Workers Want Control of their own Development

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Nearly two-thirds of employees are not being given the opportunity to live up to their potential in the workplace and nearly 90% would prefer to be in control of their own professional development according to a new study.

The survey of 3,000 employees by online learning specialist, SkillSoft, also found that a quarter of workers receive no support from their managers when it comes to professional development.

Although 57% said they feel valued at work, 63% think that they could be doing better in their career if they were given more training.

When asked how they preferred to train, 20% said they liked to learn from colleagues and by making use of online learning materials when they needed to; 13% preferred to attend instructor-led courses and workshops; but the overwhelming majority (67%) opted for a mix of both.

Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft said: "A large number of people are not being given the opportunity to live up to their potential at work; particularly in the private sector where only 35% of employees are given access to training compared to 65% of public sector workers. Just consider the productivity gains that could be achieved if
UK businesses stepped up their commitment to developing their employees' skills."

Nearly two-thirds - 64% - of those questioned said their employer allocated no time in the working day for their professional development. Despite this 53% of respondents said they spend their own free time on professional development.

The survey found that if employers were prepared to meet employees half-way and allocate some formal learning time at work, more than three-quarters would be prepared to reciprocate by spending some of their own free time on training.

When asked what sort of training they needed, 45% of workers said they would like more training in communications and customer relations skills while 50% wanted more management and leadership skills training.

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