No Image Available

Michael Bolton

Read more from Michael Bolton

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

The Budget 2014: An L&D reappraisal


As with most years the budget came and went and the L&D community searched for benefits and changes. With the exception of some attention to apprenticeships, once again it appeared that the L&D world had been overlooked. Or so we thought. It was only after looking in a bit more detail that the real impact for L&D became visible.

Tucked away in the deepest corner of a sub-paragraph, we found some proposed changes that could trigger one of the biggest shake-ups in L&D. If the proposed action from the Government comes into place L&D will possibly never recover.

The Government are proposing to introduce a ‘learning tax’ for companies that do not have an effective L&D structure in place. A newly created division of the Government, the Ministry for Organisational Development and Occupational Reform will assess every business with 10 or more employees and rank their current L&D structure. In line with health and safety food ratings, each business will then receive a score between 1 and 5. Companies will be required to public display the newly acquired rating for 12 months before reassessment.

At first glance, it could be argued that it's time for change, and that it can only lead to more engaging and productive L&D infrastructures. However, this is just the beginning of the Government plan – it’s the next stage that's when the powers of the Ministry really become worrying. The new rating structure will decide the method of training that a company has at its disposal – any additional training methods will face a financial penalty. Under the new plans the Ministry will enforce specific delivery methods on companies; they have even gone as far as creating a banding system.

Companies only achieving a grade 1 or 2 will face financial penalties for using any form of technology for training and development. Organisations that cannot prove that they have an engaging blended approach to training their employees will have to restrict any future training to classroom and even textbook-based learning. The newly formed Ministry, have established that the lowest grading companies, branded 'Organic Reading Companies' will have to develop a full plan to be presented to the Ministry before any reassessment. ORCs would have to present a clear strategy of how they plan to improve and develop their dedicated L&D programme, and employees would have to be interviewed and financial commitments would have to be in place before the Ministry would consider reassessing and improvement of the grading.

At the other end of the scale, companies achieving a 3 or 4 on the rating scales will be rewarded for their endeavours. Companies with an effective and balanced approach to L&D will receive the highest recognition that the Ministry can award – Esteemed Learning Facilitators. Companies reaching this pinnacle will not be punished or restricted - far from it. Top-ranked facilitators will be awarded grants for additional development and research, and they will be asked to take part in studies into the latest L&D Technology.

Companies reaching the highest of all ratings, those organisations that put L&D and people development at the forefront of all their goals will even receive monthly grants to further improve their training plans.

One Response


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!