Businesses fail to provide pandemic workplace training as sector sees first annual decline in over a decade

Research from Ezra, a provider of digital coaching, has found that more than half of UK office workers feel they have not been provided with the additional help needed to deal with pandemic problems within the workplace.

Globally, businesses spend $1,308 per employee each year on workplace training. This has climbed over the space of a decade (2009-2019) from $1,068 with company training spends increasing at a rate of 2% per year.

Hardly surprising, then, that Ezra’s survey of UK office workers found that 67% feel that the general training provided to them by their company is adequate.

A greater emphasis on workplace training has also seen the global market size of the workplace training industry climb considerably. Between 2009 and 2019, the market size increased from $244.4bn to $370.3bn – a 52% jump.

However, the latest data shows that while the market was still worth a notable $357.7bn in 2020, the problems posed by the global pandemic caused a 3% reduction to the sector – the first annual decline in over 10 years.

It seems as though this reduction coupled with the unprecedented change in the way we work caused by COVID-19 is having a knock-on effect within the UK workplace.

Ezra’s research shows that 54% of UK office workers feel their role has become more difficult as a result of the pandemic, while 56% also stated that their company has not provided any additional training to help with pandemic related issues.

Founder of Ezra, Nick Goldberg, commented:

“Workplace training is now a fundamental part of modern-day business and it enables a company to remain compliant and competitive in an ever-changing business landscape.

With the workplace having undergone such a drastic change since the start of last year this ability to adapt and evolve has never been more important and many employees across a multitude of sectors are facing new challenges as they return to the workplace.

It’s understandable that during such a period of heightened uncertainty and with remote working becoming the new norm, training budgets may have been reduced. However, it’s vital that businesses consider the repercussions of this and do all they can to enable their employees to deal with the new issues being faced.”

Table shows the average company per-employee spend on learning and development (Global)
YearEst average spend on workplace training per employee (USD)Change (%)
Average change 2010-20192.0%
Source: Statista
Global market size of workplace training industry
YearMarket size – spend (billion USD)Change (%)
Average annual change pre-pandemic (2009 to 2019)4%
Total change pre-pandemic (2009 to 2019)52%
2020$357.7-3% (2019 to 2020)
Source: Statista
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