One in four workers receive no training according to poll carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
An article written by Dawn Lewis of CIPD People Management Magazine claims that one in four workers receive no training opportunities at work beyond their onboarding process. This is based on research carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), who conducted a poll of more than 3,000 working adults.
The poll revealed that 24 per cent never undertook formal learning, while just 33 per cent said their employer regularly made training available to them. The poll also showed that the lack of opportunities for employees to increase their skillset was most acute for those in the service sector. It also found that white-collar workers were twice as likely to enjoy training opportunities as those in blue-collar roles, while 18 to 24-year-olds were the most likely to miss out.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC claimed “The short-sighted approach of too many employers has blighted the UK for years. And it is stifling productivity as we head towards Brexit.” She went on to say “Companies that train and listen to their workforces perform better and hold on to talented staff.”
Lizzie Crowley, skills advisor at the CIPD, said the figures were another indication that businesses weren’t investing enough in their staff. “The CIPD released a report earlier this year suggesting that, in terms of the proportion of the workforce receiving training, the UK was ranked at the bottom of European countries,” she said. “The UK has a productivity crisis and improving skills is part of addressing that challenge.”
David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, added: “Providing training opportunities ought to be second nature to organisations, with the benefits far outweighing the costs, yet our recent study found that 84 per cent of workers in low or semi-skilled work were in the same roles as five years ago – that’s equivalent to 13 million workers with untapped potential.”
Willett said organisations that do not invest in work-based training could find themselves behind the curve as the technological, political and economic climate shifts. In turn, this means businesses are missing out on the chance to increase productivity and diversify their workforce, which brings increased innovation.
“Providing learning opportunities and developing the skills of employees enables organisations to become more agile and flexible, and ultimately more able to seize new opportunities,” said Willett.
Further research published in July by the The Open University Business Barometer, showed that the ongoing skills gap is costing UK businesses more than £2bn a year in higher salaries, recruitment costs and temporary staffing.
Around half of employers were unable to find a candidate with the required skills and chose to hire at a lower level. More than half were also found to be using training to boost new employees’ skills to bring them up to the required standard.
Coupled with the lack of training opportunities, the TUC poll also suggested that many employees do not feel that they have a significant voice within the workplace. Around 40 per cent of employees asked, said major changes in their workplace were driven through without consultation, while a fifth said that staff suggestions were ignored by management. The UK ranked 27th out of 28 European nations for the degree of workforce participation.
In its Great Jobs Agenda, the TUC is calling for employers to ensure every job is a ‘great’ job. This includes giving employees the ability to have their voice heard at work, and the opportunity to learn and progress.
“It’s about time managers started to wake up, invest in their workers’ skills and listen to their workers’ opinions,” said O’Grady.