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Boost your own skills, private sector employees urged

Peter Bradley , 08 Feb 2011

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More than half of private sector respondents to a recent survey admitted they do not know what skills their employers are likely to demand from them in the next five years.

 

Almost two-thirds complained that their employer is not doing enough to invest in their skills, but half accepted that the responsibility for developing their skills was their own, according to research published today by recruiting group, Hays.

Despite continuing tough market conditions, industries such as IT, finance and energy are still experiencing skills shortages and have unfilled positions, but business is not stepping up to the plate to invest in the training and development needed, the survey says.

It suggests that a balance needs to be struck between employers and employees. Hays UK managing director Charles Logan said: "Employers have understandably been focusing on immediate survival and may themselves be unsure about the skills they will require in years to come. If they can gain an understanding of this and communicate what they will need, it will help employees to work towards building their skill-sets in the right direction."

As yet, employees are not rushing to plug their own skills gap, with over a third (37%) taking no action to remedy the shortfall themselves, the survey finds. Indeed the majority (60%) say the only action they are taking to stay up-to-date is to read trade magazines and attend seminars. Only a third are enrolling on courses or seeking industry certification.

Logan said employees needed to start taking ownership of their career. "Jobseekers should invest in their future by developing skills that are needed by businesses. They cannot rely on their employer to keep their skills and experience sufficiently suited to changing markets."

Hays interviewed 500 UK private sector employees in the period December 2010-January 2011.

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