Recently released research suggests that a lack of training may be one of the reasons that UK productivity is at an all-time low.
The research, which was carried out by AVADO, a leading learning provider for both individuals and businesses, shows that the majority of UK professionals have not had any training for at least two years, and 13% have not had any training for at least four years.
This lack of training impacts productivity, as it means that employee skills do not keep pace with changes in their sector. Many said that as well as making them less productive, they fear this lack of up-to-date skills will lead to them being passed over for promotion.
Mark O’Donoghue, CEO of AVADO, said ensuring that staff have the right skills is important as today’s businesses face the challenge of responding to a rapidly changing business environment, driven by digital disruption.
There are a number of reasons why staff are not offered, or do not take part in, training. For employees, these include time away from the office and the regularity and range of the training offered. Over 50% of professionals felt that the training they received did not allow them to stay on top of industry developments. Another issue is that employees now change jobs more frequently, with many working for the gig economy, becoming self-employed or taking on short-term contracts. For employers, the cost is a key factor.
Training providers need to respond to these changes, and one way to do so is by providing a wider range of online courses, which almost half of employees would like to access, and utilising new technologies such as virtual reality. Both would provide flexibility as to when and where people could access training, reducing time away from their desks. For employers, this may also reduce costs.
Mark O’Donoghue said that online learning is easier than ever and allows employers to offer regular and relevant staff training. It also allows them to take advantage of technological changes, such as artificial intelligence, to change the way we learn, making it more collaborative, engaging and effective and ensuring it has a real impact on the way that businesses work.
Being allowed to manage their own professional development would also be welcomed by the majority of employees (84%). This would help ensure that the training they received matched their needs, making sure their skills were not only up-to-date but also relevant to their role and sector.
It would also help staff retention, with professionals saying they are more likely to remain with an employer who allows them this control. Conversely, 63% said that they would consider moving to a new employer if that employer offered them more opportunities to participate in training.
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