Bosses at half of all small and medium-sized companies are neglecting to train their workers, according to a survey

Around half of workers at smaller companies are being neglected by their bosses for training and career development, a survey suggests.

One in four have never had training or personal development discussed with them at all, according to the research by human resources consultants breatheHR.

Published in the firm's Personal Development in the Workplace study, the survey also suggests that most workers at small and medium-sized companies have never been offered any kind of plan for the long term.

Nevertheless, staff at the smallest firms are more likely to have some kind of personal development strategy, the study suggests.

Companies which have between 51 and 250 staff are 16% more likely to have such a plan, but those who work for firms who employ 10 people or less believe they are more engaged with such a process and are more able to discuss their future work path with their supervisor or manager.

People working for smaller firms in Scotland are said to be the most engaged with work development processes, accounting for around two-thirds of staff (62%), while just 44.6% of workers at SMEs in East Anglia feel the same.

Bosses of firms in the largest employment regions, London and the south-east, are the worst for failing to train and develop workers, the survey suggests.

Jonathan Richards, chief executive of breatheHR, said: "The results clearly show a fantastic opportunity for small to medium-sized businesses to gain competitive advantage by spending time developing employees.

"The good news is that it needn't cost a fortune and with relatively little effort, they will increase productivity and reduce costs."

Copyright Press Association 2013