Civil servants unhappy with their L&D – survey

by L&D12 Jan 2017
Half of UK civil servants are unhappy with the learning and development aspect of their jobs, according to a recent survey.

The findings, reported by Training Journal, were based on responses from 279,708 people who took part in the British Government’s 2016 Civil Service People Survey.

According to the data, just 50% are happy when it comes to L&D – a proportion barely unchanged from 2015, when it was 49%.

This total score was deduced from feedback to four questions about the availability and quality of training.

These include whether there are opportunities to develop their career where they work - which just 43% agree is the case.

Only 44% think that the L&D activities they have completed in their current job have helped them develop their career.

Employees are also asked whether they can access the right L&D opportunities when they need to, which 61% agree is the case.

While barely half (51%) agree that the L&D activities they have completed in the past year have helped improve their performance at work.

L&D is one of the areas rated lowest by civil servants, with only pay and benefits (31%) and leadership and managing change (43%) scoring worse.

The survey, released last month, also highlights differences between major Whitehall departments when it comes to taking care of the training needs of staff.

The newly created Department for Exiting the European Union ranks bottom for L&D, at just 40%, while the Home Office is 42% and the Department of Health 43%. 

Other major departments failing to reach 50% are the Department for International Trade (45%) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (48%).

The Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence both score 50%. The Ministry of Justice, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and HM Revenue & Customs do little better, at 51, 52 and 53% respectively.

While the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Department for Education both score 56%.

The Department for Transport, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development all score 60%, only just behind the Department for Communities and Local Government (61%) and Department for Work and Pensions (62%).

The best performing department is the Treasury, with 63%.

Responding to the findings, a spokesperson for the Public and Commercial Services Union told Training Journal: “It’s incredibly disappointing to see such a low score for training and development because the civil service should be an exemplar employer, setting the bar for other employers in the public and private sectors.”