Survey Reveals Business Attitudes Towards Upskilling Young Workers in Ireland
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World Youth Skills Day 2023 is a positive and exciting reminder of the talents and abilities young people possess around the globe. During a challenging time for business investment, where businesses may be reconsidering the upskilling of younger members or undervaluing their role within the business.
This is proven by the following survey of 1000 employers across Ireland and another 1000 young workers (aged between 18-25), which aimed to find out the attitudes of both groups towards the skills development of young workers.
Do employers feel that they invest enough time & resources into the skills development of young workers?
No - I think that we do not invest enough time & resources into the skills development of young workers
Yes - I think that we do invest enough time & resources into the skills development of young workers
Nearly two-thirds of Irish businesses surveyed admitted that they did not invest enough in the skills development of the young workers within their respective organisations. For those who are looking to kickstart a career and begin to find their niche, this is a massive setback and does nothing to encourage them to stick with an employer. Likewise for employers, they will struggle to hold onto the best young talent coming through as it’s highly unlikely that these workers will stick around in a role that does not invest in building up their knowledge.
What is the most prohibitive factor that prevents you allocating more time & resources towards the skill development of young workers?
Poor Retention rates of young workers
Length of training/development programmes
Cost of training/development programmes
Poorer value than on-the-job learning
lack of capacity to deliver in-house training
According to 42% of respondents, the reasoning that young workers tend to leave their roles comparatively quickly compared to older workers was the factor most responsible for the lack of investment in training them up.
This highlights a vicious cycle: employers think a young employee will leave so they do not suitably invest in them, increasing the likelihood of turnover which reduces motivation to invest in training on the employer’s side in the long run. The length of the time it takes to study was also highlighted by a sizable 30% minority, indicating that some employers can see training as risky and unproductive.
Which of the following factors would make you more likely to allocate more time & resources towards the skill development of young workers?*
A guarantee that workers will stay for a mandated period after the completion of training
Access to Training/development programmes that can be adapted to fit around employee work schedules
Reduced costs in training/development programmes
A knock on effect that your reputation as a business that invests in staff grows
Benefits of training and development programmes better explained
Greater financial support from the government or local authority
*Respondents can vote for more than one factor
For employers to increase their investment in the training and development of young workers, more than two-thirds of those answering stated that they would be happy to do so if there was a guarantee that the recipient of the training would not leave for a role elsewhere soon after the training was complete.
In a private market, employees can boost employment opportunities for themselves, even if it’s at the expense of their current employer. However, for those who are keen to see greater development, discussing long-term employment goals within the company that can be delivered alongside training could encourage greater investment in education.
A revealing stat was that 46% of those surveyed argued that more should highlight organisations who offer exceptional training to their young workers. Such accreditation would be invaluable as an asset when it comes to recruitment and building a company culture that is focused around growing and developing its young workforce.