Government survey shows civil servants dissatisfied with their L&D

Of the civil servants polled in the Civil Service People Survey, 50 per cent were unhappy with learning and development opportunities

Photo credit: Flickr, Steph Gray 

Half the country’s civil servants are unhappy with the learning and development aspect of their jobs, according to the Government’s latest Civil Service People Survey.

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The finding is based on responses from 279,708 people who took part in this year’s survey.

Just 50 per cent are satisfied when it comes to L&D – a proportion barely unchanged from last year, when it was 49 per cent.

This overall score is worked out from responses to four questions about the availability and quality of training.

These include whether there are opportunities to develop their career where they work – which just 43 per cent agree is the case.

Only 44 per cent think that the L&D activities they have completed in their current job have helped them develop their career.

Employees are also asked whether they can access the right L&D opportunities when they need to, which 61 per cent agree is the case.

While barely half (51 per cent) agree that the L&D activities they have completed in the past year have helped improve their performance at work.

L&D is one of the areas rated lowest by civil servants, with only pay and benefits (31 per cent) and leadership and managing change (43 per cent) scoring worse.

The Civil Service People Survey 2016, released last month, also highlights differences between major Whitehall departments when it comes to taking care of the training needs of staff.

The newly created Department for Exiting the European Union ranks bottom for L&D, at just 40 per cent, while the Home Office is 42 per cent and the Department of Health 43 per cent. 

Other major departments failing to reach 50 per cent are the Department for International Trade (45 per cent) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (48 per cent).

The Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence both score 50 per cent. The Ministry of Justice, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and HM Revenue & Customs do little better, at 51, 52 and 53 per cent respectively.

While the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Department for Education both score 56 per cent.

The Department for Transport, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development all score 60 per cent, only just behind the Department for Communities and Local Government (61 per cent) and Department for Work and Pensions (62 per cent).

The best performing department is the Treasury, with 63 per cent.

Responding to the findings, a spokesperson for the Public and Commercial Services Union told TJ: “It’s incredibly disappointing to see such a low score for training and development because the civil service should be an exemplar employer, setting the bar for other employers in the public and private sectors.”

At the time of writing, the Cabinet Office had not responded to a request for comment.


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