British employers are spending an astounding 50% less on training per employee than the EU average.
This situation has been getting worse since 2005. A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) criticised Government and businesses for “two decades of underinvestment” and suggested that the main factor behind the current worsening skill crisis is low employer spend on training.
Participation in job-related adult learning has fallen significantly in recent years. The UK is now fourth from bottom in an EU league table of job-related adult learning. And low investment is not the only issue: the UK workforce is getting older, and this creates the need for employers to start investing in re-training for middle-aged employees to refresh their skills for new technologies and working practices. Likewise, with young workers in the UK experiencing slower progression in their first years of employment than in many other OECD countries, skills development is crucial for the younger generation.
Training is proven to enhance employee retention and productivity. The UK L&D Report 2018 shows that UK's top performing businesses are putting employee learning and development (L&D) at the heart of their strategy. It is necessary to encourage organisations to raise their ambitions and invest more in workplace learning and ongoing skills development, with a focus on higher skills – especially considering that these skill challenges will be exacerbated by limits on EU migration after Brexit.
Money spent doesn’t equal effective training
However, the effectiveness of training is not necessarily determined by how much an employer has spent on it. As the CIPD points out, UK employers might have found a way to minimise their training spend, without reducing the quality of the training. For example, by exploiting the power of digital. eLearning unlocks opportunities previously unimaginable for employee training.
Many organisations are starting to offer their training hours in an online self-study format – and tech companies are leading the way, having already moved most of their L&D online. Harnessing the benefits of online training might just be the way to tackle the talent gap and make the UK’s skills system world class.
Give us a call to discuss how you can harness the benefits of online training.