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UK Corporates lead the way in training practices

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Corporate UK is leading the way in training practices, according to a comprehensive pan-European survey, published by Cegos Group. The survey found that UK organisations are training more staff and have embraced innovative practices, including e-learning, blended learning and mobile learning, to a greater extent than their European counterparts. The independent survey examined training practice trends during 2007, and was carried among training managers from 1,000 companies employing more than 500 staff, across the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Key highlights include:

  • UK companies are leading the way in providing training to 61% of their employees compared to less than half of employees in Italy, France and Germany.
  • UK employees benefit from technology-driven training programmes. The UK is the European leader in 100% e-learning and blended learning (mixing face-to-face learning with e-learning). Spain is just behind the UK in terms of e-learning and blended learning techniques with 51% of Spanish companies adopting e-leaning and blended learning.
  • While the UK is training more people than any other country, it is running shorter programmes and spending less on professional development than its European counterparts. The survey found the average European corporate spends Euros 580,000 on professional development. The UK and Spain both spend around 40% less than the average European budget, reflecting in part their greater use of blended learning and e-learning.
  • UK corporations are more focused on providing direct feedback to the balance sheet in the effectiveness of training than their European counterparts. Almost half (47%) of UK companies measure ROI and 65% have measures in place to assess the impact of training on their people. The UK is 20% better than any other surveyed country in measuring ROI with France second, where 26% of companies measure ROI.

Jeremy Blain, joint managing director of Cegos’ UK operations, said: “Technology is playing a crucial role in driving down the cost of training, speeding up learning and making training more accessible to a wider audience. This trend will continue to be driven by today’s time-pressured workplace and current economic conditions as companies strive to get more for less.”

The UK carries out more training in-house than any other country surveyed. Among UK organisations, 55% of training is carried out internally by the company itself; 24% is carried out in-house with support from a third-party supplier; and only about 20% is conducted off-site by external providers. In terms of duration of training programmes, the survey revealed that UK companies prefer shorter training courses – 42% of sessions are one day long or less.

While companies still rely heavily on traditional methods to train their workforce, more and more are increasingly turning to the Internet as a delivery channel. Face-to-face learning is the number one method used by more than 90% of organisations across Europe. Coaching is particularly popular in the UK and Germany with 86% and 74% of companies respectively using the method compared to less than half of companies in France, Italy and Spain. The UK and Spain are the prime adopters of e-learning (55% of UK companies use e-learning and 51% of Spanish companies) and blended learning (51% of both UK and Spanish companies use blended learning). The UK also provides more on the job training and one-to-one training than any other country.

All countries surveyed are focusing their training budgets on the same core areas. In order of investment, these are professional development, QSE (Quality, Safety and Environment), IT, and management, with 75% of organisations investing in these areas. The figures show the growing importance of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and the impact that new legislation and IT systems are making on the training function.






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