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Training Budget Advice Needed – Urgent!


I have an interview for an internal training manager role v soon and been asked to hold a presentation about how to spend a 2007 training budget of £400 for 1000 employees in a blue chip company. I have never made a training budget. Any advice or literature suggestions would be very gratefully received!
Many Thanks

6 Responses

  1. £400?

    Firstly, you wouldn’t spend a penny of it until you were sure of the exact areas of performance development.
    £400 seems very low. If this is an exercise rather than a real life practice (in which lots of other factors would need to be looked at) if I were you, I would demonstrate how creative you can be with the training budget e.g

    – Drawing on knowledge and experience you already have in the business rather than outsourcing

    – If training did need to be outsouced, firstly get the right consultant for the job and negotiate costs

    On the other hand, they may be looking for your knowledge of the organisation/industry you are entering, what are the key issues there e.g. in the financial services, regulation is quite hot at the moment, so you could edge your presentation towards that.

    I’ve tried to give you some different ideas rather than direct advice as you would have a better idea of what they want than I would!

    Hope this helps


  2. Here’s some to try…

    I agree with the last comment, I think it’s essential to find out what the priorities are for the organisation, so that you can be sure your £400 is spent wisely and adds value.

    Here are some ways to make your budget stretch further, often used during my years in the health service, where budgets were very small!

    1. Consider a coaching programme, where staff and line managers use their existing skills and knowledge to develop others, with you acting as a source of guidance and support.

    2. You could organise action learning sets, designed to help staff implement the learning they’ve already gained.

    3. You could take advantage of many of the free offers available. Lots of large training companies will organise taster sessions and free half day events.

    4. You could set up a shadowing scheme, where people can learn from others.

    5. If your company falls within a regeneration zone, or is aligned to one of the new sector skills councils, there will also be opportunties organised by those agencies that will help your training budget go further.

    6. Finally, local colleges will support you, again free of charge, with any skills for life needs (literacy, numeracy and ESOL), if thats a particular need.

    It may also be worth mentioning how much extra you could do if the budget was increased. £400 gives you a great starting point, and it’s possible to find creative solutions for most things, however, there comes a time when you have to invest a certain amount to get results.

    Hope this helps.

    Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss any of this in more detail.


  3. how to budget £400
    What about using the £400 to influence the key decision makers that training is not only important, but that a significant investment should be make and the results measured in the same way a capital spend would be.

    Otherwise to be honest £400 is not enough to train the internal trainer in a key skills to role out.

    I know this may seem a little harsh but from a professional point of view if this demonstrates the commitment to training in the organisation – decline the interview.

    Clarify your specification is it really £400 or is it £400 per head?

    If the latter – email me over the weekend & we can chat it through.

  4. wag the dog?
    Sorry to be obtuse but I always thought the idea was that you applied for a budget based against specific costed objectives supported by a business case.
    To be given a budget and asked to explain what you are going to spend it on seems a bit of “tail wagging the dog” to me.

    Is our anonymous question asker facing a trick question here?

  5. Interview advice
    I think this is a challenge to see how you respond.
    Like others I would start by doing a bit of challenging myself – I would politely ask some rhetorical statements like ‘I’d base the training on the needs analysis, I would want to be assured that the budget was also based on those needs’ just to show you understand this issue.
    However, they may also be interested in your ingenuity – what you can do on a shoe-string. Others have made good suggestions but you may want to put a cash sum against each option to show you understand basic budget management. Peer coaching might involve time but no cash spend. Use Moodle for intranet based elearning. Create Action Learning sets. If you put together enough of those types of options you might even come in under the 40p per head in their challenge!
    Try ‘Running Training like a Business’ (there is a book but you may also get something via google too). And if you have access to a good training library check out the encyclopaedia of management development methods, which gives a brief description of many training methods.
    Good luck

  6. Don’t worry about it!
    One question to ask is whether the £400 includes the work time of employees who are going on any training…!

    One approach is, as suggested earlier, to base everything on needs.

    I have in the past been a training manager with NO budget to spend (650 employees) – we did training, building a case each time for each piece of training, going to the Board and getting the funding needed case by case. Seems like a pain but it was rare not to get any funding though from good questions from the Board we might get less – or even more than requested! And yes, this did include a fair amount of management & soft skills training.

    There’s a pile of articles on this at

    Good luck!



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