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Just one in three get chance to train at work, TUC poll finds

  • White collar workers twice as likely to get training opportunities
  • Bosses’ failure to invest is holding productivity down, warns TUC
  • One in four say there is no training at their workplace apart from inductions
  • Two in five say managers don’t consult about changes at work

Just one in three workers (33%) say their employer offers regular training opportunities, according to new polling published by the TUC today (Saturday).

And one in four workers (24%) say that no training is offered at their workplace at all apart from a new starters’ induction.

The poll, of more than 3,000 working adults, shows the problem is worst in the service sector, where just one in four get training opportunities.

White collar workers (social grades A and B) are twice as likely (40% versus 21%) to get training opportunities than in those in blue collar roles (grades D and E). And young workers (18-24 year olds) miss out on training most.

The TUC says employers not helping their workers get new skills is a key factor behind Britain’s productivity crisis. EU employers spend double the amount UK employers do on improving workforce skills and typically have much higher productivity levels. And the OECD warned last month that Britain’s poor skills record was holding down productivity.

The poll also reveals that many workers feel they are not listened to at work:

  • Two in five (41%) say big changes at their workplaces are driven through without consultation.
  • A fifth (21%) say staff suggestions are ignored by management.
  • One in five (22%) say management is doing nothing to reduce stress in their workplace.

Staff feeling they don’t have a voice at work is also a big problem, according to the TUC. Britain currently ranks 26th (second-last) among EU countries for workers’ participation in companies. Low employee engagement is estimated to cost the economy billions every year in lower productivity.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Too many people are stuck in jobs where there’s no chance to get on in life.

“It’s about time managers started to wake up, invest in their workers’ skills and listen to their workers’ opinions.

“Companies that train and listen to their workforces perform better and hold on to talented staff.

“The short-sighted approach of too many employers has blighted the UK for years. And it is stifling productivity as we head towards Brexit.

“The TUC’s Great Jobs Agenda sets out what we need to do as a country to make every job a great job.”

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