Workplace Report October 2008

Learning and training news

Workers want new training right

More than half of UK workers say they would use the proposed right to request paid time off for training, with 71% saying they want the new legal right, according to a TUC survey conducted by political pollsters YouGov.

The results provide strong support for the government’s announcement in June 2008 that it would introduce a new entitlement for employees to ask for training at work, modelled on the existing right to request flexible working.

The poll found those aged 18-24 were the strongest supporters of the right, with three in five agreeing that they would use it. Low paid workers and those with no formal qualifications also back the initiative and would be among the main beneficiaries of improved access to training.

Government statistics show that low skilled workers are the least likely to receive training at work. The 2007 Education and Training Statistics found just 9% of workers with no qualifications received training during a 13-week reference period, compared to 38% of graduates.

While the poll shows significant support from workers, the TUC stresses that the right must have the teeth to make employers comply.

A full breakdown of the survey results by size, region, salary, trade union membership, full/part-time, public/private sector and type of occupation is available from the TUC website at: