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Sliding scale for training

A mixed picture emerges about the training staff receive. Two-thirds of employers had funded or arranged training in the 12 months prior to the survey, with four out of 10 employees having had off-the-job training.

But training appears to be reserved for workers who already have advantages: they tend to be those in more responsible jobs, and have better skills and better qualifications. Training is more available in larger workplaces.

Training opportunities are also linked to occupation: the best records are in public administration, education, health, finance, transport and communications.

A third of employers who did not provide training said it was not necessary in their business and a similar number said staff were already "fully proficient".

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