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Missing Millions report

New research shows nearly 17.8m workers have outdated skills

The Missing Millions report published by City & Guilds looks at the likely demand for skills over the next seven years, the current skill levels of people living in the UK and highlights the under-utilisation of millions of working-age Britons.

Based on findings from labour market economists Emsi and a poll of 5,000 working-age people, it revealed that only around half have received workplace training in the last three years, and a third have either never received training or did so more than five years ago. The lack of opportunity for skills development leads to only a third of the UK working-age population feeling positive about their future career prospects. The research also found that:

  • those from lower socio-economic groups were much less likely to have received training in the last five years (44% vs 68%) and were less satisfied with their career prospects (22% vs 39%) than those from higher socio-economic groups;
  • those living in the North East of England faced a significant disadvantage in access to training and opportunities for progression when compared with other regions. Only 21% of people in the North East felt positive about the jobs market in their local area, compared to 45% in London;
  • those working part-time – significantly more women than men – were also less likely to have received training in the last five years than those working full-time (61% vs 72%). Part-time workers were additionally far less likely to believe there was an opportunity to progress than their full-time counterparts (22% vs 36%);
  • people highly value the training they do receive – 77% of those who had received workplace training stated that it had enabled them to be more effective at their job.

City & Guilds are calling on government and policy-makers to “urgently review adult education and create a system that encourages lifelong learning, retraining and reskilling. They need to provide better careers guidance and advice to people at all stages of their career.”