Upskilling not happening fast enough to outpace change

21 Feb 2019 By Lauren Rebecca Brown

Less than half of employees think they're getting enough help developing skills

Rapid technological change is outpacing the UK workforce’s current ability to upskill fast enough, research by City & Guilds Group has suggested, after it revealed less than half (46 per cent) of employees felt they were getting enough help and support from their employer to develop their skills for the future. 

The YouGov survey of 2,000 full- and part-time UK workers found that while 81 per cent believed the skills they needed to do their job would change over the next five years, a quarter (24 per cent) were not getting sufficient feedback from their managers or colleagues on what they should be focusing on. 

Of those surveyed, 76 per cent agreed it was important to continuously update their workplace skills, regardless of age or career stage.

However, older workers were found to be much less likely to receive workplace training than their younger counterparts: almost half (48 per cent) of those aged 55 and over did not learn any new workplace skills last year.

Chris Jones, City & Guilds Group chief executive, said: “As working lives get longer and the age of the workforce increases, now is the time for employers to prioritise upskilling and reskilling people at all ages and stages within their current workforce and to recognise the value and potential of every employee. However, our data clearly shows that people aren’t receiving enough employer support to develop the skills they need today, let alone those they may need over the next five years.”

When looking at barriers to learning new workplace skills, taking time away from the day job was viewed as the biggest obstacle (42 per cent), followed by a lack of investment in training and development by employers (29 per cent) and a lack of personal budget or funds (28 per cent) to invest in training outside the workplace.

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