Technological advancements and changing markets are impacting the workplace and shaping new and exciting careers. Now more than ever, there is a high demand for employees to learn more about their field of work and increase their skill set. 

Training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, but many employers in the current climate find development opportunities expensive. However, despite these potential drawbacks, training and development provides both the individual and organisations with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment. The return on investment from training and development of employees is becoming essential. 

98% of employees think learning is an essential element in deciding whether to stay or leave an employer. However, research by Bridge in collaboration with Two Heads Consulting, claims that 75% of companies don’t have a learning culture and 66% don’t have a digital learning strategy, which in the current climate of social media and online advertising, makes them at a great disadvantage. 

According to the study only 11% of UK businesses have a learning culture, 59% are still trying to establish one and 5% suggested it wasn’t a priority. Up-skilling in the workplace helps expands employee’s knowledge and helps create a team of people that are extremely qualified and can provide a better service to clients or consumers which is essential in a highly competitive market.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills found in 2016 that 36% of adults were qualified to “intermediate level” – better than basic education but below a degree or other tertiary qualification – but predicted this would fall to 34 per cent by 2020, pulling the UK down to 28 out of 32 OECD nations.

These findings suggest that it is important for businesses to implement inhouse training so that employees can broaden their skill set and develop on their current knowledge. Bridge research found that employees are hungry for development, with 70% stating that they feel learning is a motivational factor for choosing where to work, and more than 7 in 10 (72%) feel that they need to learn more to do their job to their best ability. 

A study by Deloitte suggested millennials who intend to stay with an organisation for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor than not. In the same survey, the millennial respondents said an ideal working week would include significantly more mentoring and coaching time than they currently receive.

With Brexit around the corner, closing the skills gap between the UK and its rivals has become more urgent. Progressive employers are investing in training, apprenticeships, mentoring and online learning to ensure they will have the skills they need to succeed in global markets. 

The British Hospitality Association announced that 45% of members are worried by the issues Brexit could bring to the sector. The trade body UKHospitality has warned that due to Theresa May’s proposal to prioritise high-skilled migrants, the sector is at a risk of staff shortage. 

Three million people are currently employed in the hospitality sector, but trading body UKHospitality said 90% of these roles could not be filled under May’s structure. Around 50% of hospitality employees are young people and the potential of a demographic shift means there will be fewer 18 to 24-year-olds in the UK within a few years.

Therefore, there has never been a bigger emphasise on training giving people the ability to perform more effectively in the workplace, improve on their own skills and the confidence to tackle a changing industry. Plus, training does not need to constantly be external and expensive, devoting small but regular amounts of time and money into training and development has a maximum effect and helps to strengthen a business or company both internally and externally.