Allowing employees to use and develop their skills is the key to keeping them happy and improving retention, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Nigel Stanley, head of campaigns at the union, said employees are likely to be more content if, along with fair pay, they are given the opportunity to put their talents to good use and to gain new ones.

His comments follow the publication of a report by the TUC which found that almost a quarter of the UK workforce are unsatisfied in their jobs, with high workloads and inadequate salaries cited as two of the main causes of frustration.

Mr Stanley said: "People will always have gripes about their job, but there’s lots of research to show that people will generally be satisfied with jobs that use their talents properly, give them autonomy over how they do it and a chance to develop new skills."

The TUC survey revealed that 30 per cent of employees believe they are not offered enough opportunities for training and progression.