Lack of support and too many commitments block learning

Employees
in the UK want to learn but are too busy at work, have too many other
commitments or lack sufficient childcare support.

Research
for City and Guilds shows that although two-thirds of people are interested in
learning, almost three-quarters feel prevented from doing so.

The
biggest factor holding people back is time, with 25 per cent citing pressures
of work and a similar proportion blaming other commitments as the main
obstacles.

More
than 10 per cent say lack of childcare support prevents then from developing
new skills and 11 per cent of the 1,400 respondents reveal that an ignorance of
what courses are available holds them back.

The
survey shows that a mere 7 per cent of those interviewed are undertaking a
learning activity and that only one in ten see their employer as a source of
information on learning.

When
asked what would motivate them to learn, the most common reason given by
respondents is fun, leisure or relaxation, with 42 per cent.

According
to Chris Humphries, director general of City and Guilds, the results outline a
desperate need to address the problem of re-skilling the existing workforce.

"This
survey shows what we all suspected – firstly that not enough emphasis is being
placed on learning in the workplace, secondly that we need a fundamental review
of the way people learn.

"This
is a top priority for British business. By 2010 there will be upwards of 2 million
additional jobs in the UK – most of which will have to be filled by the
existing workforce ñ and these jobs will typically require higher-level skills
than needed today.

"Unless
employers can access the necessary skills to meet these needs, we will lose out
to more competitive economies."

By Ben Willmott

 

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