Employers are failing to train their contingent workforce, despite the fact that non permanent workers now make up a significant segment of the UK labour market.

A report released by City & Guilds Group has found that 84% of UK employers utilise contingent workers, and 35% anticipate that they will rely on them more over the next three to five years.

Despite this, 20% of employers don’t carry out any training with their contingent workforce, and a further 24% said that training for contingent workers is ineffective.

Not only are the skills that businesses need transforming, so is the workforce itself. Contingent working arrangements are on the rise and becoming more important as both employers and employees seek greater flexibility in the face of an uncertain future.

John Yates, Group Director – Corporate Learning at City & Guilds Group

Currently, the most common form of training for contingent workers is on-the-job training (19%).

Contingent workers are the most likely to say that the current training they receive has no impact on their performance at work (24%, compared to 19% for permanent workers.)

They are also less aware of the purpose and value of training to both themselves and their employers (18%, compared to 23%.)

For employers, this is especially dangerous where workers aren’t receiving essential training like on-boarding or compliance – leaving them open to commercial and reputational risk.

John Yates, Group Director – Corporate Learning at City & Guilds Group

Suggestions from employers to improve contingent worker training include:

  • Improved delivery platforms (22%)
  • More self-guided training (18%)
  • A better blend of on/off-line training (17%)

Organisations that do invest in their contingent workforce will also be more likely to attract high quality workers, and ultimately add more value to the economy by supporting the development of a skilled, productive society.

John Yates, Group Director – Corporate Learning at City & Guilds Group
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