’s impact on the economy – it also shows the proactivity people are adopting when it comes to improving their long-term career prospects..

But what were the most popular subjects to study? And how are different age groups affected with regards to their attitudes towards online learning?  


Younger generations more likely to seek out training

Our data reveals that young people are most likely to seek training opportunities, with over seven in 10 (71%) 16–34-year-olds saying that they completed a course in 2020. This number dropped to 57% for those aged over 45. 

However, there is a common theme across all of those we surveyed, showing how people are using online learning to get ahead in their careers: 93% of those across all age groups who took online courses last year  said they plan to use these new skills to find work in 2021.


Choice of courses is on the rise

It isn’t just course seekers who have expanded their horizons over the last year. Course providers themselves have followed suit, to help keep up with demand. 

There are now more than 60,000 courses available on, up 49% year-on-year.There’s more choice than ever before, for those looking to learn something new.

Perhaps as a result of this increase in choice, over 39,000 courses were taken between November-December 2020, representing a 64% rise year-on-year. 


Management and tech-based courses most popular 

Overall, the most popular courses taken at the end of last year include ‘Essential IT Skills Level 2’, followed by ‘Business and Administration Level 2’ and ‘Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills’. 

The courses with the greatest annual increases were ‘Leadership & Management’ rising 3,074% year-on-year, followed by ‘British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 & 2’ (1,894%) and ‘Office Admin and Reception Skills’ (904%), suggesting workers are preparing for a return to the office and practising more specialist skills to help their CVs stand out from the crowd.


What courses are available?

If you’re looking for upskilling or reskilling opportunities, there are thousands of courses available on right now – covering everything from cookery and animal care, through to professional qualifications in HR, accountancy, marketing and more. 

Almost all of the courses have distance learning options available, meaning you can fit studying around your schedule. And with hundreds of discounted options and free courses available, you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to get started. 

So no matter what you want to learn, you can find it on   



Searching for your perfect course? View all available courses now.


*We surveyed 1,521 visitors in December 2020, to ask their opinions on finding work in 2021 and their attitudes towards upskilling, reskilling and retraining. 


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