A new study has found that just 15% of the UK workforce have the opportunity to gain qualifications through their employer, despite the majority wanting to build on their existing skill set. In addition to this, one in five (19%) agreed that there is NO room for progression in their current career.

Open Study College surveyed the UK’s workforce to find out if Brits have room for progression or development in their chosen careers. The distance learning provider carried out the study in honour of Learning At Work Week (15-21st May), to highlight the need for on-going education in the workplace.

Looking at specific industries, just 4% of those working in retail believe that they have good opportunities to progress further and gain extra qualifications via their place of employment. However, some industries clearly have much better offerings for progression than others. In comparison, 40% of those working in marketing, advertising, and PR agreed that they have good opportunities to gain extra qualifications in their careers, with external training courses actively encouraged. Similarly, those in the leisure, sport, and tourism sector (37.5%), and recruitment and HR (29%) placed quite highly for receiving further qualifications through their employer.

The data also shows which industry has the best room for career progression more generally. Surprisingly, three quarters of those in science and pharmaceuticals (75%) claim that they do not have any room for progression in their current career. Quite the opposite experience for those working in marketing, advertising, and PR as almost all respondents (98%) claimed to have good room for progression in their career, making this industry the best overall for both qualifications and progression.

Based on the findings, the careers with the worst opportunities for training and progression are:
1. Retail
2. Engineer
3. Charity
4. Creative arts
5. Property

In comparison, these are the best career progression industries in the UK:
1. Marketing, advertising, and PR
2. Recruitment and HR
3. Media and internet
4. Information technology
5. Energy and utilities

Robbie Bryant, careers and education expert from Open Study College, said: “Continuing to learn throughout our lives is so important for mental health and cognitive function. It’s even more important that employers value this and provide some type of opportunities for employees to progress and even gain further qualifications. Not only will this benefit the individual, but in turn it will help the company too as more knowledge is gained. This can also be shared throughout the wider team in training sessions too. It’s really a win-win experience for everyone involved!

“At Open Study College, we offer a wide variety of courses for individuals, but we also work with companies too offering bespoke B2B packages, supporting businesses to upskill and retrain their workforce in an affordable and flexible way. Learning shouldn’t stop with education and it’s vital that employers create a good learning at work culture for employees.”

Last year, Open Study College launched a new B2B solution offering more than 700 knowledge-based courses and accredited qualifications available across a variety of subjects, including 50 courses and qualifications to help people working in health and social care, over 40 opportunities in childcare and education from the likes of NCFE CACHE and TQUK, and more than 31 health and fitness courses.
For more information, please visit https://www.openstudycollege.com/contact