Half (50%) of L&D professionals surveyed by LinkedIn have seen the skills gap in their organisation widen over the past year.
Similarly, two-thirds (67%) of employees said they are hoping to change job within the year, indicating trouble ahead for employers hoping to retain top talent.
Becky Schnauffer, senior director at recruiter LinkedIn Talent Solutions, told HR magazine: “By providing employees with opportunities to develop their skills internally and focus on their unique career development, not only will companies strengthen their talent retention and recruitment efforts in a tough jobs market, but they will also boost the engagement of existing employees.”
Nearly two-fifths (38%) of UK L&D teams are expecting their budgets to increase this year and global demand for L&D specialists soared by 94% in late 2021.
Schnauffer added: “These professionals will be critical to helping UK businesses retain top talent and narrow their skill gaps.
“In the current jobs market, it’s more important than ever that employees feel their employer is invested in their professional growth and career development.”
Rune Sovndahl, co-founder and CEO of domestic cleaning service company Fantastic Services, has seen the impact of a strong training programme on retention first-hand.
Early on his company could not compete with other start-ups’ wages so it invested heavily in L&D instead.
He said: "We made a conscious decision that the least we can do for our employees is to invest in them.”
The belief in employees, he added, inspired a loyalty that helped the company survive the pandemic.
He said: “It was so clear that because we’d invested in our staff, in upskilling [...] it was the biggest payback we’d ever had.
“There was instant loyalty, instant help, instant everything else – and we saw that because we’ve been through that journey with them.”
The research, published this morning (30 March), surveyed 542 L&D professionals across Europe. Data for global L&D jobs was obtained from LinkedIn between April and September 2021.