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Aviva’s Response to Developing Digital Skills with Sarah Allen & Molly Howes

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As organisations face disruption from digital advancements, a parallel skills shortage is being experienced in the labour market. In the face of these two challenges, Learning & Development teams are seeking ways to make a predictable and reliable impact on developing their people. In this episode, we explore what Aviva is doing to upskill and re-skill in digital skills to ensure the company thrives in the future.


  •  All 22,000 colleagues at Aviva have access to learning, so they can perform at their best and develop their careers.
  • Take a collaborative approach, consult the experts in your business and understand what your learners want to achieve.
  • Start small to learn what works for your organisation. Initially, focus on a few roles.
  • Take a multi-prong approach, provide the learning in a range of formats. Once you have identified what works best you can potentially dispense with some programmes.
  • Some people are resistant to being educated about digital tools. One-hour immersion sessions are a good way to ignite interest and overcome this reticence.
  • Make sure that those who engage in the learning process can actually progress in their careers.

'Learning for the future is where we're really focused right now. '
'Our digital boot camps are split into two different sectors – software engineering and product.'
'Start with a handful of roles, '

Sarah Allen Bio
Sarah is Head of Learning at Aviva and previously Head of Learning, Talent & Leadership for AXA UK, having risen through the ranks of the L&D team at AXA Investment Managers.
You can follow and connect with Sarah via:

Molly Howes Bio
Molly is Foundry Project Lead at Aviva having joined the company in 2015 and transitioned into roles including Team Leader and Digital Product Owner. The Aviva Foundry is a learning community, developing the knowledge and skills Aviva needs to succeed in an increasingly digitised world.
You can follow and connect with Molly via:

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David James 
David has been a People Development professional for more than 20 years, most notably as Director of Talent, Learning & OD for The Walt Disney Company across Europe, the Middle East & Africa.
As well as being the Chief Learning Officer at 360Learning, David is a prominent writer and speaker on topics around modern and digital L&D. 

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The Learning & Development Podcast

This is a fortnightly topical podcast show for L&D professionals hosted by David James and presented 
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