Do people who work in small firms enjoy fewer opportunities to learn?
This question is prompted by evidence from government surveys that small firms (which employ over half of the UK workforce) provide significantly less training than do larger businesses. However, learning is not all about training. Our prior research tells us that employees in small firms develop their skills through informal means such as learning by doing or by networking, rather than through formal training. Further research is required to assess if these firms are 'learning-impoverished', or is it simply that their employees learn in different ways to those in larger firms? The 18-month project will assess this by following and recording the workplace learning experiences of employees in firms of different sizes.
The research is being funded by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust.