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

The University of Life has never been more prevalent as almost half of people in Cardiff (49 per cent) have used the internet to learn on average three new skills
  • Cooking is city’s most popular skill to learn online

The University of Life has never been more prevalent as almost half of people in Cardiff (49 per cent) have used the internet to learn on average three new skills. YouTube is the most favoured source with almost 67 (67 per cent) claiming the online video channel is the biggest teacher.

The research, conducted by BT, has uncovered that self-starters in Cardiff are more likely to use the internet to seek out new skills rather than asking their parents (82 per cent), reading a manual (98 per cent) or even enrolling on an evening or weekend course (76 per cent).

Of the skills learnt via YouTube, 41 per cent of respondents said that they had reached an adequate level. While 59 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 95 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.

Cardiff’s top 10 most popular skills to learn online:

  1. Cooking – 44 per cent
  2. DIY – 37 per cent
  3. Photography – 30 per cent
  4. Exercise – 30 per cent
  5. Learning a new language – 19 per cent
  6. How to apply make-up – 19 per cent
  7. Gardening – 19 per cent
  8. Knitting – 15 per cent
  9. Car maintenance – 11 per cent
  10. A musical instrument – 7 per cent

Other skills learnt include: styling hair (18 per cent), slow cooking meat (16 per cent), decorating a cake (16 per cent), how to boil an egg (11 per cent) and how to carve a pumpkin (5 per cent). People from Cardiff think the most useful skills they have learnt via the internet are: foreign languages, DIY, car maintenance and computer skills. However, some have used the internet for information on learning how to get dressed, how to tie a shoe lace, and how to fly a plane.

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.”

Alwen Williams, BT director for Wales, 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 that we can literally learn any skill, anytime, anywhere.”