January is traditionally the time for new opportunities and challenges, with career improvements often featured in plans for the year ahead. A new survey conducted on behalf of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has found that we’re a nation with long term ambition rather than a quick fix attitude, with people choosing to improve their jobs rather than apply for new ones.
The survey reveals good news for employers in the telecoms and IT sector, as more than half (63 per cent) of respondents said they would rather improve their current role compared to 11 per cent preferring to start afresh. Despite this, employees in the sector are reluctant to ask their employers for training, with just over a quarter (26 per cent) of those surveyed unlikely to ask their employers for training to help develop their roles.
In contrast, findings reveal 55 per cent of employees in the telecoms and IT sector surveyed said training would make them more likely to stay with the company. An earlier report by the Department for Education and Skills, now the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) suggests employers are overlooking the benefits that training can bring to staff retention, which found that less than one per cent of employers would increase training to encourage staff retention or morale. 
Of those who did train their staff, 4 in 10 employers reported an increase in staff retention.  This is also reflected in employees’ views of work-based training, as 42 per cent of employees in the telecoms and IT sector surveyed would feel more valued, and 50 per cent more motivated if their organisation invested in their skills.
Jaine Clarke, Director of Skills for Employers at the Learning and Skills Council comments: “This research reveals a clear need for employers to change their attitude to training if they are to reduce staff turnover and boost morale. This is now easier than ever before thanks to our Train to Gain Service, which offers independent, impartial advice at no cost to the employer.
“We would also encourage employees to take their future into their own hands and ask their employers about training before taking the step of finding a new job.”
Train to Gain helps businesses get the training they need to succeed, with high quality advice from a skills broker and flexible and responsive training to enable employers to identify and then meet their skills needs. The government announced a doubling of funding in November 2007 as part of over £11 billion a year invested in education, employment and training, with more funding available for a broader range of skills.
To date, over 65,000 employers have benefited from the service, and almost 320,000 employees have started training for a new qualification since the service was launched nationally in August 2006.