Employees using colleagues and the internet to learn core skills as job responsibility increase

Public sector workers are turning to colleagues and the internet to enhance their skills as cuts affect access to workplace training, new research from recruitment consultant, Badenoch & Clark shows.

A sixth (14.5%) of public sector workers are now taking it upon themselves to source external training in core skills, often using independent research and searching the internet to meet the greater responsibilities now required of them, as job and budget cuts begin to take their toll.

The survey of 1,000 public sector workers reveals the impact departmental cuts have had on public sector employees, with over a quarter (26%) having to take on further roles, as jobs have disbanded and as team numbers reduce. A fifth (20.8%) are having to learn new skills as roles merge, or take on greater responsibility and up skill (20.2%).

However, with reduced training budgets, nearly two fifths of workers (41.1%) must now learn the additional skills required to do their job from colleagues or independent research, as external training is reduced. Over a quarter of public sector workers (27.7%) claim to be receiving less external training than six months ago.

Matt Gascoigne, Executive Director at Badenoch & Clark, said:

“While independent training and development is already well established among private sector employees, the public sector lags behind. The sector continues to face significant workforce challenges and training is a critical area that has suffered in the recent cuts. As training budgets are slashed, employers are encouraging staff to turn to internal and online training programmes and are often only considering external training when it can be seen as a critical part of business development. While turning to colleagues and independent research is not necessarily a bad thing, it is important that any training employees receive is reliable and informed; delivering education and development that ultimately benefits the organisation.

“Good training and development is linked to strong levels of employee engagement and motivation. With workers now exploring the possibility of improving their skill sets separate to programmes offered internally, it is even more essential that public sector departments view training as part of a successful retention strategy over the coming months. It is entirely possible that workers are seeking independent training in preparation for a new job.”