‘Earn and learn’ training vital to tackling sector challenges

NEW research has found that less than 2% of businesses are fully confident their employees are well placed to take advantage of the rising use of new technology.

The findings were revealed by The 5% Club in a survey of its employer-members. Members aspire to have at least 5% of their workforce undertaking earn and learn training within five years of joining the club.

In the survey to mark The 5% Club’s 5th anniversary, members were asked for their opinion on a number of challenges facing their sector and the role of earn and learn training. Key findings included:

  • All businesses surveyed agreed that on-the-job training programmes can help companies prepare for the future by providing relevant skills, with 78% strongly agreeing;

  • 91% argue that earn and learn training can significantly help to address the continuing skills gap crisis;

  • 67% stated that earn and learn training, such as apprenticeships, is critical for upskilling an ageing workforce;

  • 54% believe that earn and learn training can help businesses embed and embrace digitalisation and new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

Lady Cobham CBE, director general of The 5% Club said, “Over the next few years, businesses will face unprecedented change. The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence, data insight and other technological advances will become the expected norm for businesses in order to thrive and as such, we need to prepare our workforces accordingly. At the same time, we will see a growing, ageing population, working for longer and requiring their skills to be updated more regularly, either in existing jobs or when developing their careers. Underpinning this, is the ongoing skills crisis across sectors.

“Work-based training opportunities can provide a significant part of the solution, offering employers the chance to drive new skills and training in line with how their business model and order pipeline will look in the next five to ten years. Of course, it isn’t just about employers. Further education providers also need to play their part by providing courses which are in line with the skills of the future. Through work-based training, we are not only preparing our employees of all ages for the jobs of the future, but also driving economic growth by ensuring our businesses are ready, agile and equipped with the right skills to operate efficiently and productively for the coming years.”