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WORK LIFE - JARGON BUSTER

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What is...the link between skills and productivity ...
What is...the link between skills and productivity

It's a worrying fact that productivity is about 40% lower in the UK than the US, and it's not just because we take longer holidays.

Skills - or the lack of them - have become a key issue for our economy, particularly for adults of working age.

According to the Sector Skills Development Agency, nearly a quarter of our workforce is not qualified up to NVQ level 2 - and a fifth of adults have literacy levels below that expected of an 11-year-old. Less than a third of employees receive any training in a given quarter.

Policy director Mike Campbell says: 'All research shows that training has a positive effect on productivity and, what is more, the training received by people from one employer increases their productivity with another subsequent employer.'

And it's not just the private sector that is affected. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister-commissioned Egan Review has been set up to tackle the skills shortage threatening the development of sustainable communities.

Mr Campbell says: 'Research shows that organisations which work towards the Investors in People standard get a 70% higher rate of return on their capital. This shows that investing in training is worth it, for everyone.'

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