Professionals fight to woo line managers

Dogged determination is a major characteristic of the training profession.
It works hard and is loyal to its employers.

These are the findings in a career survey conducted by Training Magazine and
Conference Centres of Excellence.

The survey, which was launched in the July edition of the magazine, paints a
picture of a profession committed to its job, although often having to battle
against lack of support.

Training remains a viable career option with 40 per cent of all respondents
working in training and development for between six and 10 years. Just over a
quarter, at 28 per cent ,have worked in the sector longer term, for more than
11 years.

And it is still attracting people, with a healthy number regularly entering
the profession. Nearly a third, at 32 per cent have worked in the field for
between zero and five years.

But life is not a bed of roses. More than half have acknowledged that their
line managers are the most difficult to persuade of the importance of training.
This is in contrast to employees who are seen as keen on self-development with
only 15 per cent of respondents seeing them as unresponsive to the idea of
training.

And there is a sense of in-house trainers wondering what lies beyond the
corporate walls. Just over a quarter see a career move outside training as
their next step and 13 per cent have intentions of setting up their own
consultancy.

Despite these blips the majority of respondents are committed to the sector,
with 55 per cent seeing the next step in their career being a more senior role
within the training department. Yet the idea of a seat on the board is not
contemplated. Only 5 per cent aspire for that ultimate place at the top table.

When it comes to self-improvement, the training profession thinks
conventionally. Over half of you, at 55 per cent, think that CIPD
qualifications will enhance career prospects and a handful, at 15 per cent see
NVQs as a significant qualification. Surprisingly, MBAs didn’t come into the
equation.

Many of you think that a qualification in counselling would boost your
career prospects. This ranges from outplacement and career counselling (
particularly from those with a more generalist remit) through to stress
counselling.

"I want to know more about the causes of stress and also how it can be
handled," said one respondent. "And I think that many modern day
workplaces need to have staff who are trained in counselling."

A couple of you also admitted that if you held an extra qualification it
would help you "go it alone". But many were unclear as to what shape
this qualification would take. "The CIPD doesn’t cover this area,"
said a handful.

When it comes to buying in external expertise you are not afraid to act
tough.

An incredible 73 per cent think price is the most important criteria for
selecting a training supplier. However, after that initial decision you look to
working as a team, with an equally high 70 per cent believing that developing a
relationship with a supplier is important.

Respondents certainly feel the pressure of their own workload, either that
or you are very conscientious. An incredible 70 per cent regularly take work
home and 60 per cent eat lunch at their desks. And finally, one-third said they
are under pressure to prove ROI.

By Stephanie Sparrow

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