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Indian employers are leading the way in helping staff gain new skills, research shows

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Companies in India are leading the way in developing employees' skills in the workplace, according to a global study.

The research, conducted by global workplace learning company Kineo, found that 92% of the employers surveyed in India planned to increase their learning and development offering to employees in the next year.

The poll surveyed 6,500 employees and 1,300 employers across 13 international markets in April.

Employees in India were also most satisfied with what their employer had done to develop their skills. Half (52%) strongly agreed that the company they worked for had improved their employability.

Close to nine out of 10 (87%) of employees surveyed in India said the current training their employer provided had improved their performance at work, compared to 71% of workers who said so globally.

On-the-job training (49%) and online or e-learning courses (41%) were the most common forms of training employees in India had received in the last year.

Nearly three-fifths (58%) of bosses in India believed automation and artificial intelligence (AI) were the most influential market forces driving them to confront learning challenges, second only to 60% of employers in Malaysia.

Another survey of 200,000 workers in 32 countries by global recruitment agency Randstad found Amazon was considered the top company to work for India, followed by Microsoft and then Sony. Jeff Bezos' tech giant Amazon scored highly with workers for financial health, the utilization of latest technologies and a strong reputation.

Emerging economies overtake developed countries

In the Kineo research, companies in the U.S. cited increased competition (39%) and changing customer behavior (37%) as the top two factors affecting their industries.

In the U.K., digital transformation (42%) and economic pressures (40%) were said to be making the biggest waves in business.

Emerging economies had overtaken developed countries overall in the learning and development of workers, the study found.

Around four out of five (78%) employers in Kenya predicted they would provide more training for staff in the next year, compared with 67% of bosses in Australia, 64% in the U.S. and 54% in the U.K.

More than four-fifths of workers in Kenya believed their employer had improved their skillset, versus just over a quarter in both France (26%) and the U.K. (27%).

Employees in Argentina (90%), Malaysia (91%) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (89%) were among the most satisfied that their skills were being kept up to date by employers. By comparison, this fell to 79% of workers in France.

John Yates, group director of corporate learning at skills development business City & Guild Group, which owns Kineo, said India's government had sought, even before the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in 2013, to invest a "huge amount into school development" and in trying to improve the skills of the broader population.

But he added that Modi understood the "economic imperative of creating skilled organizations" to attract entrepreneurs.

For emerging countries more broadly, Yates said the mindset and scale of these economies were different, in having a larger availability of staff and a lower cost base, for instance, which perhaps explained their approach to learning additional skills.

Yates also said their proactiveness in learning and development could also be due to them "applying some of the lessons of developed economies faster and avoiding some of the mistakes they had made."

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