A lack of training and development for the UK’s workforce is a “significant concern” for the future of business, experts have warned, after research revealed that 25 per cent of UK employees believe they receive insufficient support from their employers.
Just 48 per cent of respondents to a survey conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Interserve Plc, said they received adequate training and development from their current bosses.
This is despite career development opportunities being cited as the most important consideration (after pay) when considering a future employer.
The findings are part of a nationwide survey, which asked 2,061 adults aged 16 and above about their perceptions of training and development provided by their current employer and by big businesses that employ more than 1,000 people.
As well as employees doubting the quality of their own training, just one in six believe that big businesses provide sufficient opportunities for apprenticeships, which could effect future generations entering the workforce.
The report also revealed that a third of respondents believe that big businesses are worse at improving employee skills and providing career development opportunities today, than they were 10 years ago.
Ksenia Zheltoukhova, research adviser at the CIPD, said training methods had changed significantly over the last few years, which could explain changing employee opinion.
“The CIPD recent ‘Megatrends’ report ‘Are UK organisations getting better at managing their people?’ quoted Labour Force survey data, indicating that about 15 per cent of employees received training in the previous three months,” Zheltoukhova explained.
“This proportion remained relatively stable, although the volume of training (number of days spent in training) has recently been falling, with an 8 per cent drop between 2009 and 2011, and another small reduction between 2011 and 2013.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in quality, as our Learning and Development annual survey data points to an increase in the use of internal training (rather than using external providers), increased emphasis on the on-the-job training (as opposed to discrete courses), and a growth in e-learning. All of these methods are less disruptive, and can account for some reduction in the volume of training,” she added.
But she warned that training must not be under-estimated as it enables employers to continuously develop staff skills to match the pace of change.
“Focus ‘on the now’ seems to get in the way of future-proofing employee skills – almost 4 in 10 of employees say they can rarely find time for training and development. This is mirrored in the survey of HR professionals, where 56 per cent named operational pressures as the top barrier to training and development of staff,” Zheltoukhova said.
She urged employers to better design training format and content to match the growth needs of the organisation.
Lewis, G. (2015) Quarter of UK Workforce receive Insufficient Training and Development. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2015/02/02/quarter-of-uk-workforce-receive-insufficient-training-and-development.aspx. [Accessed: 04 February, 2015].