Training budget surveys serve up wildly different responses to downturn

Two recent surveys of’ training budgets at UK organisations reached sharply contrasting conclusions.

One, by management training company MTD Training – of 120 learning & development (L&D) managers – found 61% of respondents said their budgets had been cut or frozen. Another, by Midlands training provider Beyond the Box – of 100 of its customers – claimed three out of four of those polled were not cutting their L&D budgets.

Beyond the Box managing director, Christine Knott, said: “It is encouraging to see that training is by and large proving recession proof as companies recognise the need to build on their competitive advantage by investing in people.”

But, commenting on his firm’s poll, MTD Training managing director Sean McPheat said: “It’s an indication that training is an area that is always one of the first to be hit when the purse strings need to be pulled in.”

MTD Training collected comments from an e-mailed questionnaires that was sent to 1,200 organisations across all sectors. One respondent at a college on the outskirts of London said: “As far as our own training budget is concerned it is nil. Everything is frozen because of the financial distress looming over us.”

And an L&D manager at a management consultancy said: “The crunch has caused my training budget to be cut in half.”

Beyond the Box said its survey indicated that 50% of respondents will be spending less than £500 per employee on training this year, with 32% planning to spend between £500 and £2,000 per head, and 15% more than £10,000 per employee.

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