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Another sign of the training sector crashing?


With budgets being squeezed it is not surprising that training is taking a hit like many other business services. Traditionally external spend on training has been cut early on but internal training resources allowed to continue to develop.

Having read the newswire this morning I was intrigued to see that Gower - a well respected provider of books and paper based resources on management, HR and training. Usually the sort of spent that is so small - £20-£100 per item, that this is barely impacted, but what i saw today shocked me. Most prices on a list of over 100 products. Most were discounted at least 50% many up to 75% - this is unheard of from this provider. It is cheaper to buy from the publisher than Amazon!

If low cost items are being reduced by 50% what is that going to mean for the freelance and provider market?

Is the training market now a commodity market? Does this mean that as a profession we have failed to educate managers the value of having educated and competent people? Is the value of custom over 'off-the-shelf' not understood?

Many will argue that to survive any downturn firms need to focus on investing in sales and training - not cutting them. It about more than just survival - it is about being in a position to raise from the fire like the phoenix after the slowdown, if we don't then our organisations risk not being there - or worse, in the rapid growing world of innovation and web 2.0 applications there will be new, leaner competitors waiting to pick off the sales.

Is this discounting sustainable? At a time when many trainers are being made redundant from the corporate world and turning freelance will the majority still be trading in 12 months time?

Mike Morrison is director of RapidBI Ltd, a consulting and training company specialising in organisational development and the development of high performing teams and individuals. For more information go to RapidBI
Mike Morrison


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