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Cath Everett

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Training valued by employees, overlooked by employers


Although nearly three quarters of staff consider learning and development opportunities to be as important as salary when choosing their next job, more than half are currently receiving no training from their employer.

According to a survey of 700 learning and development managers and staff within both commercial and IT departments undertaken by training provider Global Knowledge, some 57% said they were being denied the necessary funding for skills development, while a further 49% indicated that their employers would not give them the necessary time off work.
Allan Pettman, the firm’s UK managing director, said: “In tough economic times, it’s more important than ever that employers help their staff to grow and innovate. Failure to invest in training places a burden on employees, many of whom are relying on their skills to remain employable and maintain career progression. These results would suggest that employers are badly letting them down.”
The study also revealed that, even if organisations do decide to fork out on training, many failed to monitor their return on investment. Some 53% of respondents said that observation was used to check whether new skills had been learned, while 26% said that follow-up discussions with staff were the preferred means of assessing the value of the training that had been received. Just over one in five indicated that no checks were carried out at all, however.
The findings were also echoed in a second study undertaken among 500 private sector workers by recruitment consultancy Hays. Just over three out of five of those questioned complained that their current employer was not doing enough to invest in their skills development.
As a result, some 46% were concerned that their current skill set would not meet employers’ expectations in five years time, while 58% said that the expertise required for their current role was already changing. A worrying 55% did not know or were unsure about what expertise their employer was likely to require in future.
But just under half believed that they, rather than their employer, had primary responsibility for ensuring that they had the skills required, although 37% were not doing anything about it.