Just one-third of workers report that their employer offers regular training opportunities, a new poll by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has revealed.
The survey also found that one in four workers say no training at all is offered at work, aside from a new starter introduction.
White collar workers - according to the TUC, these workers belong to social grades A and B - are twice as likely (40 percent compared to 21 percent) to receive training opportunities than in those in blue-collar roles (social grades D and E).
Workers aged between 18 and 24 were found to be most likely to miss out on training.
The TUC said that in not helping their workers develop new skills, employers are contributing to the UK’s “productivity crisis”.
According to the TUC, EU employers spend twice as much as UK employers do on improving their workforces’ skills and therefore tend to have much higher productivity levels.
Emphasising the seriousness of the problem, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned in October that Britain’s poor skills record was causing productivity levels to stay down.
The survey also found that many workers feel they are not listened to at work. A total of two in five say big changes at their workplaces are driven through without consultation. A further one-fifth said suggestions by the staff are ignored by management teams. Meanwhile, another one-fifth reported that management is doing nothing to reduce stress in their workplaces.
According to the TUC, staff feeling as if they lack a voice at work is a significant problem. The organisation highlighted the fact that the UK currently ranks 26th (second last) among EU member states that have data on workers’ participation in companies. It has been estimated that low employee engagement costs the economy billions every year in lowered productivity.
Denmark, Sweden and Finland take the top three spots, respectively. The only country reporting a worse performance than the UK is Lithuania.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Too many people are stuck in jobs where there’s no chance to get on in life. It’s about time managers started to wake up, invest in their workers’ skills and listen to their workers’ opinions.
“Companies that train and listen to their workforces perform better and hold on to talented staff. The short-sighted approach of too many employers has blighted the UK for years. And it is stifling productivity as we head towards Brexit.”
The TUC survey results have come after research commissioned by the government revealed that take-up of the right to make training requests at work has been low and that it has not facilitated any additional investment in learning in organisations.
A statutory procedure was introduced in April 2010 that meant workers at organisations with at least 250 employees can make a request in relation to study or training.
The procedure dictates that those employees with at least 26 weeks’ service are entitled to a meeting to discuss their training request. However, employers are able to refuse the request for a specified business reason.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 8th November 2017
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