A new report published today by recruiting experts, Hays Ireland, has found that 6 in 10 (63%) Irish employees are covering the cost of their own upskilling and training, even though 57% of employers agree that staff training should be the employer’s responsibility alone.
The Hays Ireland What Workers Want Report 2019, which surveyed 2,100 employers and employees across Ireland, found a disconnect between the two groups when it comes to demand for soft skills.
Forty six percent of employees believe an ability to learn, and 45% an ability for problem solving, are the most sought-after soft skills, but neither are in the top two priorities for employers.
The report found that 43% of Irish employers say emotional intelligence is in highest demand when hiring for future roles while 41% of employers prioritise critical thinking. In relation to soft skills, the expertise perceived by employers to be in shortest supply among existing employees is emotional intelligence (64%). This skill shortage is followed by people management (63%) and critical thinking (61%).
Over a quarter of employees (26%) believe that their employer is not helping them to prepare for digital transformation, or the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems.
While 24% say they have received some support, 16% feel the support they have received has been minimal; Baby Boomers are more likely to feel unsupported (39%) than Generation Z (19%). Only 12% of employees overall indicated that they feel fully supported in dealing with current and future change.
Commenting on the research, Director at Hays Ireland, Maureen Lynch said, "Our research shows a clear disparity between employers and employees when it comes to training and upskilling for the modern world of work. Training and upskilling employees is vital, not least for employee retention but to attract new employees and future-proof the workplace."
She added, "Employers should avail of the resources at their disposal, such as training programmes, to assist with upskilling staff. It is essential that employees feel prepared, confident and equipped to deal with changing workplace demands and requirements from employers."