UK Employees Feel They Are Lacking Basic Skills

Research carried out by ADP has found that UK employees are less proficient in basic literacy and numeracy skills than other European Countries.  The research was carried out on over 11,000 people across Europe.

11.6% of UK employees feel they need additional training in numeracy, while 14.3% feel they need to improve their written communication skills. The issue is more noticeable among younger employees who are more likely to feel less efficient in these areas compared to their older colleagues.  This means UK employees have fallen behind on the European average of 8.8% and 13.5%

20.5% of 16-24 year olds who responded to the survey said they are in need of improving their literacy and numeracy skills.

OECD Programme is the International Student Assessment ranking for numeracy, literacy and sciences. ADP said their research is consistent with the findings of the OECD programme, reporting Poland and the Netherlands ranking at the top positions, while the UK, Spain and Italy ranking in the lowest.

Workers in the UK feel they are twice as likely to need to improve their numeracy skills as opposed to Polish workers (11.6% compared to 5.4%).However, the UK does not fair the worst in Europe, with Italy (12.3%) and Spain (11.9%) feeling the most in need of help with their numeracy ability.

Annabel Jones, HR director at ADP UK, said: “It is important that UK employees feel confident in basic workplace skills, even though they may feel nervous about admitting they need help. However, the scale of the problem, as shown in this research, means they should take comfort in the fact that they are not alone. Organisations should address their employees’ individual training needs, as this will help both the employee and the employer. Instead of only focusing on job-specific competencies, employers should look to ensure their workforce is fully competent at work.”

Mike Ellicock, chief executive of National Numeracy, added: “Numeracy is involved in so many tasks in the workplace, from using technology to planning and time management. So helping employees with their numeracy skills can improve performance in a range of areas – and benefit productivity too.”


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