On-the-job training proving popular with employers, research claims
Training on the job is proving to be popular with many as businesses are increasingly valuing those that have vocational qualifications.
That's according to an online survey of 1,000 decision makers in small and medium-sized businesses, which reveals that that 86 per cent of companies agree that having staff with vocational qualifications leads to better business performance, up from 81 per cent in 2010. Furthermore, more than three quarters (77 per cent) concurred that this led to better staff retention.
The findings show encouraging signs that further education is being taken seriously be employers this year. Despite this, there is still work to do in encouraging employers to offer FE qualifications to their staff. The most common reason given by employers for not offering vocational qualifications was a perception that employees do not want them; something that perhaps needs to be investigated further in workplaces.
Among those with FE qualifications, more than a quarter (27.5 per cent) has gained them through work-based learning and a further 70 per cent of employers with FE qualifications believe that this has positively impacted on their current career.
The proportion of employers benefiting from FE varies by sector, with more than two thirds in the health and beauty sector (71 per cent) having an FE qualification. The figures are similar for the financial sector at 64.3 per cent.
Reviewing the findings, Graham Hoyle, chief executive of the Association for Employment and Learning Providers, said: "It is really encouraging that businesses are beginning to understand the value of further education.
"The challenge is to ensure that more companies understand that there are apprenticeships and further education courses available across a wide range of business sectors in both manufacturing and services.
"It is important to know too that further education isn't just for young people; businesses can use the wide range of opportunities available through FE to improve the skills of all their employees and evidence shows that this can produce an excellent return on investment."
The cross-sector group set up to promote further education has recommended that employers make further use of the tools on offer to maximise engagement with further education, whether in their recruitment or in their staff training programmes.