Third of UK employees disappointed with their career progression

A third (33 per cent) of UK employees say their career progression to date has failed to meet their expectations, according to new research by CIPD.

The Employee Outlook Survey: Focus on Skills and Careers survey has revealed that poor careers advice was one of the reasons cited as stopping employees from getting into the right jobs and bad line management preventing them from getting on once in work.  

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Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, commented: “Poor careers advice and guidance is holding back too many people at the start of their working lives and contributing to the increasing gap between the jobs that people end up in versus the skills that they have.

“This skills mismatch undermines job satisfaction, employee engagement and ultimately productivity.

“For many, this problem is then compounded when they do enter the labour market by poor line management and a lack of effective training, meaning their skills are often left unidentified and under-developed. Good line managers coach and develop people and identify and help build on their strengths so they can reach their potential.”

The poll of 2,000 people considered the key factors relating to employees’ upbringing, education and workplace that affect whether or not their career progression had met their expectations.

It found that over a quarter (26 per cent) respondents said their career had failed to live up to their expectation. While three in ten (29 per cent) saying they are in the wrong career, so cannot show their strengths or potential.

The most common workplace factor behind career disappointment is poor line management, cited by four in ten (39 per cent) employees whose career has failed to meet expectations, followed by a lack of effective training programmes (34 per cent) and negative office politics (34 per cent).

Willmott continues: “The survey shows the high proportion of people from poor backgrounds that are being held back because they cannot afford to invest in their own personal development by studying for a qualification or developing new skills.

“This highlights the importance of providing life-long learning opportunities for people of all ages. We need government to ensure that publicly-funded further education and adult skills are protected in the future and not treated as a poor relation to higher education. It’s also flags how important training and development opportunities in the workplace are, to enable people from more disadvantaged backgrounds to progress.”

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