£275m a year wasted on ineffectual training is the tip of the iceberg

A government report exposing the £275m wasted on ineffectual training courses by the Civil Service has been described by a North East expert as “the tip of the iceberg of Britain’s culture of poorly-targeted staff development”

A newly-published report by the National Audit Office estimates that the Civil Service wastes hundreds of millions of pounds every year putting staff through expensive training courses that do not work. Under half of staff questioned felt the training they received in the past 12 months had helped them to do their job better, the report found.

Kevin Beales, Managing Director of North-East-based online assessment specialists The Test Factory said: “I’m sad to say that these figures don’t surprise me at all, and if anything they’re just the tip of the iceberg of Britain’s culture of poorly-targeted staff development.

“Organisations in both the public and private sector are aware that to get the very best out of the staff they need to offer them regular personal development opportunities – and rightly so – but far too often they give far too little thought to what their staff’s individual needs are and how best to meet them and instead adopt a sheep-dip approach.

“Undertaking a proper training needs analysis assessments [TNA] before arranging training can instantly stop that from happening, allowing managers to make informed decisions on what areas staff need training in and meeting that need with appropriate training – and this is something which can be carried out quickly and cheaply with the right software”.

Beales also believes the staff should be given more support with their training, he added: “More support should also be provided to individual employees. Identifying training needs can produce personalised learning plans that will enable individuals to identify areas for improvement and signpost resources to aid their own development.”

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