UK Workers Favor On-the-Job Training Over University Degrees

UK Workers Favor On-the-Job Training Over University Degrees

UK Workers Favor On-the-Job Training Over University Degrees

UK Workers Favor On-the-Job Training Over University Degrees

UK Workers Favor On-the-Job Training Over University Degrees

A recent study commissioned by Amazon reveals a significant shift in the perception of career preparation among UK workers. The study, titled the “Future of Work and Career Development,” surveyed 2,139 adults, of whom 1,294 were employees. It found that three in five UK workers believe on-the-job training or apprenticeships are more valuable than a university degree for preparing individuals for the workforce.

Key Findings

The survey uncovered several critical insights:

  1. Value of On-the-Job Training: Sixty-one percent of workers agreed that learning on the job was more valuable than the traditional academic route and a path to financial success without a degree. This is contrasted with only 31% who believe a university degree is as essential for a good career as it was a decade ago.
  2. Appetite for Learning: A high proportion of respondents (79%) expressed the importance of acquiring new skills for the modern world within the next 12 months to enhance their career prospects. This is notably higher than the 67% who felt that obtaining a promotion would improve their career trajectory.
  3. Skills Concerns: Thirty percent of respondents were concerned about their skills becoming obsolete, emphasizing the necessity of retraining and upskilling. Seventy-one percent acknowledged that such efforts are crucial for maintaining employability in the future and filling the skills gap in the UK workforce.
  4. Training for New Roles: When considering a new job or role, 86% of adults stated that training was essential or very important. They regarded training programmes offered by potential employers as more or equally important as company culture (84%) and flexible working arrangements (75%).
  5. Financial Barriers: The survey highlighted financial constraints as a significant barrier to accessing training, with 24% of workers stating they could not afford to pay for training themselves.

Amazon’s Investment in Skills Development

In response to these findings, Amazon has announced plans to invest an additional £23 million into skills development for its UK employees. The investment will expand its existing Career Choice programme, which has seen participation from approximately 18,500 Amazon employees over the past decade.

John Boumphrey, Amazon UK Country Manager, commented on the research:

“The research reflects what we’re seeing in our workplace, and that is people in the UK want access to skills training programmes. Amazon is proud to have offered our upskilling Career Choice programme in the UK for the past 10 years and to further expand our course options, so that thousands of employees across the UK can continue to advance their skills and take on new career opportunities at Amazon and beyond.”

The new courses being added to Amazon’s programme include information security analysis, software testing, and procurement and supply chain. This expansion aims to equip employees with the necessary skills to thrive in a rapidly evolving job market.

The Workers Union Says…

“The shift in worker preferences towards on-the-job training over traditional university education underscores a broader trend in the strength and adaptability in the UK workforce. As the job market continues to evolve, the emphasis on continuous learning and skill acquisition becomes increasingly critical. Employers that invest in the development of their employees’ skills are likely to attract and retain talent more effectively.”

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