Lack of training for new workplace entrants

It is a regularly heard complaint: new entrants to the workforce lack critical skills. But can these new entrants be blamed, at all?

Lack of training for one-third of workers

A recent U.S. study raises serious concerns about employers’ lack of initiatives to prepare those individuals to be effective and efficient workers. Nearly one-third (31%) of the U.S. workforce doesn’t receive any formal job training. An additional worrying factor is that this is 1% point up from last year.

This is the outcome of the second annual State of Workplace Training study (pdf), an online survey conducted in late 2017 by global market-research firm Ipsos. Women, the less affluent, and part-time workers are most likely not to receive any formal workplace training.

Lack of training

Types of workplace training

17% of employees have been offered strictly online training and 15% only classroom-based training. 30% of employees say they received a mix of both online and classroom training from their current employer. Online training is especially common among adults working in professional sales. Manufacturing, call centre employees and financial advisors had strictly classroom training.

Employees emphasize the importance of training that is easy to complete/understand (93%), personalised and relevant (91%), engaging and fun (90%). It is also important that they can access the training information anytime/anywhere they need it to do their job (89%). In addition, 88% say the same thing about having the opportunity to apply their training on the job in real life.


Though few differences exist across demographics, younger adults (ages 18-34) are especially likely to rate the duration of the training sessions (74% vs. 58% of adults ages 55+). Younger people also prefer training that offers rewards or points of some kind (69% vs. 46%). Having the option to participate in training on any device, anywhere, including their phone (75% vs. 56%) is also more important for younger people.

Employee engagement

Workplace training and engagement

46% of respondents express feelings of being ‘extremely engagement’ as a result of their training. They know what their role is, it’s overall importance and believe their contributions are highly valued by the company. The same proportion of people (46%) state that such workplace trainings make them feel somewhat engaged towards their job. Those working in professional sales are among the most likely to say training makes them feel extremely engaged (55%).  People working in retail sales and manufacturing much less so: 31% versus 33%. Only 8% of people associate their workplace training with feelings of disengagement.

Effectiveness of training

Most employees (57%) see their training as being extremely/very effective in helping them succeed at work. However, 43% say the opposite, stating that the workplace training is little or not effective in helping them be successful on the job. Those most likely rate their workplace training as being effective include professional sales (65%) and manufacturing employees (71%), while among retail sales associates, effectiveness ratings drop to 35%. Key determinant of effectiveness is the belief that the learnings can be applied in the workplace (59%). The second main reason is the belief that it allows them to develop professionally (50%).

What do you think?

At DuoTrainin we are pretty shocked by these findings. Especially since it is fairly easy to start a training programme that will be fun, engaging and effective for most employed people. Money does not have to be an issue either, since we are leading the way in pay-for-use pricing. Reading this research, it made us think of the image where two people are pulling a cart with square wheels and refuse the offer of round wheels because they are too busy.

Try DuoTrainin now. For free.

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