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Workforce faces lack of training opportunities

Workforce faces lack of training opportunities

November 2009 - A quarter (25%) of UK professionals don't receive any formal training from their employer - around a further third (31%) receive training only when they specifically request it. At a time when the business world is changing at a pace and new skills are needed, the vast majority of the working population are being left to simply learn as they go.

The situation is particularly acute amongst 25-34 year olds, with 71% going without access to regular training, and 52% only receiving training when they proactively request it.

It seems that the country's economic powerhouse - London - is especially poor when it comes to training opportunities. Two thirds (67%) of professionals in the Capital aren't given a formal training programme by their employer.

Despite this, there remains significant appetite for training opportunities. Indeed, nearly half of all professionals (47%) went as far as to say they'd be keen to entirely re-train for a different role if given the opportunity, including 76% of 25-34 year olds.

Neil Wilson, managing director of Badenoch & Clark, comments: "In any economic downturn, attention will naturally fall off things like training and development as attention and budget is focussed on fire fighting. However, it seems training opportunities have dropped to an unacceptably low level - a level which endangers companies' efforts to grow again as the economy stabilises. "There is undoubtedly a place in the professional world for learning on the job. A great deal can be accomplished by getting stuck in to the work at hand and learning from those around you. However, unless that is supplemented by some element of formal training, progress is likely to be slow and bad habits formed.

"At a time when the demands on the next generation of professionals are likely to differ from the current picture, it's vital employers seek out the most forward looking, relevant training opportunities for their people. Teaching accountants how to inject commercial thinking into their day to day work, IT professionals how to build links with all levels of the business, legal professionals to engage with the wider business world - these are all skills that formal training can help instil.

"The danger of continuing to ignore training and development is very clear. Your people will stagnate. Your best talent will leave for employers that invest more on training. And your business will stall."