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Gender gap in attitudes to training revealed


Women are more enthusiastic about learning and skills than men, according to new research from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Findings highlight that participation in adult education among men has fallen by 5% while the number of women in adult education is increasing. In fact, 84% of women stated that they feel that further training, skills or a qualification would give them an advantage in the workplace.

When it comes to gaining advice from peers or colleagues about increasing skills, 60% of women claim that they actively seek advice, compared to nearly 50% of men who say they don't.

Behavioural psychologist Linda Papadopoulos, whose new book What Men Say, What Women Hear backs these findings, says: "Socially, the roles of British men and women are becoming increasingly equal, with women claiming their independence both at work and at home, and even the introduction of the house-husband.

“However, it seems that there is still a significant inconsistency in attitudes to adult learning, where men seem more unwilling to engage with education and training as a means of improving their employability and career prospects."

The research shows that men are less likely to seek advice about their skills, much as they are less likely to go to the doctor or ask for directions when they are lost than women. There is a common trend in men's behaviour that shows a resistance to accepting support and a determined effort to overcome challenges independently - something that is seemingly also reflected in men's approach to education and training.

Liz Burdett, director of area for the LSC in North Yorkshire, adds: "It's very interesting to see these differences between the sexes when it comes to adult learning and, even more so, to understand the foundations for such contradictory attitudes.”


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