UK training spend soars but manufacturing industry slips
latest Cranet data for 2004 shows that UK public and private sector
organisations have considerably increased their total training spend.
the last decade, UK organisations invested, on average, 2.8 per cent of annual
salary and wage bills on training.
1999, there was a marginal increase over previous years, reflecting the
strength of the economy and a greater willingness to invest in training and
development. This has continued to rise, jumping in 2004 to its highest level
since the survey began (see chart left).
1999 survey results were more revealing when broken down into industry sectors
and viewed in light of European comparisons. This shows that across the EU,
organisations operating in business services have invested significantly more
than organisations in other sectors (see chart below).
the UK, the proportion of annual salaries spent on training in business
services was 4.4 per cent (above the EU average of 4.1 per cent).
findings for 1999 reflect two outside factors: first, the investments necessary
to cope with the introduction of the Euro, and second, the necessity to deal
safely with the IT implications of the year 2000. HR practitioners in the
financial sector thus made the biggest effort in terms of training budgets.
the other end of the scale, the UK public sector only invested 2.3 per cent of
annual salaries in training and development in 1999. This is somewhat low
compared with other sectors in the UK, but in line with the public sector
average in the EU (2.2 per cent).
contrast, Belgium reported record high investments in the public sector (5 per
cent), reflecting a tradition of state support. Investments were also
comparatively high in the Finnish and Swedish public sector (3.6 per cent and
3.4 per cent, respectively) but – unlike Belgium – remained below their
national expenditure average.
manufacturing, the UK was on the same footing as its European competitors (3
per cent in 1999). Investments in the manufacturing sector also reflected the
UK national average. However, the 2004 data shows that manufacturing has
slipped back from its 1999 level, as have business services. It is other
industrial enterprises outside of manufacturing, the service sector (other than
business services) and the public sector that account for the overall increase
in training spend.
terms of training budgets, the UK has historically come in marginally below the
EU average. However, over the last decade, organisations in the UK have
gradually increased proportional levels of investments dedicated to training
and development. Relative to its past performance, UK organisations overall
have improved recently, though the aggregate figures for 2004 conceal a rather
worrying decline in training in the manufacturing sector.