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Survey shows benefits cut in training sector jobs

According to Blue Eskimo’s annual survey of work and pay in the learning sector, benefits saw across-board-cuts in 2013.

The survey, the most comprehensive of its kind within the UK's learning industry, examines questions about work, pay, benefits and more. This year, the sixth year of the survey, around 700 people responded - from both public and private sectors, in roles ranging from administration to management.

The survey is commissioned by Blue Eskimo, the leading provider of recruitment services to the learning sector. Nick Jones, director at Blue Eskimo, says that the survey has become the industry's touchstone for information about work and pay. "As ever, we got a strong response to this year's survey. We've been undertaking the survey for over half a decade and have built up a very accurate picture of salary, benefits and much more."

While most people's salaries either didn't increase this year (64% of people said that they didn't have a pay increase) or increased in line with inflation (30% of people), benefits took a definite drop. Company cars, share options, car allowances, contributions to personal pensions, life assurance, medical insurance, bonus schemes and sick pay all took a hit.

"Last year there was a noticeable squeeze on benefits," says Jones. "The number of people who don't receive any benefit also rose - from around 14% last year to 19.5% this year."

Only two benefits saw an increase in the survey - the company pension and critical illness cover - but those increases were tiny; a fraction of 1%.

"It's impossible to pinpoint the exact reason for this," says Jones, "but it's not unreasonable to surmise that companies, or employees, or both, are choosing to cut or freeze benefits rather than cut or freeze pay."

Jones believes that this is a real issue; one which results in companies not hiring the best talent. "There is a genuine shortage of talented people in the learning sector," says Jones. "Great candidates get snapped up quickly and it's hard to get many others to leave a secure position without a decent incentive to do so. The packages offered by quite a few roles just aren't enough to convince people to change jobs."

The full, detailed results of the survey can be downloaded free of charge, from Blue Eskimo's website.

Printed copies of the key findings of the survey will be distributed free, at Learning Technologies exhibition and conference on 29-30 January, at Olympia 2 in London. Anyone wishing to discuss the survey can meet with the team from Blue Eskimo on stand 17.

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