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Officer workers: 'We need more training please!'

A survey of office workers has revealed that fewer than half of 16 to 24 year olds surveyed (48 per cent) feel that their employer is meeting their training needs. And 20 per cent of this age group are working towards a professional qualification outside of work - at their own expense - to further their careers.

The research was commissioned by Skillsoft and carried out by independent research company Opinion Matters. It also found that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of young recruits plan to leave within a year of starting a job, with over half (54 per cent) leaving due to lack of training and career development prospects. For respondents aged over 55, more than three quarters (76 per cent) feel their employer is meeting their training needs.

Training is often a double-edged sword for employers. Some ask why they should train staff, only for them to leave less than 12 months later and take that expertise to a competitor. On the other hand, not investing in the appropriate training could hasten the exit of a valuable employee.

Some employers believe that good training reduces the risk of employees leaving by offering them challenging careers. 'Rather than worrying about losing staff to competitors, companies need to make that investment in people and then make sure there is enough in the role and organisation to keep people there,' said a senior bank sector HR manager.

Skillsoft says that in a tough job market, younger workers recognise the need to set themselves apart from the competition and grab every opportunity to develop and climb the career ladder.

'Our research has shown that new recruits are hungry for knowledge, but current training programmes do not always meet this appetite, with many staff choosing to either invest in their own career development or leave a company due to a lack of training opportunities or progression,' said Kevin Young, general manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at Skillsoft.

'Companies need to harness the enthusiasm and commitment of their staff - who are obviously keen to learn and progress - and help motivate and retain their best employees, instead of letting them slip through the net,' he added.

Acas works with employers to develop practical solutions for improving employee commitment and motivation. This includes training such as Skills for supervisors.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects page for more information.

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