Training news

What a waste

One-quarter of all training is wasted because of poor support from line managers.

So claims learning service firm KnowledgePool, which asked 1,000 delegates from major UK companies who have attended training courses this year how effective these had been.

Some 30% said they did not get the chance to apply their learning, while five out of six – a quarter of those polled – blamed their line managers for failing to give adequate support.

This flies in the face of the Kirkpatrick model – especially the level 3 benchmark, which stresses the importance of line manager support in making training and learning effective.

“Most training delivery is evaluated at Kirkpatrick level 1 using ‘happy sheets’, and the results are invariably good,” said KnowledgePool’s learning strategy director Kevin Lovell. “Ask them two months later whether they had used what they learned, and how much line manager support they had received, and you often get a very different picture.

“This survey clearly illustrates that line managers play a pivotal role. Where their support is evident, there is a much higher transfer of learning to the workplace.”

KnowledgePool plans to use the benchmark data in its learning management system.

The research was conducted between April and September, and included respondents from the public and private sectors.

Download kills the VCR

Training material provider Video Arts plans to make much of its video and DVD training catalogue available online early next year.

According to managing director Martin Addison, customers will be able to download complete programmes or short clips that can be incorporated into bespoke training programmes. At the time of going to press, prices for downloadable videos had yet to be decided.

Alan Harvey, director of training materials supplier Open Mind, said Video Arts recently spent a day with his team explaining how the downloadable service will operate. “The AV training market is changing, and Video Arts is ahead of everyone else,” he said.

However, Fifty Lessons, which provides audio visual leadership training products, supplies iPods with pre-loaded video clips from its library.

Harvey said the move to downloadable video would not adversely affect Open Mind’s business. “Customers come to us for advice on where to find particular training materials, so that won’t change.”

He added that this year, there had been an 80:20 split between sales of DVDs and videos respectively. Harvey expects the market to be totally DVD by the end of 2007.

The winner takes it all

Winners of the 2006 World of Learning Awards had their moment of glory at the National Exhibition Centre last week.

Jeremy Hall, managing director of Hall Marketing, won the Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry award for his development of computer-based simulation and modelling techniques for use in management training. Hall, who has a professional background in manufacturing management in the electronics sector, has developed 60 simulations since 1970 for clients in the corporate sector.

He set up his company in 1983, and was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 1995 by then prime minister John Major, for his study of the use of computer-based simulation in management development and business training.

Other winners were:

  • Training manager: Shokat Lal of Coventry City Council
  • Training venue: The Source at Meadowhall, Sheffield
  • Learning innovation: Polestar UK Print
  • Generic solution: BT Expedite
  • Blended solution: Comet Group
  • Bespoke solution: BSkyB’s fire safety programme
  • Online solution: Auralog

Winners received a trophy, a certificate, and the right to use an awards logo on their literature. The awards were presented by TV comedienne and impressionist Caroline Bernstein.

Training for chuggers

Chuggers (slang for ‘charity muggers’, or street fundraisers) with ambitions to work in the mainstream charity sector will be offered formal training next year.

Future Fundraising, a company which seeks to raise funds for charities, plans to set up the Fundraising Academy next year. It will focus on basic qualifications, which should help enable attendees find jobs with charities.

“The course will comprise 15 weekly, two-hour evening sessions, running over four months, and possibly a summer school,” said Future Fundraising’s managing director, Rupert Tappin. “I’m talking to EdExcel [an exam body] to have the course accredited. But, in any case, delegates will get a qualification at the end of it which will help them get a job with a charity.”

He said the course will take up to 25 students who will pay fees of £250 to £300. These will be re-funded if and when they find jobs with charities through Future Fundraising’s recruitment arm. “That’ll be covered by placement fees,” said Tappin.

“Many people become street fundraisers because they see this as a first step towards a career in the voluntary sector,” he added.

“I’ve been working in fundraising for eight years and I’ve never been able to understand why all the training and qualifications are aimed at people who are already doing the job, while there is nothing for those who’ve never done it, but want to.”

The fundraiser training will include: corporate, statutory and trust fundraising; customer service; database and IT skills.


Banking giant HSBC is rolling out ‘learning pods’ in 1,200 of its UK branches.

These workstations will serve as access points to various training and learning-related services. These will include: a weekly TV broadcast to HSBC staff online learning a library which will offer books, DVDs and CD-Roms the bank’s intranet and external learning sites and information and booking facilities on and for internal courses.

The bank’s head of learning and development Ann Ewing said: “We need to bring learning opportunities to people at their finger tips. And being able to roll our training over a wide area is extremely exciting – it means we will be able to respond more quickly to changes in customer needs and continue to improve customer service.”

Satisfaction on the up

The number of staff who are satisfied with the training they receive is rising, but a significant minority remain dissatisfied.

According to staff research specialist ORC International, which conducts an annual survey into employee satisfaction on various work-related issues, 63% of UK staff are satisfied with the training they receive for their current job. This is up from 58% in 2001.

The research covered five sectors: retail housing finance local government and central government. ORC said satisfaction levels were highest in retail, and lowest in central government.

The 2006 results were based on recent research from its database which, it said,contains data from more than 200 employee surveys, providing the views of 1.4 million staff on employment issues.

Tomorrow’s world

Tomorrow’s learning and development world will be dominated by technology.

A report, The Future of L&D 2006-2010, predicts a more prominent role for technology and the death of the training room. Its author, senior HRD consultant Will Doherty, said digital studios will replace training rooms, and much of the focus of training will be on innovation, automation and creativity, which will be key skills for competitive advantage.

Among his other predictions are:

  • The mobile phone will be a knowledge management repository
  • Text will replace e-mail
  • A large amount of L&D training will be delivered by podcasts
  • L&D will become known as performance support
  • Environmental factors will cut off-site programmes.

Doherty warned that today’s audience requires a style and means of learning that delivers in minutes. “Delegates do not want [to spend] hours or days listening to a presentation.”

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