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Proof at last – training DOES pay

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And the good news is...... all those investments in training do pay off for employers.

For a long time the question of whether training really improves the productivity, quality and profitability of business has vexed those in the training business.

Although we have developed good methods of evaluating training's impact on the behaviour of students and trainees, we have lacked any hard evidence to show that training has a positive impact on the bottom line for business.

The release of four new research reports from the National Centre for Vocational Education
Research (Australia) provides this evidence. Teams from Melbourne University, UTS, Deakin Australia and AustralAsia Economics have gathered an overwhelming body of evidence to show that training pays.

Examining the impact of particular training programs in a range of firms, the Deakin Australia team found that health and safety training can provide a return of over 1000 per cent on saved Workcover costs.

Similarly, the Melbourne University team found that footwear manufacturers were experiencing a very large boost in value-added per employee through their training activities, with returns to the firms of up to $5,000 for every $100 they spent.

The work of the team from AustralAsia, a consortium of researchers from around Australia, confirmed that the training had a direct impact on productivity, with a 1 per cent increase in labour productivity for every 10 per cent increase in training expenditure.

But if the returns are this good, why don't employers already know about it? The answer is provided by the UTS researchers, who showed that many companies simply do not use the information they already have.

They showed that by using some simple data on things such as customer service complaints, quality performance and employee turnover, most businesses could demonstrate the return on training for themselves.

The reports will be published shortly -- watch the news section of the 'news and events' on our web site for details: http://www.ncver.edu.au

The next step is to develop a simple kit to assist employers to do these sorts of calculations for themselves and realise the real returns on their investments in training.

For further information, contact Andy Smith at [email protected]

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