Thursday, April 30, 2009

Skills training failing to meet employee needs

Without continued training and skills development many Americans believe their current workplace skills will be outdated within the next five years, according to a recent global workplace survey by Kelly Services.

The survey found that more than three-quarters of Americans surveyed predict that their job skills will be outdated within five years and believe the training currently provided by their employers will fail to meet their future career needs.

“Many organizations in an effort to cut expenses may eliminate or reduce training opportunities, but this will cause businesses to become less innovative and without the capacity to compete,” says Mike Webster, Kelly Services Executive Vice President and General Manager.

As revealed in the survey, people across all generations in the workforce depend on training and development to stay competitive in the changing labor market.

People’s views regarding their workplace skills varied in different regions of the U.S., according to the survey:

  • Workers in the West are most concerned about their skill sets, with 82% worried that they are becoming outdated.
  • People living in the Northeast are the most confident that their current skill levels are sustainable.
  • Gen Y workers (18 to 29 years old) living in the West and Midwest are the most worried about their workplace skills.
  • Gen X workers (30 to 47 years old) are more concerned about the adequacy of their skills than any other age group in the U.S.
  • Workers in the South are the most satisfied with the quality of training provided by their employers.
  • More than half of the Baby Boomer generation (aged 48 to 65) feel they have been let down by their employer’s human resources departments in managing their careers. Workers in the Northeast are the most critical in this area.

The majority of those surveyed (77%) believe that training should be a joint responsibility between employers and employees. The workers surveyed said they most prefer on-the-job training (42%), followed by professional development courses (26%), self-initiated learning (20%) and formal university or college courses (12%).
“The current economic environment has made people very aware of their skills and whether they will be sufficient to survive the recession and beyond, into a period of economic recovery,” Webster says.

Do you think our current economic situation has put an added significance on employee training and skills development? Are you concerned that your current workplace skills will become outdated in the coming years?

Leave a comment and let us know.

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