As the UK public enters its second month living under lockdown restrictions, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has reported a sharp increase in numbers accessing its courses via distance learning.

For the week to 23 April 2020, there was a 20% increase in distance learning registrations compared to the same week in 2019.

Additionally, AAT insights have shown a large number of training providers have switched quickly from now-closed classrooms to live online teaching, rescheduling timetables in order to provide flexible student solutions.

AAT head of business development Rob Alder said: While current restrictions are making it a difficult time for students and workers alike with colleges and workplaces shut down, many are taking the opportunity to study remotely – often with the help and support provided by training providers. We had already seen a 5% year-on-year rise in distance learning even prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, but in the past month remote studying has shot up. There’s a myriad of reasons for this. 

“For some, the closure of training providers has forced them into online learning in preparation for forthcoming exams. Others are taking the opportunity that a lack of ability to socialise or commute has brought, using their additional time outside of working hours to upskill themselves, or to learn a new skill entirely. Still more will have been put into furlough by their employer, and recognised that furloughed employees can still take training even if they cannot work.

“In any event, brushing up on the latest finance techniques or learning digital skills they never had before will hold them in good stead for the future. While AAT exams are currently unavailable, online studying can continue and all on-demand computer  based assessments, the majority of AAT exams, can resume soon after current restrictions are lifted.”