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Training ‘High Priority’ for Blue Chips


Training is increasingly seen as critical to business success, having a role to play in improving productivity, customer service, staff retention and other key drivers of corporate profitability, according to a new study.

The survey, by research company SDL, involved in-depth discussions with over 30 senior level training decision makers from the UK’s biggest companies.

It found that over 95% of those spoken to felt that training was a major strategic priority for their organisation and many felt it was "too core" to outsource.

However few envisaged a rise in training budgets and many were looking at e-learning to provide a cost effective solution.

Key findings:

Budgets: Only 7% of those interviewed expected to see a significant increase in their training budgets, from the current average spend of £700 per head.

ROI: Measurement of return on investment was regarded as an important issue. Traditional training metrics such as delegate satisfaction and course completion rates were felt to be limited. Some organisations have created models that use a Kirkpatrick scale, but many were looking for training suppliers to help in this area.

E-Learning: More than two-thirds - 70% - expected to use more e-learning in the future. It was felt to help increase learning effectiveness and allowed budgets to stretch further. Increasingly e-learning was planned to be used within a blended learning programme, to get the best of both worlds.

Classroom training: 40% believed that the majority of their training would remain classroom-based. Some companies, in particular retailers, felt there are fundamental operational issues which made significantly greater use of e-learning unlikely for them.

LMS: Organisations in other sectors had concerns about the ability of their existing technology infrastructure to support greater use of e-learning. Implementation of an LMS is seen by some as the solution – over 50% of companies expect to have one in place within the next year – however some were delaying, as they feel capabilities do not yet match up to promised benefits

Satisfaction rates: Satisfaction with training companies was generally high with 75% being either satisfied or very satisfied with their vendors. Satisfaction was lowest with suppliers’ e-learning infrastructure and choice of alternative delivery systems.

Suppliers: While long term supplier relationships one in five organisations planned to reduce its number of training suppliers focusing on fewer but deeper relationships, while 60% were intending to seek out new suppliers.

* Training in Major UK Companies is based on a study which involved extensive original interview research with senior decision-makers responsible for the training functions within large UK plc’s, backed up by research and analysis of published information. The study was sponsored by Accenture, Hawksmere, Knowledgepool and Sun Microsystems.


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