The skill-set a candidate possesses assists them in getting a job in their preferred sector, and skills are a key section on CV’s when a business is looking to recruit new employees. How relevant and valuable the skills are, and - even more so - how the employee applies these skills, are always looked at on the road to success and progression in the workplace. Groupon have recently carried out a study of UK workers, looking at the benefits and limiting factors of upskilling and further training in or alongside work, which reveals interesting results.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is simply gaining more skills through training, courses and experience. These extra skills could be gained by face-to-face training programmes organised by employers, or online courses carried out by employees upon recommendation or want of self-progression. Groupon’s study revealed that almost one third of UK workers have actively taken measures to upskill through extra training and qualifications in the past five years – that’s a hefty chunk of the UK workforce.


While face-to-face courses provide experience and high-quality training, they can be time-consuming and too expensive with 61% of businesses unwilling to cough up the cash for the pricey course fees.

Online courses are favoured, with 39% of workers opting for this option due to lower cost and convenience with the rise of flexible working. Flexible working allows for freedom in determining working hours and the potential for more time in the home, allowing for employees to use their time away from work productively.

Of course, flexibility varies depending on industry and practicalities, but with 62% believing flexible working should be available as an option for all; it seems like a way of working on the rise, especially in terms of upskilling.

Type of Skills and Workers

In terms of what skills workers seek to gain are ones which are, as expected, likely to benefit them in their job – learning origami unfortunately won’t get you a promotion at a law firm, but administrative, finance and communicative skills will etc.

The three most popular – and therefore most valuable – areas to upskill in were revealed to be administrative at 19%, medical at 10% and accounting/finance at 9%. In an office setting, administrative and finance are the most relevant, and medical can be valuable to different degrees depending on industry - however First Aid is of course relevant and valuable in any workplace.

Younger workers (aged 18-34) were found to be more likely to take the steps to upskill than older colleagues, with 48% of young’un’s asked having upskilled in the past five years. This makes perfect sense, due to younger workers upskilling in preparation for the future of their career, decorating their CV’s to appeal to employers and ultimately move up the ladder.

As you’d expect, the research revealed that further training and qualifications do the world of good, with 76% of respondents saying that the UK workforce as a whole could be boosted in productivity if even more workers took the step to upskill. It’s said that productivity and motivation rise when employees earn more skills, which may ultimately lead to promotions and pay-rises for individuals within companies.

Are you interested in upskilling?

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our Content Writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with a love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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