Training copyBut nearly half the workforce is doing this in order to move to a competitor.

Two thirds (66%) of employees are opting to look for additional education or training outside their current workplace in order to advance their careers, the latest findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) reveal.

The KGWI shows that only 50% of employees believe that the training offered by their employer is good enough to help them upgrade their skills and progress in their careers. Additionally, as many as 57% of employees are seeking training in order to pursue a completely new field of work.

Employers are frequently missing opportunities by not offering appropriate training tailored to their workforce. Whilst many companies offer the latest training such as webinars, these online tools are actually considered by workers to be low priority methods of training:

  • Only 18% consider online seminars as desirable, and only 22% view mentoring programmes as important for their career progression
  • Instead employees are looking towards continued training and education (53%) and on the job experience (80%) as their preferred development methods.

Commenting on the findings, Katie Ivie, HR Director, Kelly UK and Ireland said:

“Our KGWI survey reveals that employers could be missing a trick in terms of delivering appropriate training and development, and as a result many employees are taking responsibility for upskilling themselves to progress their careers.  While we can applaud employees for taking the initiative, effective training and development programmes can play an important role in positioning a company as an attractive employer, thereby improving their talent attraction and retention.

“Organisations should undertake a training needs analysis looking at data around performance and employee feedback in order to create a training and development programme that satisfies both the individuals’ and company’s needs. Remembering that people learn in different ways, it’s important to consider a blended learning approach and to consider adopting policies that support external training, for example, flexible working arrangements.”  

The top skills critical for job success are perceived as follows:

  • 81% employees consider teamwork to be important
  • 79% employees view attention to detail as imperative
  • 78% see verbal communication as key – and 30% see bilingual skills as significant
  • 88% of scientists view critical thinking as vital, but only 14% consider computer modeling as important
  • 74% of engineers see troubleshooting as central to their job experience, whilst only 16% see robotics as important


Nearly 170,000 people in 30 countries participated in the survey, including more than 2,800 in the UK.