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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Budget cuts see public servants improvise to get training


Public sector workers are being forced to turn to colleagues and the web to boost the skills that they require to take on new responsibilities, after budget cuts have led to workplace training provision being slashed.

According to a survey among 1,100 UK public sector workers undertaken by recruitment consultancy, Badenoch & Clark, about 14.5% are "now taking it upon themselves to source external training in core skills, often using independent research and searching the internet to meet the greater responsibilities now required of them, as job and budget cuts begin to take their toll".
Matt Gascoigne, the firm’s executive director, said: “While independent training and development is already well established among private sector employees, the public sector lags behind. The sector continues to face significant workforce challenges, and training is a critical area that has suffered in the recent cuts."
Therefore, as training budgets have been slashed, employers have increasingly encouraged staff to turn to internal and online training programmes and often only consider external training if it can be seen as a critical part of business development, he added.

"While turning to colleagues and independent research is not necessarily a bad thing, it is important that any training employees receive is reliable and informed, delivering education and development that ultimately benefits the organisation," Gascoigne warned.

Cost-cutting had also meant that just over a quarter of respondents were having to take on additional roles as team numbers dropped. About a fifth were having to learn new skills as roles merged, while about the same number were having to take on more responsibility and up-skill.
But reduced training budgets likewise meant that 41.1% of those questioned were having to learn the additional skills required to do their job either from colleagues or by reading independent research as external training provision was reduced. As a result, around 27.7% claimed to be receiving less external training than they were six months ago.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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