Up to a third of workers avoid learning new skills, says report

Manual workers in the processing industry, along with other industries, are denying themselves a chance to gain new skills, according to new research.

A total of 31% of manual and construction workers have avoided learning a new hobby or skill in the last year, while as many as 15% didnt even take up a book for pleasure, a report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has found.

According to the research, 39% of workers said that learning a new skill would make them more confident at work, and only 14% of construction and manual workers said they were not interested in learning a new skill.

The big barriers are likely to be around access, said Ben Fletcher, occupational and health psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire.

People really grow from informal learning, both personally and professionally. This research reveals that we now need to take the next step do something different and break the habit of inertia, said Fletcher.

The research is being used to publicise the The Learning Revolution, launched by the BIS last year to develop adult education. The government is investing 210m in adult learning this year and in 2011.

>> Food sector job skills gap highlighted in survey

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