HR officewo business people using tablet preparing for next meeting and discussing ideas with colleagues in the background
  • Less than half of UK employees have access to both online and offline training courses
  • Only 15% reached out to their employers for more opportunities despite 81% believing learning and development are important
  • Mismatch: 85% of employers believe they take employees’ requests for personal development seriously, with only 41% of employees agreeing

UK companies are still struggling to drive the training and development agenda, as 23% of employees don’t have access to any personal development opportunities. According to research by GoodHabitz, the digital learning provider, only 43% of UK employees can access both online and offline courses, which shows there is still more work to do, especially compared to European countries like Denmark (55%) and the Netherlands (51%).

However, despite limited access to training courses, UK employees are not being proactive enough in approaching their employers – only 15% have actively reached out about it, compared to 39% of European employees. Yet, 81% of the UK workforce believe it to be important or very important to learn and acquire new knowledge or skills. Employers agree – 81% believe their employees would be happier in their current roles if they had further opportunities for personal development.

GoodHabitz surveyed 13,000 employees across Europe, including the views of over 2600 senior learning and development decision-makers, to understand the current state of personal development at work.

Mark Thompson, UK Manager of GoodHabitz, explained:

“Creating a learning culture within an organisation cannot ever be one person’s job. It needs community with individual, team and organisational commitment. It’s discouraging to see that almost a quarter of UK employees still don’t have access to development training. Perhaps UK employers feel like there’s no time to invest in personal development, that it’s not a priority.

“UK employees are showing signs of reluctance too. Given that 65% of UK employees claim a lack of personal development opportunities is a reason to seek out a new employer, it’s surprising that more HR and L&D managers aren’t addressing personal development opportunities, especially when skill-building can be the answer to closing the talent gap. The cost of labour is very high, and organisations’ usual approach to hiring talent to plug gaps is not always the solution – increasingly, HR and L&D managers are looking to personal development, especially in the age of automation where having strong human or soft skills will be highly sought after as we continue integrating technology into every aspect of our lives.”

When surveying employers, the research found that 85% of UK organisations felt they were taking employee requests for online training seriously. However, over 59% of employees didn’t believe this to be true.

“Compared to other countries, the UK scores quite low. Other countries such as Germany (90%), Italy (91%) and Spain (96%) perform better in bridging this gap, so UK employees can learn from their European counterparts by listening to the employee feedback and taking action,” said Thompson.

Accessibility is also a very important aspect when it comes to personal development, as half of UK employees (50%) prefer to work on their personal development at work and at home.

The GoodHabitz Current State of Personal Development at Work report can be downloaded here.


About GoodHabitz

GoodHabitz, founded in 2011 in the Netherlands, is a leading European provider of E-Learning solutions. By offering engaging and fun online courses, from soft skills to digital skills and languages, GoodHabitz contributes to the personal development of every employee. Various engaging learning formats make sure that the content is accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Coaches help to establish learning cultures in the organisation and all that for one fixed price. Currently, more than 2,500 companies, like Puma, ADAC or DEKRA upgrade their workforce with GoodHabitz. More than 400 employees are working for GoodHabitz in offices all over Europe. Please visit the website for more information.