Skills crisis looms as learning & development take a back seat

04 Feb 2019

British workers aren't getting the chance to develop their skills for the future, according to research published by City & Guilds Group.

A YouGov survey of 2,000 full and part-time employees found that a third of workers in Great Britain -- and almost half of those aged 55 and over -- did not learn any new workplace skills last year.

The research identified a number of challenges preventing people from learning more -- ranging from lack of time to lack of investment to lack of feedback.

Three quarters (76%) of those surveyed believe it is important to continuously update their workplace skills regardless of age or career stage. However, less than half (46%) are getting enough help and support from their employer to develop the workplace skills they need.

Developing new skills and capabilities is something that should last a lifetime, City & Guilds says. Technology is impacting the way we work and the jobs that we do, which means that the skills needed today may not be the skills needed tomorrow.

Yet while 81% of workers believe the skills they need to do their job will change over the next five years, a quarter (24%) are not getting sufficient feedback from their managers on the skills they should be learning.

Chris Jones, City & Guilds Group chief executive, commented: "With Brexit uncertainty overshadowing the economy and a burgeoning skills crisis, skills development has never been higher on the agenda. At a time of rapid technological change, the skills used by today's workforce are becoming obsolete quicker than ever before and there is a clear need for continued investment in learning.

"Skills gaps are a stark reality and employers have a responsibility to enable critical training for their entire workforce, from graduate entrants through to senior leadership."

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