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The Missing Millions report published by City & Guilds looks at the likely demand for skills over the next seven years, the current skill levels of people living in the UK and highlights the under utilisation of millions of working age Britons.

Based on findings from labour market economists Emsi and a poll of 5,000 working age people, – only half (53%) have received workplace training in the last three years, and a third (34%) have either never received training, or did so more than five years ago. The lack of opportunity for skills development leads to only a third (33%) of the UK working age population feeling positive about their future career prospects.

The research also found:

  • Those from lower socio-economic groups were much less likely to have received training in the last five years (44% vs 68%) and were less satisfied with their career prospects (22% vs 39%) than those from higher socio-economic groups;
  • Those living in the North East of England faced a significant disadvantage in access to training and opportunities for progression when compared with other regions. Only 21% of people in the North East felt positive about the jobs market in their local area, compared to 45% in London;
  • Those working part-time – significantly more women than men – were also less likely to have received training in the last five years than those working full-time (61% vs 72%). Part-time workers were additionally far less likely to believe there was opportunity to progress than their full-time counterparts (22% vs 36%);
  • People highly value the training they do receive – 77% of those who had received workplace training stated that it had enabled them to be more effective at their job.

City & Guilds are calling upon government and policy makers to “urgently review adult education and create a system that encourages lifelong learning, retraining and reskilling. They need to provide better careers guidance and advice to people at all stages of their career.”