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Are companies paying too much for IT Classroom training?


I read with interest an article in this months inside learning technologies magazine written by Paul Slater, a freelance training consultant and simply had the urge to pick up a few points and continue them with TrainingZONE's own audience to get a wider feel as to whether companies really are getting value for money from their IT classroom training - or are they being ripped off?

Having also delivered IT training as a freelancer on behalf of an IT Training company, I would think that there are those companies that do literally get training for almost next to nothing and then those who certainly do not have the bartering skills against a dynamic, somewhat pushy IT training salesperson and then do in fact end up paying over the odds.

How much companies pay for the training would depend on how desperate the training provider was in ensuring they got the business and then again it falls down to how big the organisation is and I tend to think that the smaller organisation is the one who would end up paying more because of the smaller numbers needing the training. The deals that they are likely to strike up are not going to be as competitive as an organisation that has a larger target audience needing the training.

As to where and how the training is delivered is again an issue, even if the training provider were to simply offer the services of their in-house trainer, the company themselves have to provide the facilities, such as the up-to-date training room within their establishment. Paul also mentioned that a classroom cannot really afford to have equipment older than a year as this could have an impact as to the effective delivery of the training, what do you think?

Also, more specialist IT training will require more specialist trainers who can charge what they want!! Areas such as network administration courses, technical courses, project courses, the lesser used applications competing against Microsoft products, there are still organisations that need training solutions.

Here is a list of training costs that need to be considered:

  • Training equipment, personal computers, software licenses, network, printers, ohp, laptops, training materials
  • rent/business rates of room, electricity, heating
  • Trainers pay, learning costs for trainer, travel expenses, accomodation expenses
  • maintenance of equipment in training room
  • refreshments, usually drinks and lunchtime tend to be provided by establishment for free as part of the deal to lure people to attend the training
  • cost of those unfilled seats
  • training administration and coordination
  • % of sale to sales person for selling course

Some training establishments are making their trainers deliver courses five days per week, as it has been commented that if they see them sitting at their desks 'doing nothing' they are not earning money for the organisation.

How are trainers then expected to develop additional skills for themselves and the people they are likely to train in future, develop training material and keep informed with what is happening around them?

It would be interesting to hear how these organisations intend holding on to their trainers and how they expect their trainers to keep up-to-date?

If you are a trainer faced with these sorts of issues, the Institute of IT Training offers standards that should be applied and to become a registered training provider with the IITT would involve rigorous assessment to becoming accredited, however the process would certainly be worthwhile completing both in terms of heightening the profile of both the training organisation and those training individuals concerned. Again all these issues go towards the cost of providing a quality IT classroom solution.

The other factor to think about and one that I certainly fell victim to back in 1996, was as an internal IT training provider, I was suddenly re-deployed into another department as the service I had delivered was then outsourced to cut costs. I did not wait around to prove whether this move did in fact save money for the organisation, however it certainly did lead to a reduction in the quality of services provided for the customer and a certain amount of dissatisfaction. It would be interesting to hear your comments as well as to whether a company should have their own internal IT training facility, or should they go through an external training provider?


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