Government plans to allow UK staff to request time off for work-related training could benefit millions of people, it has been suggested.

Under the legislation, employees who have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks would be entitled to ask for time to train.

According to skills secretary John Denham, up to 22 million employees could benefit if the proposals pass through parliament.

"We need to find new ways to bring the drive for skills to every worker, which is why we are consulting on a new right for workers to request time to train," he remarked.

And he warned that employers who do not train their staff – currently one third of those in the UK – put the success of their business at risk.

Meanwhile, a survey by learndirect Business has revealed that 60 per cent of employees believe the skills they have acquired in everyday life are not taken full advantage of by their employers in the workplace.