CIPD annual learning and development survey: UK training budgets slashed by a quarter

The average spend on learning, training and development per employee has fallen by almost a quarter in the past year, research shows.

The annual learning and development survey, carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), shows the average spend per employee is £469 – a fall of 23% in a year.

The survey of 635 organisations revealed the voluntary sector has the lowest spend at £438, while public sector employees have a per-head spend of £447.

Private sector employees have the biggest budgets, weighing in at £488 per person.

Financial pressures are affecting the funds available for training, with 33% of organisations reporting that their training budget has fallen in the past 12 months. The public sector has seen the most marked decline, with 42% of organisations seeing their training budgets squeezed (up from 29% in 2005).

Jessica Jarvis, CIPD learning and development adviser, said a reduction in training and development opportunities for existing workers could harm productivity and efforts to retain talented staff.

“The public sector is experiencing rapid change, significant reorganisation, and sustained pressure to find efficiency savings,” she said. “But cutting training budgets at a time when employees need to deal with changing roles and structures is a false economy.”

The CIPD’s study reinforces the findings of a recent study by Saratoga, the human capital division of professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (Personnel Today, 21 March). Its study found that UK organisations offer below average levels of training compared to the US and other European countries.

The report said the lack of investment in training was hampering the UK’s ability to compete with the US and Asia.

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