UK-Employers Deem Training For Contingent Workers ‘Ineffective’, Study Finds

Posted 16th September 2019 • Written by •

A quarter of UK employers, or 24%, say training for contingent workers is ineffective, according to new research from City & Guilds Group.

The research found that that employers are failing to provide their vital contingent workforce with adequate learning and development opportunities despite also finding that the contingent workforce is set to grow.

According to City & Guilds’ research, 84% of UK organisations use contingent workers, and 35% anticipate that their use of this workforce will increase over the next 3-5 years.

However, one in five, or 20%, of UK employers do not carry out any training with contingent workers, compared to one in ten for entry level workers – and businesses report the lowest levels of training effectiveness in this group too as 24% deem the training for contingent workers ineffective.

Currently, the most common method for developing contingent workers in the UK is on-the-job training (19%). Over a fifth (22%) of British businesses say that improved delivery platforms would help, followed by more self-guided/self-service learning (18%) and a better blend of on- and offline learning (17%).

John Yates, Group Director, Corporate Learning at City & Guilds Group, commented, “Not only are the skills that businesses need transforming, so is the workforce itself. Contingent working arrangements are on the rise and becoming more important as both employers and employees seek greater flexibility in the face of an uncertain future. 

“However, our research shows that current workplace training programmes are not catering to this growing workforce – preventing both individuals and organisations from safeguarding their future,” Yates said. “For employers, this is especially dangerous where workers aren’t receiving essential training like on-boarding or compliance – leaving them open to commercial and reputational risk. But it also extends to their broader development; in order for any worker to add the most value to their organisation, their skills need to keep up with the pace of change.”

City & Guilds pointed to the UK branch of international aid agency, Islamic Relief, and how the organisation trains its contingent volunteers in order to reduce turnover and stand out in a competitive market place.

Abdulla Almamun, National Volunteer Coordinator at Islamic Relief UK, commented, “You can’t up-skill people and see the benefits overnight, so you need to be prepared to be patient and take things one step at a time. By focusing on one key objective that’s three years down the line and systematically working towards it – that’s how you’ll reap the rewards.”