Companies and individuals need to invest in training and improving skills if they are to emerge from the recession in good shape.

That is according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which revealed that training is beneficial, both during the economic downturn and once the outlook has improved.

Frances Wilson, HR advisor at the CIPD, said that she also believes the country needs to invest more in work-based training and apprenticeships.

Commenting on the issue, she said: "Countries that are going to come out of the recession well are those that have invested a lot in education and training and work-based training as well."

According to the Leitch review of skills, there is a direct link between "skills, productivity and employment".

The report stated that the UK will find it difficult to compete in the global economy unless it can make its skills base "one of its strengths".