Women are significantly more likely than men to have received no employer arranged training in the previous 12 months, according to a survey by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).
The research, released for Equal Pay Day, comprised face to face interviews with a total of 6,217 UK adults. It found that 31% of women had not received workplace training in the last year compared to 26% of men.
It also showed that men benefit more financially than women from workplace training as they are significantly more likely to have received a pay rise as a result of their training (16% compared to 11%).
The research suggests the type of training given to men and women also differs, with men more likely to be given training to enable them to become better leaders and managers. Women were significantly more likely than men to have received equality and diversity training (39% of women; 24% of men) and health and safety training (61% of women; 52% of men), whereas men were more likely to have received supervisory training (17% of men; 12% of women).
The research also found that a part-time penalty existed, with those working full time being significantly more likely than their part-time colleagues to have access to employer-provided training. 32% of full-time staff had accessed both on-the-job and off-the-job training in the previous 12 months, whereas only 19% of part-time staff had done so.
Dr Fiona Aldridge, Assistant Director for Development and Research at NIACE said: “The differences we have found between training provision for men and women reflect wider issues within the workplace when it comes to gender inequality. At present the gender pay gap in the UK is 19.1%, compared with an EU average of 16.4%. Advancements in flexible working have helped to ensure that there are now a record number of women in work, but this flexibility is often accompanied by a hidden pay penalty: the hourly pay difference between full-time and part-time workers is currently 25%. Women are also much more likely than men to work part-time (44% and 13% respectively) and to be found in low paid sectors such as retail, hospitality and social care.”
NIACE makes several recommendations, including the setting up of a Career Advancement Service to support women to articulate their skills and access training opportunities to advance in the labour market. Other recommendations include focusing ESOL funding on migrant women students, an Apprentice Charter to ensure that apprenticeship opportunities are high quality and accessible to everyone, a Youth Allowance, fairer support for young adult carers and support for older people to gain digital skills.