Training is now rated as important as pay by 75% of UK staff, according to a survey of 600 employers and employees for IT training company KnowledgePool.
In fact, 18% of staff think training is more important than better pay. And almost 55% would prefer it to a shorter working week.
The importance attached to training is also reflected in the finding that a similar number now create their own personal development plans rather than relying on their employers to manage their career progression.
About 70% think training is more important than a degree.
Almost 60% of companies perceive training as very important in attracting new staff, and more than 90% of employees feel their employer has lived up to its promises - although 42% believe their company only provides training to attract or retain people, rather than to develop careers.
There is cynicism of this sort among some employers too. One in five employers sees training as a necessary evil, and 33% believe that people leave for a better job elsewhere once they have been trained.
This last belief is partly justified, 37% of staff say they will leave once trained, even though almost 80% say training increases their loyalty to their employer.
Contract staff tend to neglect their own development, mainly because days away from work mean lost income, 44% do not go on courses, although 93% regard training as an investment.
Despite the generally positive view of training among employers, including the fact that 95% believe it increases productivity, 43% say they cut back when times get hard.
Online training via the Internet is now used by 17% of the companies questioned. Of the companies who are not yet training online, 25% say they have no plans to take it up. Of the rest, 22% expect to introduce it in the next six to 12 months, and 29% want to utilise the Net in the next one or two years.
This was first published in June 2000