Implications For The Workplace

Workbase programmes with employers like SmithKline Beecham, BAA, Mars, Gillette, Department of Health Opportunity 2000 and United Distillers showed that employers are in danger of creating a marginalised section of employees. Their effectiveness is diminished and ability to progress either within or outside the organisation inhibited, if their training needs are not met.

The increasing computerisation and changes in the workplace within most job roles have excluded those with a lack of basic Communication and Information Technology Skills (C&IT). This lack of key skills has proved a barrier to effective communication within organisations, as electronic and web-based communications become the norm.

This group of employees includes a mix of age, gender and ethnic grouping. They are generally defined by evidence of traditionally low educational attainment, measured by qualification routes and limited visibility within an organisational staff learning environment . They also have no IT background from within their work experience.

Comprehensive training needs analysis (TNA) carried out by Workbase have shown that the majority of staff feel excluded from current staff development activities. The feeling of exclusion often came from lack of information, because the courses did not seem appropriate to their work, the perception that manual, craft and ancillary employees were not expected to apply, they were held at times which would be inconvenient for them to attend.