Training managers is a good way to thrive in recession

View Latest News Publish Date: 23-Mar-2009

Training managers is a good way to thrive in recession

Training and developing staff remains an important priority for employers, despite the economic downturn, but budgets are being squeezed and prioritisation of management and leadership development is the order of the day, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Seven in 10 employers say learning and development remains a high priority regardless of the financial situation – while almost half state that their economic/funding situation has worsened (46%), only a third (32%) say funding for training has been cut this year. A similar number (36%) also expect funding to decline next year.

The vast majority (81%) of learning, training and development managers in a survey of almost 900 have highlighted the development of management and leadership as the most important skill to embed in UK organisations in order to meet business objectives during the recession. Sixty-one per cent of those surveyed are investing in new programmes to develop the role of line managers to help them deliver effective training.

And despite government's effort to ensure skills gained from school, college or university qualifications directly relate to the world of business, 61% of respondents highlight business skills/acumen as deficient among this group. Business skills/acumen is also recognised as a key skill to develop in order to meet business objectives in the future.

Claire McCartney, learning, training and development adviser, CIPD, says:

"The recession is undoubtedly placing pressure on training budgets, but there is no evidence of budgets being slashed indiscriminately. A skilled and motivated workforce will be essential to ensure organisations are well placed to take advantage of the recovery when it comes.

“Our evidence shows that employers recognise this and are doing what they can to ensure skills don’t stagnate despite the tough conditions. The importance of training line managers will also be crucial to building the resilience needed to emerge in good shape for recovery. With training budgets under pressure, they will have a big role to play in ensuring on-the-job learning is delivered and in prioritising the training needs of their teams.

“Government could do more to help. The CIPD wants to see more of the Train to Gain budget spent on management and leadership training – particularly to support SMEs. Well trained people managers can have a direct and valuable impact on the performance of their staff and their organisation’s success.”

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