A Fresh Look at 70:20:10 in a Skills-Driven Workplace

The 70:20:10 model has stood as a beacon for structuring corporate training and professional growth. This framework posits that 70% of learning comes from job-related experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and the final 10% from formal educational events. However, as advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning reshape how we work, there is a pressing need to re-evaluate and potentially evolve this model to better suit the future workforce, especially as organisations shift towards a skills-based focus.

The Impact of AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are not just tools for automating routine tasks; they are reshaping the very fabric of job-related learning. These technologies offer personalised learning experiences that can adapt in real-time to the learner’s performance and needs. Imagine an AI-driven learning platform that analyses a user’s interactions, adjusts content in real time, and provides targeted resources to accelerate individual development beyond what traditional job experiences can offer. This becomes increasingly relevant in a skills-based organisation where the alignment of skills to tasks is crucial and must constantly evolve.

Shift in Workplace Dynamics

The traditional 9-to-5 job is giving way to more dynamic roles that often span different functions and even different organisation’s. As such, the linear model of 70:20:10 may not encapsulate the multifaceted ways in which learning happens in modern work environments. The boundaries between work and learning are blurring, with continuous learning becoming an integral part of daily tasks. This integration demands a more fluid and adaptable model that reflects the ongoing shifts in workplace structure and culture, particularly as organisations increasingly prioritise skills over job titles or roles.

Potential Evolution of Learning Models

As we look to the future, the learning model may need to expand its focus from percentages of learning sources to a more holistic view that encompasses the quality and contextual relevance of each learning interaction. Could we see a new framework that integrates AI to personalise learning paths, uses analytics to measure impact more directly, and dynamically adjusts to the learner’s changing roles and responsibilities? Such a model would not only provide a more accurate reflection of learning in a digital age but also a more robust framework for developing skills that are in step with technological advancements and organisational needs.

The Relevance of 70:20:10 in a Skills-Based Future

While the essence of the 70:20:10 model remains valuable, particularly its emphasis on experiential and social learning, its rigid structure may become less relevant. In a skills-based organisation, the integration of learning with real-time work processes and the customisation of learning to individual skill gaps are paramount. We are likely to see a model that is more integrative, one that combines the insights of AI with the irreplaceable value of human interaction and real-world application. This would not necessarily replace the 70:20:10 model but rather build on its foundation to create a more adaptive and forward-thinking approach.


The question isn’t whether the 70:20:10 model will remain relevant; it’s how we will transform it to meet the needs of our future workplaces. By leveraging AI and embracing the changing dynamics of work and a shift towards skills-based organisations, we can develop a learning model that not only supports continuous improvement but also drives innovation within industries. As learning and development professionals, embracing this change and contributing to its evolution will ensure that our organisations remain competitive and our workforce well-prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.

This speculative journey into the future of learning models illustrates not just an evolution of numbers but a transformation in how we perceive and approach learning in a digitally interconnected world, crucially aligned with the strategic emphasis on skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the 70:20:10 model in learning and development?
A: The 70:20:10 model is a framework that suggests 70% of learning comes from job-related experiences, 20% from social interactions, and 10% from formal educational events.

Q: How could AI impact the 70:20:10 model?
A: AI can enhance the 70:20:10 model by providing personalised learning experiences that adapt to individual needs, thus potentially increasing the effectiveness of job-related and informal learning components.

Q: Why might the 70:20:10 model become less relevant in the future?
A: As workplace dynamics shift and organisations become more skills-focused, the structured nature of the 70:20:10 model may not as effectively address the fluid and diverse ways learning occurs in modern environments.

Q: What might replace the 70:20:10 model?
A: Future learning models may integrate AI and analytics more deeply, focusing on adaptive learning paths that are personalised and directly integrated with work tasks, moving beyond the fixed ratios of the current model.

Q: How can organisations prepare for changes in learning models?
A: Organisations can invest in AI-driven learning platforms, foster a culture of continuous learning, and closely align development programs with evolving skills needs to stay ahead of changes in learning paradigms.

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