This article analyses the impact of e-learning on the higher education skills agenda. The main question addressed in the article is whether the e-learning environment meets the learning needs of the student to enable skill development to take place. Analysis is provided of face-to- face versus on-line teaching of Edexcel common skills and Qualification Curriculum Authority (QCA) Key Skills and challenges the view that soft skills are difficult to develop on line. The conclusions highlight that the dismissal of e-learning from the skills agenda would be a mistake. The challenge to higher education is to utilise the advantages of e-learning to skills development in ways that balance on-line learning with face-to-face learning.