Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lest we forget the barriers to skills development in the Workplace

A UKCES ( UK Commission for Employment and Skils)  discussion paper from earlier this year said that in a perfect market, individuals would do their utmost to participate in skills development activities. This would provide them with a stronger chance of more secure, well paid, and more rewarding employment, and would also provide them with the wider benefits associated with ‘good work’. However, the paper acknowledged that this was not the case, and set out the barriers to skills development.

Barriers to Skills Development

• Social barriers: learning perceived to go against social, gender, or family norms
• Lack of knowledge of what is available
• Lack of awareness of the benefits of engaging in skills development
• Lack of confidence
• Lack of expectancy that engaging will result in desired outcomes
• Fear of failure due to educational inheritance from previous experiences
• Perception of being too old to learn
• Perception that there is no need for further skill development
• Gaps in basic skills
• Lack of motivation due to personal priorities

• Lack of time
• Cost/lack of financial support
• Lack of provision of appropriate quality, relevance, and content
• Employer unwilling or unable to resources training or time off
• Lack of space or resources for work-related training
• Lack of work culture that encourages skills development
• Lack of job ownership/autonomy to effectively deploy skills
• Lack of formal systems for progression/rewarding skills development
• Inappropriate allocation of skills development opportunities by management
• Lack of support/advocacy from unions, peers, management