Image: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Image: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

The AAT survey also found a stigma around learning in some workplaces, with a third of employees believing that managers should make clear that training is not just for underperforming staff. This comes as one in six bosses admit they turn to training only for staff who are struggling to perform as required. Coupled with the other findings of the research, this means 86% of employees would approach training differently to their current line manager.

Mark Farrar, chief executive of the AAT, said: "The majority of UK employees are spending a tiny percentage of their hours in work improving their skills and abilities through any form of formal training or accredited learning. With UK labour productivity falling at the fastest pace since 2008, there has never been a more important time to focus on helping our workers up-skill. Yet, there are fundamental differences in how employees and managers approach workplace learning, meaning workers are currently spending more time on tea breaks than training.

Despite some differences in the results, one area that employees and their managers agree on is barriers to training. The vast majority (92%) agreed that there are factors preventing more learning taking place in their companies. For both employers and employees, time is the biggest barrier, followed by funding, finding the right training and then convincing employers it's good for business. However, 75% of employees and even more employers (80%) concur that their company could afford to invest more in training needs.

The benefits of external training are also clear to bosses and staff: 70% of those polled agreed that it brings in new ideas to a team and business, whilst 46% think it is better planned and better delivered than any internal training.