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Jon Kennard


Freelance writer

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The training managers survey results


Following the last TrainingZone Live event, with the help of Reed Learning, TrainingZone undertook a rigorous survey of the training landscape.

The idea was to find out exactly what trainers thought about the industry, how the land really lay, and where the areas were that people would like to see the improvement. Here are the main findings of a series of interviews with 200 training managers...

Almost half of training managers have found their main challenge over the past 12 months to be a lack of budget

While not exactly a surprise, considering the mangle that the global economy has been through in the last couple of years, it makes it no less problematic whether or not it is expected. The fact is that a company's training budget is often one of the first things to get cut when the purse strings tighten and all departments are asked to expand the skillset of the existing staff (recruitment freeze, of course) on no money, it's to the training industry's credit that there are so many positive people out there championing new technologies and techniques.

Most see developing an understanding of a company's exact needs and culture to be most important in an external provider

This comes back to the issue of alignment again. It's paramount for freelance trainers to treat their clients' projects on a case-by-case basis, so that they can really understand the needs of the companies they're working for. It's not just about working for companies, it's about working within companies, and with that immersion will come alignment and understanding.

35% choose an external provider based on past experience above all else

If you are an independent trainer, get experience. Your availability, stature and profile will increase exponentially the more you work and the more experience you get. Join the TrainingZone discussion groups. Attend networking events. Make yourself visible and available. On the flipside, the implication of this statistic is that 65% are also prepared to use relatively untried and untested trainers, provided your enthusiasm and belief is there.


Nearly 2/3 want employees to come back from training feeling inspired and motivated

Involve your employees. Make them want to learn. Don't teach at them, let them explore, and the reward will be obvious to see. There are a million different ways, methods, media and, most crucially, approaches to those media to make your training engaging and inspiring, so use all the resources you can (appropriate for your clients' age/demographic/company, of course).

16% will be focussing on in-house training over the next 12 months

So, 84% won't be. However big or small the company, they want the right trainer for the right course, and seeing as the vast majority won't be using in-house training, it seems like a pretty good time for freelance trainers.

37% feel that lack of time is the main thing that stops people from attending training

Again, there is the issue of the (lack of) importance of training. Lack of time may genuinely be an issue, but this may be down to the fact that training managers know that their service is still seen as a low priority within many organisations. Raising awareness of the benefits of training and training's profile could be key to making time for the training itself.

34% think that independent / freelance trainers offer the best value training service

Considering the split between freelance:corporate/training managers, this statistic says little about an actual preference for either. the most important thing is that the business picks the right trainer for the right trainees, freelance or otherwise.


Reed Learning is one of the UK's largest providers of training and development for businesses

Author Profile Picture
Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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