Career Development and Upskilling | Kelly Global Workforce Index | Knowledge Hub | Kelly Services

Career Development and Upskilling

KGWI 2013 TOPIC 1 WEBThis first instalment of the 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index, on the topic of Career Development and Upskilling, explores the changing focus on training and skills development, as employees become more proactive and self-reliant in managing their careers. Once the preserve of the employer, responsibility for training and skills development is shifting to employees, who are dictating the way that training is designed, provided and funded.

There is also some reassurance for employers who often fear that any investment in training will be lost when staff depart. The good news is that the majority of employees who are seeking training are motivated by a desire to stay with their current employer.


Two thirds (66%) of employees in the UK are opting to look for additional education or training outside their current workplace in order to advance their careers, the latest findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) reveal.    

The KGWI shows that only 50% of employees believe that the training offered by their employer is good enough to help them upgrade their skills and progress in their careers. Additionally, as many as 57% of employees are seeking training in order to pursue a completely new field of work. 

Employers are frequently missing opportunities by not offering appropriate training tailored to their workforce. Whilst many companies offer the latest training such as webinars, these online tools are actually considered by workers to be low priority methods of training:   

  • Only 18% consider online seminars as desirable, and only 22% view mentoring programmes as important for their career progression 
  • Instead employees are looking towards continued training and education (53%) and on the job experience (80%) as their preferred development methods.  


Commenting on the findings, Katie Ivie, HR Director, Kelly UK and Ireland said: 

“The latest findings in our KGWI survey reveal that employers are missing a trick in terms of training and development for their employees. They are not always tailoring training programmes to meet staff demand and as a result, many employees are themselves taking responsibility for seeking appropriate training and development to progress their careers. While we can applaud employees for taking the initiative, it could have a devastating impact on a company’s employer brand – as effective training and development opportunities can play an important role in positioning a company as an attractive employer and thereby improve talent retention.” 

The top skills critical for job success are perceived as follows: 

  • 81% employees consider teamwork to be important 
  • 79% employees view attention to detail as imperative 
  • 78% see verbal communication as key – and 30% see bilingual skills as significant  
  • 88% of scientists view critical thinking as vital, but only 14% consider computer modeling as important 
  • 74% of engineers see troubleshooting as central to their job experience, whilst only 16% see robotics as important 


The complete findings are published in a new report, Career Development and Upskilling.


The Kelly Global Workforce Index 2013

The 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) brings work and workplace insights sourced from more than 120,000 respondents, including over 2,800 in the UK, from 31 countries across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. It takes the form of an annual survey that canvasses a wide spectrum of opinions on issues impacting the contemporary workplace, with a particular focus on the perspectives from different generations, industries, occupations and skill sets.