According to the latest findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), over two thirds of employees haven’t had a career development discussion with their employer in the last year, and 42% feel they don’t have a clear career path available to them.

The survey also showed that when given the choice between advancing to a higher level in their organisation or acquiring new skills, an overwhelming 68% would opt for new skills. Meanwhile as many as 59% would choose the opportunity to gain new skills over higher pay.

Yet businesses are failing to meet the demand for skills, with a third of employees admitting they are dissatisfied with the career development resources offered by their current employer. Employees in the food and beverage industry were most dissatisfied, at 52%, with representatives from the oil and gas industry following at 48%.

With 34% feeling that they don’t have the opportunity to grow or advance their career at their current employer, many are taking matters into their own hands. 31% admitted that they have either sought out or paid for training themselves in the past year and as many as 67% disclosed that they will look for a new job in the next year.

Commenting on the findings, Helen Palmer, EMEA Regional Learning & Development Manager – APAC & EMEA Kelly Services said: “In the current candidate-led market employees have the upper hand. Businesses must therefore ensure that in order to encourage retention, they engage their employees, offering the skills, training and support they need in order to help them progress their careers in the long term. Yet this is clearly not happening in many UK businesses; employees are eager to learn new skills but aren’t always being given the opportunity to do so and as a result, many are looking for jobs elsewhere.”

The complete findings are published in a new report, Career Development.