Employees in the UK want to learn but are too busy at work, have too many
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 main
More than 10 per cent say a 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 only one in 10 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.
Chris Humphries, director general of City and Guilds, said the results
outline a desperate need to address the problem of re-skilling the existing
"This survey shows what we all suspected – first that not enough
emphasis is being placed on learning in the workplace, and second 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 – 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."