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Every day’s a school day – over half of people in Leicester have used the internet to learn new skills

Press Release   •   May 19, 2016 08:48 BST

Kimberly Wyatt, dancer, TV personality and campaign spokesperson

The University of Life has never been more prevalent as over half of Leicester (51 per cent) have used the internet to learn on average three new skills.YouTube is the most favoured source with over three quarters (78 per cent) claiming the online video channel is the biggest teacher.

The research, conducted by BT, has uncovered the self-starting people of Leicester are more likely to use the internet to seek out new skills rather than asking their parents (91 per cent), reading a manual (88 per cent) or even enrolling on an evening or weekend course (87 per cent).

Of the skills learnt via YouTube, 61 per cent of respondents said that they had reached an adequate level.While 52 per cent said that they wouldn’t have learnt these skills had it have not been for the internet, a vast proportion (81 per cent) have gone on to use their new skill – a huge 96 per cent of those successfully. Almost three-quarters (67 per cent) of these that have successfully up-skilled would, or have already, recommended others to use the internet as a place to learn a new skill.

Top 10 most popular skills to learn online:

1. Cooking – 38 per cent

2. DIY – 28 per cent

3. A new language – 23 per cent

4. Exercise – 20 per cent

5. Gardening – 17 per cent

6. Knitting – 12 per cent

7. How to apply makeup – 10 per cent

8. A musical instrument – 10 per cent

9. Car maintenance – 9 per cent

10. Photography – 6 per cent

Kimberly Wyatt, dancer, TV personality and campaign spokesperson says: “I regularly use the internet as a source of knowledge and have learnt how to do various things such as perfecting the great British roast and checking out new yoga moves - which I can practise at home.It’s really refreshing to know that so many people have been teaching themselves new skills via the internet. From really practical things like cooking, DIY and learning a language to keep fit and dance, the internet is an invaluable source of information that 20 years ago we didn’t have. Everyone has the ability and opportunity to learn a new skill and I would like to encourage everyone to search and learn today. Don’t put it off - it’s amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.”

Owen Moody, BT’s regional director in the East Midlands, says: “The internet plays such a big part in everyday lives and this research really celebrates the positive effect that it has. We have instant access at our fingertips at home or on the go so that we can literally learn any skill, anytime, anywhere.”