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Martin Couzins

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Employers urged to support training to boost productivity


Employers believe training will help improve customer satisfaction, productivity and profits, according to research from The Economist Intelligence Unit comissioned by technology provider Promethean.

The survey of 252 business executives and public sector workers from the UK and the US showed 90% of respondents believed training could improve employee productivity by 5% or more and more than 80% said the same for customer satisfaction. Forty-six per cent of the respondents were from the UK and the remaining respondents were from the US.

Jim Wynn, chief education officer at Promethean, said: "The findings of the EIU analysis confirm that training not only leads to increases in productivity and customer satisfaction, but at least a 20 percent jump in profits. Skills training is not just a growth issue, but a vital component for companies in surviving this recession."
Other findings of the survey include:

Current training provided by employers is often inadequate.

  • Over two-fifths of U.K. respondents (44%) and nearly two-fifths (37%) of US respondents say that training at their organisation is not good at improving innovation among employees.
  • Just over one-quarter of respondents from both countries think employee efficiency and productivity do not stand to benefit from current training schemes.

Few employers are devoting more resources to training.

  • Less than one-third of survey respondents from the UK or US report that their employers have increased investment in training over the last two years.
  • Over one-fifth of UK respondents say investment has decreased.

The state of the economy should not deter organisations and individuals from investing in training.
70% of UK respondents and 58% of US respondents say that current economic conditions should not be an obstacle to organisations taking steps to improve their workforce.
The majority (93%) of both UK and US respondents believe that organisations should offer a multitude of in-house and external training programs to their employees.
69% of UK respondents and 82% of US respondents believe employees should also pursue beneficial training at their own expense.

One size fits all does not work with training and skills development. To become more attractive in the job-market, workers from different age groups should have different goals.

  • In the US, 46% believe that for the young (16-24-year-olds) investing in further education should be a top priority. Over two-fifths (45%) of UK executives believe that this age group needs to ensure they have a broad range of up to date skills.
  • 50% of US executives and two-fifths (49%) of UK respondents say that those aged between 25 and 50 need to make sure they have a broad range of up to date skills that can help them perform better.
  • More than one-half of US respondents and 48% of UK executives think more mature workers (51-75 year olds) should become adaptable and flexible team players.

Full results of the survey can be found here.

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