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Line Managers Fail to Support L&D

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Around two-fifths of organisations say that their line managers are not very effective in supporting learning and development, according to a new survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

However, 74% of respondents say that their line managers have taken on greater responsibility for learning and development activities during the past two years.

Victoria Winkler, the CIPD's learning and development adviser said: "Our research shows that line mangers are critical to facilitating learning and development activities, however many do not take learning and development seriously. To ensure that learning and development is effective, organisations need 'buy in' from all employees regardless of level. Line managers are key to delivering this and thus need to be supported in meeting their employees' needs.

"In addition learning and development professionals need to make sure key decision makers within the organisation understand the importance of learning and development and the contribution it can make to business. Only when it is successfully integrated into the wider organisational strategy can it add real value."

Other key findings from the survey include:

The role of line managers:
* More than 90% of respondents believe that line managers are important or very important in supporting learning and development in their organisations.
* Only 12% feel that line managers take learning and development very seriously.
* Half of UK organisations only train a minority of line managers to support learning and development.
* Competing business pressures are believed to be the main reason for line managers not supporting learning and development.

Integrating learning and development
* Over half of the sample believe that learning and development professionals in their organisations. don't have enough involvement in the development of organisational strategy.
* 36% of UK organisations involve the learning and development team at the initial planning stage.
* 30% of UK organisations involve the learning and development team after all major decisions.

Trends in workplace learning:
* On the job training and formal training courses are seen as the most effective form of learning.
* 73% of UK organisations expect their use of coaching by line managers to increase in the next few years.
* Efforts to develop a learning and development culture have been the biggest change in the past year in a fifth of organisations.

Economic influences on training and development:
* 52% of public sector organisations reported a cut in training funds available and only 10% expect an increase in funding in the next year.
* 78% of voluntary sector organisations report that funding for training has remained stable or increased compared to 68% in the private sector and 45% in the public sector.
* Private sector respondents are the most optimistic about their funding prospects for the next year.

Training spend and budgets:
* 72% of organisations have a training budget with median average spend per employee being £272
(compared to £278 in 2006).
* Voluntary sector organisations spend more per employee per year on training (£375), compared to £273 in the private sector and £250 in the public sector.
* Organisations employing less than 250 people spend far more per head on training (£417) than those with more than 10,000 employees (£73).

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