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67pc of Chinese professionals seek training for promotion

Published on Tuesday, 04 Jun 2013
Photo: SCMP

Employers who invest in training and staff development not only reap productivity benefits, but also have a better chance of retaining their employees, according to the latest findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI).

67% of respondents in China say that their main motivation for undertaking training is for the opportunity of a promotion with their current employer, rather than leaving the organisation to work with a different employer or start their own business.

Contrary to some stereotypes, Gen Y employees are the most likely to remain loyal to their employers, with 71% motivated by a desire to advance in their current positions, higher than for Gen X (64%) and Baby Boomers (49%).

“Employers are often uncertain about the merit of investing in training and professional development because they fear that employees will simply take their new found skills to a new organisation,” said Leroy Yue, Managing Director at Kelly Services China.

“What this survey reveals is that most of those who are seeking to upgrade their skills are actually doing it so they can advance in their existing roles. They are investing in their skills to secure their future and stay relevant in a rapidly changing business environment.”

The survey shows that China is something of a skills ‘hotspot,' with 74% of respondents either actively seeking or considering further education or training, significantly higher than in Europe (59%) and the Americas (55%).

The highest rates of planned up-skilling are in Thailand, with 83% set to embark on training, followed by Indonesia (78%), Malaysia (76%), Mainland China (74%), Singapore (66%), Hong Kong and Australia (both 64%) and India (59%).

Results of the survey in China also show:

  • On-the-job experience is identified by 57% of respondents as the most effective means of skills development, ahead of alternatives including further education and training, seminars, professional certification and mentoring.
  • 67% of Chinese professionals cite the main motivation to seek additional training are the opportunity for promotion with their current employer 
  • Training provided by employers in the workplace gets a tick of approval, with 84% agreeing it is effective in upgrading skills.
  • The skills which are cited as most critical to job success are co-operation/teamwork, leadership/initiative, and active listening.
  • 79% of respondents nominate cooperation/teamwork as a pre-requisite for job success.

Yue further said the findings show that the responsibility for managing skills development no longer rests solely with employers. 

“Employees are taking greater control over this important aspect of their careers, and looking at ways of renewing and upgrading skills throughout their working lives. Decisions about training and professional development are now an integral part of the employment equation, and have an important bearing on employee morale, performance and retention.”

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