Last updated: 08.12.14

UK businesses failing to provide employees with training

Universities and schools in the UK are more efficient in preparing employees for work than businesses themselves, according to a new report.

Opinium's latest survey of employed adults across the UK revealed that 60 per cent of workers require key workplace skills in order to boost their job performance, but only 25 per cent said they had received training from their employers on the ones they need.

In contrast, 80 per cent of respondents stated that university had helped them to feel confident in their preparedness for work, while 58 per cent said school was the main lead in doing so.

Skills that were deemed the most important by employees were: problem solving and creativity; literacy; attention to detail; and self-management - including planning, time management, organisation and self-motivation.

A total of 85 per cent of respondents revealed their workplace doesn't offer compulsory training, with 41 per cent of workers having received no training whatsoever from their employers.

The report sheds light onto the major skills shortage in the UK, indicating that a lack of investment in necessary training stands as a barrier to career progression.

It also highlighted a link between training provision and company size. Small businesses with a workforce of less than 50 employees provided 20 per cent of staff with the right training, whereas medium-sized corporations - with between 50 and 1,000 employees - offered necessary training to twice as many workers (40 per cent).

This difference could be explained by smaller firms having less budget to invest in training.

But interestingly, only 20 per cent of employees in large enterprises (with more than 1,000 workers) received the right training, suggesting some staff are getting 'lost' in bigger companies.

The most common explanation given by survey respondents for the lack of training was that they didn't have enough time to take part - two in five (40 per cent) employees stated that being under time pressures at work discouraged them from performing training.

Moving forward, businesses must work to find cost-effective methods of providing staff with the right training - for example, through using digital learning materials.