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70% of UK workforce want to upskill this year

09 February 2022

UK employees want to upskill this year

Employers are being urged to make the most of a national appetite for workplace skills development, as new research shows 70% of the nation’s workforce are interested in upskilling in 2022.

The Censuswide survey of over 4,000 of the nation’s workforce indicated that employees are feeling more optimistic about career goals in 2022 compared with last year with over half (52%) saying they wanted a promotion in 2022, and 69% wanting increased job satisfaction in the new year compared to 2021.

Nearly seven out of 10 (67%) workers believe that new skills will help them achieve these career goals in 2022.

A Demand for Learning

The survey found a considerable demand for on-the-job training, with 39% of workers saying they would find this particularly useful.

A further 31% of workers wanted courses specific to their sector, as well as encouragement and practical support from their employer – with 1 in 3 saying they felt held back by a lack of time (36%), a lack of confidence (31%) or knowing where to start (30%).

Approximately 1 in 4 workers (24%) also felt that courses in general areas such as leadership, numeracy and digital skills would be beneficial.

Among the sectors with the biggest desire for new skills were those employees working in sectors requiring a specialist skillset, including green industries where nine in ten (90%) said they wanted to learn new skills relating to work, followed by 84% in science and 87% in IT and telecoms sectors.

Up Skilling for Success

Prominent industry voices have spoken about the importance of skills to drive better results and retain their workforce.

They are joined by an alliance of influential employers from a diverse range of sectors who are backing the campaign, including Mastercard, Openreach, Heineken, AstraZeneca, BT Group and many more.

Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer for BT Group, said:

The skills that employers, and wider society, need is constantly changing, so it’s important we’re continually looking to upskill people for the digital world.

“Making sure that as many people as possible have the latest skills not only helps employers, it also helps individuals and society more broadly.

“Improving skills means inspiring new talent and improving wellbeing across the board.

The government has recently launched a campaign urging employers to ’Join the Skills Revolution’, aiming to help businesses upskil their workforce.

Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education said:

It is no secret that a skilled and motivated workforce is the key to driving better performance and boosting productivity. There has never been a better time to make skills a top priority.

“To support businesses to unlock untapped talent there is a huge range of training available to help upskill their staff for free including online courses to boost numeracy to apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels or our Skills Bootcamps.”

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