Press Releases & Coverage

Global Workforce Says It Is Not Receiving Proper Training, SkillSoft Global Survey Finds

Employees Ask for More Training Even at Senior Management Levels;

               IT Workers Don't Feel Adequately Prepared

NASHUA, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 23, 2008--SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading SaaS provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small- to medium-sized businesses, today unveiled a global survey that shows roughly seven out of 10 workers have been asked to accomplish tasks without receiving proper training beforehand.

Within IT, the survey concludes that the problem is even more pronounced. Seventy-eight percent of IT professionals working in the U.S. said that they have been asked to do tasks for which they were not trained, and 74 percent of IT workers employed in Europe and the U.K. expressed a similar sentiment.

On behalf of SkillSoft, the workforce survey was conducted by OnePoll, the UK's fastest growing online market research company. The survey took place between October 2007 and June 2008, and obtained responses from roughly 6,100 employees in the US and Europe (2,000 were from the U.S., 2,000 from England and 2,100 from the rest of Europe). Nearly 1,000 respondents work in IT, and each organization involved in the survey employs in excess of 500 people. Respondents working in a managerial role represent more than a third of the total sample (2,189). Some of the following SkillSoft-commissioned survey statistics to note include:

    --  In Europe, more than three quarters of workers polled, or 76
        percent, said they should have received training before
        beginning assigned work;

    --  In the UK and Europe, 'managing people' is the task managers
        feel most inadequately prepared for, but in the U.S., 'project
        management' ranks highest and 'managing people' ranks third;

    --  Sixty-eight percent of North American workers polled agreed
        training would have helped had they received it before doing
        certain tasks in their jobs.

The survey also found that regardless of location and job title, the majority of workers think ongoing training and development, and the flexibility to take the training when necessary, are essential, no matter what the employee's position. Of the U.K. employees polled, 67 percent said training is most important for senior managers, whereas 52 percent of U.S. workers responded the same way. Throughout Europe, 51 percent said training was most important for senior managers.

The good news for employers is that managers across the globe concur that training and development is an essential part of their organizations' strategy. But the survey data suggests that basic training is not enough, and that management skills training is a neglected area, leading managers to feel less confident in their ability to manage and lead people.

Top 10 tasks managers are asked to undertake without receiving proper training:

Managers (U.S.)       Managers (U.K.)           Managers (Rest of
                                                 Europe)
1. Project management 1. Managing people        1. Managing people
2. Technical tasks    2. Project management     2. Project management
3. Managing people    3. Leadership             3. Leadership
4. Leadership         4. Technical tasks        4. Technical tasks
5. Compliance related 5. Finance related tasks  5. Team working
 tasks
6. Business related   6. Business related tasks 6. Problem-solving
 tasks
7. Finance related    7. Compliance related     7. Finance related
 tasks                 tasks                     tasks
8. Team working       8. Team working           8. Communication
9. Problem-           9. Desktop related tasks  9. Business related
 solving/Health &                                tasks
 Safety
10. Desktop related   10. Problem-solving       10. Compliance related
 tasks                                           tasks

"This survey not only shows the significance of leadership training, but it also proves workers need to be trained at all stages of their careers," said John Ambrose, senior vice president of Strategy, Corporate Development and Emerging Business, SkillSoft. "Regardless of a company's training program, on-boarding plays a key role in getting employees properly acclimated, and as the employee matures, efforts need to fit the specific employee role."

To help identify where skills gaps and shortages exist, respondents were asked to select the top three job functions within their organizations where they feel ongoing training and development is most essential. Those with managerial responsibilities ranked highest, but a number of other roles were highlighted too - as outlined in SkillSoft's Global Training Index below:

SkillSoft's Global Training Index:

Most in need of       Most in need of         Most in need of training
 training              training                (Rest of Europe)
(US)                  (UK)
1. Supervisors (70%)  1. Line Managers        1. Supervisors (54.3%)
                       (76.3%)
2. Customer Service   2. Supervisors (69.9%)  2. Line Managers/IT Team
 Team (54.2%)                                  (54%)
3. IT Team (52.5%)    3. Senior Managers      3. Senior Managers
                       (66.2%)                 (51.7%)
4. Operations Team    4. IT Team (61.4%)      4. Sales Team (49.9%)
 (52.3%)
5. Senior Managers    5. HR Team (57.9%)      5. Customer Service Team
 (52%)                                         (48.2%)
6. Line Managers      6. Customer Service     6. HR Team (46.4%)
 (51.4%)               Team (57%)
7. Management/Exec    7. Operations Team      7. Management/Executive
 Team (48.7%)          (56.9%)                 Team (45.4%)
8. HR Team (48.6%)    8. Sales Team (55.3%)   8. Marketing Team
                                               (44.5%)
9. Administration     9. Health & Safety Team 9. Operations Team
 Team (46.1%)          (55.2%)                 (41.8%)
10. Sales Team        10.                     10. Finance Team (39.5%)
 (45.1%)               Management/Executive
                       Team (54.1%)

To accommodate this clear need for more training, SkillSoft's Leadership Development Channel is designed to provide organizations with another tool to help them develop their managers and leaders so that they can be more effective at managing people and driving results. The Leadership Development Channel provides a unique collection of on-demand programs in multiple learning formats featuring best-selling business authors, experts and CEOs.

In addition to the array of online, on-demand leadership education that the Leadership Development Channel offers, customers benefit from live Web events offered throughout the year on a range of leadership topics. SkillSoft also offers more than 6,000 courses that cover a wide variety of business, compliance, safety and technology topics. From customized initiatives designed to support specific business goals, to broad-based compliance programs, SkillSoft's comprehensive online courseware library features courses ranging in topics from IT, business, desktop skills to environmental safety and health.

A 50-page report titled Essential Learning - the employee perspective, incorporates the full findings of the study - comparing U.S., U.K. and the rest of Europe. It also examines the findings from the individual European countries involved and can be downloaded free of charge via the SkillSoft website: http://www.skillsoft.com/online/skillsoft/verify.asp?URL=http:// www.skillsoft.com/infocenter/whitepapers/documents/SkillSoft_Benchmark _Study_08.pdf&docnm=Essential%20Learning%20-%20The%20Employee %20Perspective.

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Research Note:

OnePoll is the UK's fastest growing online market research company. OnePoll undertakes a wide range of online market research projects, working on behalf of companies from various sectors within the UK and around the world. Its data is used for a host of purposes such as to generate feedback on a website, new product or service or potential ad campaign. Stories based on its research are also covered regularly by the national press, TV and radio broadcasters and online.

In terms of its methodology, OnePoll has 50,000 registered members which is growing every day. With the ability of surveying 1,000 people in 24 hours and up to 5,000 is three weeks, OnePoll can gauge a snapshot of the nation's opinions or undertake more in-depth research. OnePoll has members of different ages, socio-economic status, occupations, regions, cities and uses random sampling in order for surveys to be completed - creating a fair representation of people's attitudes. For more information about OnePoll http://www.onepoll.com/.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) is a leading SaaS provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses. SkillSoft enables business organizations to maximize business performance through a combination of comprehensive e- learning content, online information resources, flexible learning technologies and support services.

Content offerings include business, IT, desktop, compliance and consumer/SMB courseware collections, as well as complementary content assets such as Leadership Development Channel video products, KnowledgeCenter(TM) portals, virtual instructor-led training services and online mentoring services. SkillSoft's Books24x7(R) product offering includes access to more than 20,000 digitized IT and business books, as well as book summaries and executive reports. Technology offerings include the SkillPort(R) learning management system, Search-and-Learn(R), SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) and virtual classroom.

SkillSoft courseware content described herein is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, AnalystPerspectives, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners, countries.


    CONTACT: SkillSoft
             Donna Keenan, 603-821-3211
             Donna_Keenan@SkillSoft.com
             or
             Lois Paul & Partners
             Frank Tutalo, 781-782-5761
             ftutalo@lpp.com

    SOURCE: SkillSoft PLC