Recession fears cause training cuts in broadcasting

Broadcasters are slashing their training budgets due to the economic slowdown, research has found.

The Broadcast Training & Skills Regulator (BTSR) 2007 annual report found the number of broadcast companies that had funds set aside for staff training had fallen by 13% to just two-thirds (65%). The figures for 2006 published last year showed 78% of broadcasters said they had dedicated budgets for staff development.

Peter Block, the BTSR executive director, said making cuts to learning and development budgets is a false economy.

“The recent flurry of Ofcom fines has shown all too clearly the heavy price broadcasters pay when standards slip,” said Block. “Our concern is that trimming training budgets could lead to further errors or misjudgements – and the penalties can far outweigh the cost of running a comprehensive training programme.”

“We must encourage leaders to engage with the future and the skills and development necessary to keep the UK broadcast industry at the cutting edge of the world’s creative economy.”

Only two of the companies polled had training budgets of 1% or more of their annual turnover.

The BTSR polled 20 of the 68 broadcasting companies in the UK that employ more than 20 staff.

Earlier this week, a TUC survey found that almost three quarters of employees want the legal right to request paid time off for training.

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