Firms urged to use online training to avoid skills shortage

Employers are being encouraged to make the most of online training tools and resources to overcome a predicted reduction in training budgets.
Research carried out by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that 43% of managers anticipate that their training budgets will be cut again next year, potentially resulting in business-damaging skills shortages.
To reduce the negative impact of reduced investment in training, the CMI has recommended that employers should look to online training and e-learning resources, which can often be more cost-effective than their offline equivalents.
Further, according to CMI research, online training has become increasingly popular with employees this year. A survey of UK workers carried out earlier this year by the CMI found that 35% of staff would rather go online when looking to brush up on their skills, second only to seeking advice from trusted colleagues (36%). 
Reacting to the findings, CMI chief executive Ruth Spellman said: “The tough economic conditions experienced in 2010, combined with the knock-on effects of aggressive deficit reduction measures outlined in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, have already forced business leaders to look at yet more ways to save money. Unfortunately, training budgets are often the first to suffer. 
“Business leaders will need to embrace the concept of ‘training on a shoestring’ in 2011. Doing nothing is not an option; they need to consider alternative ways to continue to develop the skills of their staff, or risk failing to put them in the best possible position to take advantage of the upturn when it comes. What businesses need is a cost-effective way of continuing to offer training that can be accessed quickly and easily, as and when support is required.”
Spellman added: “Our worry is that by failing to offer adequate opportunities for personal development, bosses risk losing top talent, deepening the already low levels of employee engagement and creating skills shortages at a time when UK plc most needs a skilled workforce to help steer it towards recovery. Businesses cannot afford to lose another 12 months of training and development in 2011.”

For more information on online training, take a look at our Smart Buyer guide: ten reasons to implement e-learning.

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