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Learning survey

June 10 2005 - A quarter of British office workers blame their 'David Brent' style bosses for holding back their development, according to recent research conducted for the online learning specialist, SkillSoft. 63% of the 3000 employees surveyed feel they could be doing better in their career. But many workers say they get no support when it comes to training and career development and bosses fail to recognise and nurture their potential.

The survey also found that public service employees get the most encouragement from their managers with 66% saying their employers are happy for them to develop their skills compared to 56% of people working for private companies.

Public sector workers also get more opportunities for on-the-job training - 40% say they get formal training and mentoring. This compares with 31% in private firms who receive the same level of support.

According to Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft: "It's evident from this study that a large number of people are not being given the opportunity to live up to their potential at work; particularly in the private sector.

'Just consider the productivity gains that could be achieved if UK businesses stepped up their commitment to developing their employees' skills."

64% of those surveyed said their employer allowed them no time in the working day for their professional development. 89% of employees said that would prefer to be in control of their own learning.

Kevin Young commented: "This is in line with some research we did last year amongst employees already using e-learning, the majority of whom were taking control of their own professional development by accessing online learning in the office before or after work, or at home in the evenings and at weekends.

'The effect on their jobs was evident; nearly everyone interviewed could give practical examples of how they had applied their new knowledge at work."

Other key findings:

  • 53% are already willingly spend their own free time on professional development. But many more employees workers said they would spend their spare time studying if bosses allowed them time to learn in the office as well.
  • 43% of employees felt that they need to spend only 2-4 hours a week on training to achieve their full potential.
  • Asked about the kind of training they needed, 45% said they would like more training in communications and customer relations skills and 50% wanted more management and leadership skills training.
  • 67.5% say they deserved higher pay.
  • Most employees enjoy their work - 43% saying that they got some pleasure from their work and 40% go as far as to say they enjoy their jobs "a lot." A mere 10% said they don't enjoy their job at all.



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