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‘Business wasting millions on training’ – Training magazine

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NEWS RELEASE From Training magazine


Business Wasting Millions On Training

Nearly £10,000million is spent by UK organisations each year on training and development, but very few employers have a detailed knowledge of how this investment benefits their business, according to a new study by specialist trade magazine Training, published today (Thursday 24 June 1999).

Research of training professionals by the magazine shows that 37% of UK organisations have never evaluated their training in terms of business impact. And only 11% of training professionals have ever produced a return-on-investment case for training.

These two methods are widely regarded by training experts as crucial measures to ensure spending on learning and development does not go to waste.

Less than half (44%) of respondents said that they normally tested delegates at the end of a course to check what they had learned, and of those, only 23 per cent did so on all programmes. Whilst the testing of delegates is a contentious issue, the fact remains that if called to do so by their bosses, most T&D professionals would be unable to say how much a delegate learned as a result of their intervention.

Although 45 per cent of organisations claimed to use an evaluation model to assess the impact of their T&D activities, less than 10 per cent of those evaluate all programmes in terms of their business impact and 37 per cent of organisations do not evaluate any.
Given the lack of evidence to support the statement that investment in training benefits an organisation, it is unsurprising that only 14 per cent of UK companies account for T&D as an investment in the future of their business. For nearly half of those surveyed (47%) training spend is shown in the company accounts as a cost.

In response to the survey findings Training magazine, a sister magazine of Personnel Today, has launched TD2000, a major campaign aimed at raising standards in the profession for the next millennium.

"Trainers need to grasp the nettle of evaluation if the profession is to be taken seriously by business leaders," said editor of Training Andrew Rogers.

"To win the credibility the profession deserves they need to win the battle to get training recognised as an investment rather than a cost.

"It is widely recognised that training and development holds the key to the future competitiveness of UK plc yet many organisations fail to take it seriously," said Rogers

Rogers added that the climate is right for the T&D profession to achieve its rightful strategic place within organisations. "Up until now that role has been denied. The purpose of the campaign is to identify the reasons why, and suggest ways forward. The need for improved evaluation techniques is just one of many issue which need to
be addressed."

Derek Grover, director of skills and lifelong learning at the DfEE supports this concept. "Professionals need to show much more sharply what they can contribute to the business so they can demonstrate what they do adds value, particularly in terms of the bottom line," he said.

A view echoed by Mark Hastings, policy advisor at the Institute of Management "People need to start linking their rewards with the results they achieve so that clients of training and development see a commitment to improving the business," he said.

Andrew Rogers, editor of Training magazine said, "This issue is not whether training and development activities work or not; no-one is accusing profession of wasting people's time by running pointless training, but until the profession can demonstrate in real terms the value and effects of its activities, the buy-in from senior managers necessary to give T&D strategic status just won't happen."


For further information, contact: Sarah Parsons, Press Officer Tel: 0181 652 8174 Mob: 07979 530118 or Andrew Rogers, Editor, Training Tel: 0171 326 4654

Note for Editors:
Calculation of total training spend: In 1998 organisations spent an average of £356 pounds per employee on training. Expenditure was expected to rise by 2.31% to £364 during 1999 (Industrial Society). There are currently 27.351m people employed in the UK (Labour Market Stats May 1999). Therefore £9956m will be spent on training in 1999.2. Training and Personnel Today are published by Reed Business Information (RBI), a division of Reed Elsevier. RBI publishes over 60 titles including: Flight International, Estates Gazette, Contract Journal, Commercial Motor, Doctor, Employers Law, Bankers Almanac, Kelly's Business Directory, Kompass British Exports and many more. For a full listing see RBI's web site

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