Almost half of Australian employees believe their HR department has not helped them to achieve their employment goals.
The Kelly Global Workforce Index found that women are generally more concerned than men about their skill-set and have a higher expectation of their employers' HR departments in managing their careers.
Almost three quarters (74 per cent) said that training should be a joint responsibility between an employer and employee, with strongest preferences for on-the-job training (48 per cent), followed by professional development courses (31 per cent), self-initiated learning (11 per cent) and formal university or college qualifications (10 per cent).
"The current economic environment has made people very aware of their skills and whether they will be sufficient to survive the recession and beyond, into a period of economic recovery," said James Bowmer, Kelly Services' managing director.
"It is only very recently that we faced skills shortages across many industries, and, unless skills and training are enhanced, that situation may occur in the future. Increased competition for jobs combined with technological change makes it vital that employees are assisted to become even more productive, through the best training possible."
The research, which took in nearly 100,000 people in 34 countries - including more than 13,000 in Australia - also found that baby boomers (aged 48-65) are most worried about the level of training, with 59 per cent saying it was not sufficient to upgrade skills and advance their career.
A substantial 83 per cent of Generation X (aged 30-47) said that within the next five years their skills would need to be upgraded to keep pace with changes in the workplace, while 73 per cent of Generation Y (aged 18-29) saw the provision of training as a joint responsibility between the employer and employee.
"Training may not seem a priority in the present economic climate, but organisations that devote the resources will be more likely to see higher productivity and profitability in the future," Bowmer said.