US workforce calling for more effective, accessible on-the-job training

New research published by City & Guilds Group, the leading global skills organization, reveals that employees in the US have a strong appetite for training – but a lack of accessible, engaging and personalized learning and development (L&D) activity at work is driving many to take training into their own hands. 

The study conducted by City & Guilds Group business Kineo, which surveyed 6500 employees and 1300 employers in 13 markets across six continents, finds that whilst 82% of US employees say they feel fairly well equipped for their current role, 63% would like to see a bigger focus on training and people development in their workplace.

Employees in the US recognize the skills needed to do their job in the future are changing (65%), but over half (52%) say the training offered by their workplace doesn’t always meet their personal career objectives. Reporting the lowest levels of on-the-job training of all countries surveyed, 44% of US workers agree their workplace is falling short in this area. As a result, the research shows 62% of US workers have resorted to investing their personal time in learning, education or training activity over the past 12 months – and 30% have paid to do so, to help them grow their own skills.


Despite employers saying they have the budgets and resource in place to invest in staff training, the research shows employees are struggling to access it. Only half (52%) of employees think it is easy to access the L&D activity provided by their organization – lower than the global average – and employers in the US cite access as the biggest challenge to upskilling their staff (20%). 


John Yates, Group Director – Corporate Learning at City & Guilds Group comments: While it is encouraging to see US employees have a clear appetite for training and are prepared to learn in their own time, organizations could priorities making training more accessible to their entire workforce – an area where the US currently lags behind its global counterparts– in order to boost take-up and business performance.”

In terms of the type of training employees in the US want to see more of, they’d like more personalized (30%) and shorter, more bitesize (20%) content. They are also calling out for increased e-learning/online courses (22%) as well as coaching by managers and the senior team (19%). US employees have a greater appetite for more senior coaching than any other country surveyed, indicating employers could benefit from taking a more hands-on approach to developing their workforce. 

And with 37% of US workers saying they don’t enjoy the training in their workplace because it is boring and unengaging, the research suggests employers need to overhaul the way they measure the reception and impact of L&D activity. 

John Yates continues:In order to realize the performance benefits of effective, quality training in their organization, US employers could put their reassuringly robust L&D budgets to good use by connecting the optimized delivery of new digital platforms with the authentic, managerial coaching workers are calling for. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to training in 2019, and employers who can offer bespoke, personalized L&D programs stand the best chance of upskilling and retaining their workforce.”

An organization doing it right

Leading skin care brand Dermalogica places professional education at the heart of its organization. Committed to helping skin therapists and employees achieve their professional goals, Dermalogica has over 90 Training Centers and around 1000 Partnership Colleges worldwide.

Candice Gardner, Education Manager – Digital and Content at Dermalogica commented:“There is a constant battle between being broad enough to reach as many people as possible with education, and yet making sure learning is personalized enough to be effective. You aren’t going to get it right every time, but successful educational experiences come down to nailing the human connection – authentic trainers delivering content that has real personal relevance or worth to the individual. We believe learning must be accessible and trackable so people can see where the value is and how it will impact personal, professional and business growth. By keeping learning focused and responsive to the needs and goals of individuals, we are able to keep people engaged for the long haul.”

A learner from Dermalogica added:“What’s kept me motivated is knowing that it’s personal. Of course, you know that you are helping the business by developing the skills to deliver specific treatments, but when you feel like it’s an investment for you, that’s what makes you want to keep learning. We all have bigger goals.”




About the research

City & Guilds Group surveyed a global sample of 6,532 employees in companies of 10 or more people and 1,304 employers in companies with 25 or more employees across 13 markets. This included 100 employers and 503 employees in the USA. The research was conducted by Vitreous World on behalf of City & Guilds Group in April 2019. 

Markets surveyed: UK, France, Sweden, Kenya, South Africa, UAE, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Argentina

About the City & Guilds Group

The City & Guilds Group is a world leader in skills development, with 140 years’ unrivalled experience. Working in over 100 countries around the world, our purpose is to enable people, organizations and economies to develop their skills for growth.

In our 140thyear, we are reinforcing the importance of lifelong learning, with a series of dedicated events and activities. 

City & Guilds Group’s brands support people into a job; on the job and into the next job; helping individuals, businesses and economies to thrive.

City & GuildsILMand Digitalmedevelop qualifications, apprenticeships and assessments from entry level through to management. They also accredit skills training and help individuals to showcase their skills through digital credentialing using open badges.

Kineoand The Oxford Group support all aspects of workplace learning, from large-scale training programs, workforce management and e-learning through to bespoke management training and executive coaching.

Gen2is a technical training provider delivering skills training in engineering and technology for the UK civil nuclear industry.

For more information about the City & Guilds Group visit:

Twitter: @CityGuildsGroup






About Dermalogica 

hello. we’re dermalogica.

We are a professional-grade skin care brand founded by skin therapist, Jane Wurwand, so we know how to create custom skin care solutions that work — not just today, but for life. We don’t follow fleeting trends or buy into gimmicks; we work directly with skin therapists across the globe to create products and services that get real results. Our passion borders on obsession, and our mission has always been the same: create innovative products that actively improve skin health.

We revolutionized the skin care industry when we launched in 1986 with our ground-breaking formulations that excluded common irritants such as SD alcohol, lanolin, mineral oil and artificial colors and fragrances.

Today we train over 100,000+ skin therapists a year in 90 countries, and Dermalogica is the number one brand used by professional skin therapists worldwide.

For more information visit or Instagram @dermalogicauk