Businesses should be incentivised and encouraged to offer staff training through government tax breaks.

That is the view of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which has made its comments in the light of research showing that employers are looking for more support from the government.

According to the research, some 74 per cent of employers said they would like to see increased financial support from the government to assist them in improving employee skills.

Ruth Spellman, CMI’s chief executive, said: "We are calling for tax breaks for businesses investing in their staff and are developing our proposals with key partners.

"Put simply, employers should be encouraged to develop staff because a depleted organisation with fewer skills to call on is less likely to survive the recession."

Ms Spellman went on to explain that by investing in employees now, the strategy would serve to reduce redundancy rates in the long-term.

The government this week called on organisations to be set up to persuade more employers to take on apprentices and offer them on the job training.