The majority of staff employed in small to medium businesses around the world are asked to accomplish tasks without receiving adequate training, new research shows.

According to a survey by SkillSoft, around seven in ten workers have carried out an assignment for which they have not been properly trained.

Some 76 per cent of European workers polled said they should have received training before starting particular tasks such as managing people or carrying out technical work.

The majority of those questioned also thought ongoing training and development is essential, as is the flexibility to take up training when necessary.

John Ambrose, senior vice president of strategy, corporate development and emerging business at SkillSoft, said: "This survey not only shows the significance of leadership training, but it also proves workers need to be trained at all stages of their careers."

Dilys Robinson, a research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, said recently that there is a "strong link" between training and development and employee engagement.