TalentLearning & DevelopmentLow skilled workers stuck in a vicious circle due to lack of learning

Low skilled workers stuck in a vicious circle due to lack of learning

Recent reports have revealed that there is a lack of resources invested in learning and training amongst low-skilled staff in the UK.

The Social Mobility Commission initiated a report that revealed that there is a significant disparity in skill levels for adults in the UK.

Low skill level is a noticeable issue in the UK. As “In 2017 the Commission found that the UK has an endemic low pay problem with just 1 in 6 low-paid workers (17 per cent) managing to permanently escape from low pay in the last decade.1 Meanwhile, a quarter of low-paid workers remained stuck in low pay jobs.”

This amount of UK workers fixated in these low paid roles could be down to the fact that there is little currently spent on skills in order to develop adult skill levels. Instead, these resources are invested in the younger generation.

One of the major takeaways from these findings was that 18% of participants who were employed in manual operation based jobs, had participated in any sort of training in the past three months. In comparison to 30% of participants in managerial or professional based roles.

When looking through what adults receive training, in this report they found that a large number of adults who achieved the lowest social grades in schools haven’t received any learning ever since they left school. With this lack of learning and development as these people develop in their lives, this could mean that they never really have a second chance to learn and develop their skills in life.

In this report, they also found that “About 1 in 4 adults undertook job-related training in the last three months in 2017. However, there is evidence of a general decrease in the proportion of people participating in training, particularly younger age groups, that has been occurring since the 2000s. • Almost half ”

Tom Bailey, Learning Experience Manager at AXA commented on the significance of learning, saying “It’s important for everyone to learn as a whole, it’s also important for us as an L&D team to recognise that people are in different stages of their career. A key example is where we have hungry new graduates and apprentices, who have just come out of education who really just want to learn everything. For us, it’s important to recognise that everyone wants to learn, everyone needs to learn and develop, so it’s just about offering different options for different groups of people.”

The report concluded by saying “ There is a ‘virtuous’ and a ‘vicious’ circle of learning. Adults with low or no qualifications, in low social groups and occupations are much less likely to have been, or to become involved in, training. In contrast, those with high levels of qualifications, in higher level occupations and higher socio-economic groups receive the highest levels of training and, as a result, are also more likely to take up training in the future.”

Dame Martina, Chair of the Social Mobility Commission commented on this report, saying “Both employers and the government need to act to address this problem. They should start by increasing their investment in training, to bring it closer to that of international competitors, and prioritise this to those with low or no skills.”

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