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Research reveals training gap in UK businesses

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86% of HR heads and 69% of employees believe L&D can be improved

New research by Cloud Assess, found that amongst HR managers and ‘deskless’ workers, including those in the hospitality, retail, and construction industries, 86% of HR heads and 69% of employees believe there is room for improvement when it comes to their employer’s approach to training and development.

According to findings, HR heads are conscious of the importance of upskilling, with 97% agreeing that training and development is vital to their company’s future success. Those surveyed revealed that training can offer a range of benefits to their organisation, including boosting business performance, improving efficiency, and increasing staff retention and satisfaction.

Despite this, businesses continue to underestimate the extent of the current training crisis in vocational industries. Whilst the majority acknowledge that their training programmes could be improved, 85% of HR heads maintain that their company does offer comprehensive training to all employees. A significant proportion of deskless workers disagree. In fact, a third of workers believe their employer’s approach to training is limited or inconsistent.

The challenge has been amplified by the pandemic, with almost half of HR managers and deskless workers claiming that COVID-19 worsened the training provisions available to employees. This couldn’t have come at a worse time, given that the majority of HR managers (80%) and deskless workers (68%) think the need for training and development has increased in the last five years.

In addition, workers are increasingly prioritising training when it comes to choosing an employer, with deskless workers ranking upskilling opportunities in the top five most important workplace benefits. Similarly, over two-thirds of deskless workers stated that the training and development opportunities offered by their employer have a strong influence on their loyalty to the business.

The report also explores how workers want the upskilling they are demanding to be delivered. The majority (74%) prefer their training delivered via face-to-face or hybrid (a mixture of face-to-face and online) methods. Online training in isolation was found to be the least popular (12%) amongst staff, demonstrating a clear preference amongst deskless workers for hands-on training sessions which reflect the practical nature of their roles.

Rob Bright, CEO and Founder of Cloud Assess, commented: “Our research confirms what we already suspected. The world of work has changed forever and workers’ priorities have shifted. The real insight is that employers simply can’t afford to cut corners when it comes to training and development. It’s playing an increasingly important role in employee satisfaction and it needs to be delivered in a way that works for them. Plus, with millions of job vacancies across the UK, deskless workers are now in a position to choose a place to work based on these factors.

“It’s crucial that businesses acknowledge the wants and needs of this valuable talent pool and invest in upskilling their workforce effectively, or risk losing out in the fight for talent.”

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