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Training Remains Priority

July 1, 2009

A survey by the UK’s Institute of Directors reveals that training budgets have largely been protected during the current recession – unlike previous recessions, when they were frequently slashed.

Executive management has driven cost reductions in staffing (mostly through staff reductions, though also in some cases through cutting salaries) and travel and entertainment, but they view investment in skills as an important enabler for economic recovery and competitiveness. They also recognise that, at a time of slary freezes and reductions, investing in training helps the retention of valued employees. As a result, more than 80% have maintained or increased spending on training in the last 6 months.

Managers are increasingly concerned about value for money, however. This has led to less external classes and conferences and a greater focus on mentoring, networking and on-line programs.  This reflects IACCM’s worldwide experience, with record numbers signing up for mentored Managed Learning training. The reasons  we are told for this surge of interest is that organizations are seeking high quality at lower cost; they want well-defined content that equips individuals and teams to deal with change; and they want global, multi-company perspectives without the expense of physical classes.

Today, with travel budgets slashed and time at such a premium, training programs must adjust to new economic realities. Lengthy on-line packages lack the stimulation needed to drive effective learning, so programs must integrate a variety of techniques, such as on-line content supplemented by student networking, expert-led sessions, simulations and case studies. The fact that budgets have survived should provide the stimulus for the development of more creative forms of learning. With its worldwide network offering such diverse knowledge and opinions, IACCM is well positioned as a leader in these trends.

The survey mirrors IACCM’s experience,

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