Momentum for the fourth annual Learning at Work Day on 16 May is building up, with thousands of employers planning activities to promote learning in the workplace.
But the Campaign for Learning, which is co-ordinating the event, has complained that IT industry employers have shown little interest in pledging formal support for the day, highlighting possible resistance to training across the sector.
Campaign for Learning marketing director Michelle Wake explained that IT employers need to wake up to the real business benefits offered by an ongoing commitment to employee training.
"There's still a feeling that if they train employees they'll leave, although entirely the opposite is true," she said. "There are business benefits at all levels: productivity, business performance and customer service."
An Attitudes to Learning poll conducted by Mori in 1998 found that 77 per cent of respondents prefer to work for an employer that provides time, money and support for training, rather than one that gives big salary rises but little opportunity for training.
Studies by the National Advisory Council for Education and Training Targets found that skills acquisition improves organisational performance by increasing employee productivity and commitment, enhancing adaptability to change, encouraging development, increasing quality and improving relationships with customers and suppliers.
With less than a week to go until Learning at Work day, Wake stressed that it is not too late for companies to get involved.
The Campaign for Learning website offers free resources to help participating organisations make the most of their day of learning, including email tips, free access to Belbin's online team roles diagnostics, tasters of web courses and discounts on training courses.
Meanwhile, credit card company Capital One is launching a new learning resource centre for its employees to coincide with Learning at Work day.
The Learning Zone offers staff access to a range of learning materials across areas including management, leadership and IT skills.
The centre underpins the company's focus on continuous learning. Staff are expected to take personal ownership for their development and are offered time out during the working day to take advantage of the facilities.
"It's one of those intangible benefits. We've never measured it in terms of monetary value, but it demonstrates our willingness to develop people and it raises our profile as an employer," said Carol Ditcham, a management development trainer at Capital One.
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