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Training spend keeps steady, finds CIPD research


The CIPD's annual Training and Development survey for 2003 has been unveiled at the HRD 2003 conference and exhibition. It suggests that only 28% of private sector organisations saw a decrease in training spend last year, despite over half saying that economic circumstances had worsened in the last year (against 16% who believed things had got better).

More than 55% of those surveyed in the private sector said expenditure on training had remained steady while 17% reported an increase. In the public sector, 26% of organisations reported an increase in spending, 54% said it remained steady and only 20% saw a reduction. Interestingly, an increasing proportion of the training budget is being spent on the internet and intranets, which have both doubled in use during the past five years.

The survey also shows that 60% of organisations provide diversity training. Most diversity training is provided to HR and middle and junior managers (over 85%), with technical, clerical and manual staff receiving the least (45%). Only around half of the respondents carried out monitoring on equal opportunities training uptake. This figure varies across sectors with public sector organisations reporting a significantly higher incidence of monitoring (68.9%) when compared with the private sector (39.3%).

Only half of the respondents have had contact with their local Learning and Skills Council (LSC), with larger organisations and manufacturing and public administration organisations being more likely to have made contact. Most of the contact with the LSCs concerns qualifications such as NVQs (63.2%). The general view on the effectiveness of the LSCs - as compared with the TECs - is not clear, with the same proportion of respondents reporting positive and negative views. The majority of respondents did not see any difference between the two and a quarter said they didn't know.

Key findings:

Changes in training over the last five years

- Training is being taken more seriously by senior managers and line managers and appears to be more geared to meet the strategic needs of organisations.

- One of the most significant changes experienced has been the increase in the use of new technology in training methods, namely e-learning.

- More bespoke training is being delivered to solve specific business issues.

- There has been considerable growth in the outsourcing of training.

Line management support for training

- Line managers formed the single largest source of requests for training (40%). However, in 63% of the organisations, line managers held less than 20% of the total training budget.

- The main source of funding for training in most organisations came from the training department, which was responsible, on average, for 55% of the budget.

- Over 90% of line managers were thought to take training 'seriously' or 'very seriously'.

- There was overwhelming agreement that the 'pressure of time' was the major barrier to learning (91.1%), rather than line manager support (40.6%).

Workplace diversity training

- The survey results show that 69.3% of organisations have policies governing different aspects of workplace diversity. However, larger organisations and the public sector are far more likely to have workplace diversity policies than smaller and private sector organisations.

- On average, HR and managerial staff were more likely to receive diversity training (over 80%) with manual staff the least likely group (48.8%). Diversity training was most likely to form part of management training (82.5%).

- Only around half of the respondents carried out monitoring on equal opportunities (EO) training uptake. This figure varies across sectors with public sector organisations reporting a significantly higher incidence of monitoring (68.9%), compared with 39.3% in the private sector.

Evaluation practices in training and learning

- Only a small proportion of the organisations (7.9%) in the survey did not use any form of pre-training briefing.

- 55% of respondents expected line managers to provide 'a lot' of support for the implementation of actions arising from the learners' written statements. About the same proportion of respondents reported that these expectations were generally met.


- Compared with last year, the incidence of e-learning was generally up across all categories of staff in the current survey.

- IT staff are still the largest category of staff using e-learning, with manual staff reporting the largest increase in use this year.

- Managerial staff, technical and manual staff in the public sector make less use of e-learning than their counterparts in the private sector.

Making the case for training

- On average, 64% of the organisations use performance indicators in making their case for training, with larger organisations being more likely to adopt the practice.

- The most frequently used indicators were customer satisfaction indicators, the business plan, performance management indicators and appraisals.

Find out more about HRD 2003.


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