13 million U.K. workers missing out on training: Survey

Access to training is equality issue: Union group

Just under one-half (46 per cent) of United Kingdom employees — about 13 million — did not receive any training in 2011, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The TUC cites statistics from the UK Employer Skills Survey which also found 41 per cent of U.K. employers did not offer training to any staff members in 2011.

It is often the most qualified employees at the top end of the scale who access training opportunities while minorities and the disadvantaged have less access, said the TUC.

“It seems that the lion's share of development opportunities has gone to high-flyers and far too many ordinary workers have missed out — for example, part-time workers, older workers and disabled workers,” said Frances O'Grady, TUC deputy general secretary.

Access to learning is an equality issue and every worker, regardless of age, race, gender, class, sexuality or any disability should have the same access to training, she said.

“There is also the economic case to be made. Unlock the talents and skills of your workforce, let them learn and you will be repaid by increased motivation, retention rates and lower sickness levels, not to mention a better skilled workforce,” said O’Grady.

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