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More than 63 per cent of Brits reckon they could be doing better in their career. And a quarter of the workforce blames David Brent style bosses, saying they get no support when it comes to training and career development.

Workers say their Brent bosses are holding them back by failing to recognise and nurture their potential.

The survey of 3,000 employees by online learning specialist, SkillSoft, also found that people who work in public services get the most encouragement from bosses – 66 per cent say their employers are happy for them to develop their skills compared to 56 per cent of people working for private firms.

Workers in public services also receive more opportunities for on-the-job training - 40 per cent say they get formal training and mentoring while just 31 per cent in private firms receive the same level of support.

Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft, said: "It's evident from this study that a large number of people are not being given the opportunity to live up to their potential at work; particularly in the private sector.

''Just consider the productivity gains that could be achieved if UK businesses stepped up their commitment to developing their employees' skills."

64 per cent of those questioned say their employer allows them no time in the working day for their professional development. And 89 per cent of workers would prefer to be in control of their own learning.

Kevin Young said: "This is in line with some research we did last year amongst employees already using e-learning, the majority of whom were taking control of their own professional development by accessing online learning in the office before or after work, or at home in the evenings and at weekends.

''The effect on their jobs was evident; nearly everyone interviewed could give practical examples of how they had applied their new knowledge at work."

This latest study shows that 53 per cent already willingly spend their own free time on professional development.

But this figure could be much higher – many workers say they’d spend their spare time studying if their bosses allowed them time to learn in the office as well.

Almost half (43 per cent) of employees reckon they need to spend just 2-4 hours a week on training to achieve their full potential.

When asked what sort of training they needed, 45 per cent said they would like more training in communications and customer relations skills and 50 per cent wanted more management and leadership skills training.

Unsurprisingly, most workers think they should be paid more - 67.5 per cent say they deserve bigger pay packets.

But despite this, the majority of employees enjoy their work - 43 per cent say they get some pleasure from their work and 40 per cent go as far as to say they enjoy their jobs "a lot."

Only 10 per cent said they don't enjoy their job at all.


Notes to editors:
The survey was undertaken by SWNA on behalf of SkillSoft and took place online for a two week period during April 2005. Over 3,000 UK employees across a wide range of industries responded. 57 per cent were from the public sector and 43 per cent from the private sector. The full findings and statistics highlighting the differences between the public and private sectors are available on request from Louise Jaggs at (01242 257770 or 07712 011246).

About SkillSoft – Nasdaq: SKIL (
SkillSoft is a major provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals within the Global 2000. SkillSoft’s multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth content resources, learning management platform, virtual classroom technology and support services.
Content offerings include SkillSoft’s business and IT skills courseware collections; ITPro™, BusinessPro™, FinancePro™, EngineeringPro™, OfficeEssentials™, and ExecSummaries™ Referenceware® collections by Books24x7®; and health and safety compliance courseware by GoTrain. SkillSoft’s complementary technologies include SkillPort®, the company’s learning management platform with its powerful Search-and-Learn capabilities, and SkillSoft® Dialogue™, the company’s newly introduced virtual classroom offering with associated tools for blended learning solutions.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of On Tap Communications in the following categories: Business & Finance, for more information visit