Lack of training programs blamed for lack of career progression, says survey

by L&D05 Apr 2016
An absence of effective training opportunities has been identified as one of the main reasons behind employees complaining about their career progression, according to new research from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Indeed, the survey found that 33% of employees in the UK said their career progression to date had failed to meet their expectations.

The most common workplace factor behind this was poor line management which was nominated by 39% of employees whose career had failed to live up to their expectations. This was followed by a lack of effective training programs (34%) and negative office politics (34%).

Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, said: “Poor careers advice and guidance is holding back too many people at the start of their working lives and contributing to the increasing gap between the jobs that people end up in versus the skills that they have.

“This skills mismatch undermines job satisfaction, employee engagement and ultimately productivity.

“For many, this problem is then compounded when they do enter the labour market by poor line management and a lack of effective training, meaning their skills are often left unidentified and under-developed. Good line managers coach and develop people and identify and help build on their strengths so they can reach their potential.”

Willmott added that the results highlight the importance of providing life-long learning opportunities for people of all ages. 

"We need government to ensure that publicly-funded further education and adult skills are protected in the future and not treated as a poor relation to higher education," he said. 

"It’s also flags how important training and development opportunities in the workplace are, to enable people from more disadvantaged backgrounds to progress.”

The survey also found that a high proportion of people from poor backgrounds are being held back because they cannot afford to invest in their own personal development. The poll by CIPD involved 2,000 people in the UK.

The CIPD advises that employers should:
  • Prioritise line management development – good quality line management is at the heart of effective progression in the workplace and poor line management holds people back.
  • Review their approach to flexible working practices – employees that work flexibly or on part-time basis should have the same opportunities to learn, develop and progress at work as full-time employees.
  • Improve access to training – development opportunities in the workplace are crucial to progression and with the world of work constantly changing, it’s in employers’ interest to invest in the skills of their workforce and keep their workers engaged.