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Training Investment Rises by 50%

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Business investment in training and staff development is up by more than half, according to the CBI

According to the latest CBI’s Employment Trends 2004 survey, 57% of employers increased the amount of job-specific training offered to their staff during the past year and 51% had increased their expenditure on training, with only 7% reducing spending.

The study found that employers primarily use training to ensure their staff have the competencies required to do their jobs, and a significant proportion (33%) of employers have increased their use of competence standards.

However, although employers concentrated on job-specific training, over the past 12 months more than half (51%) have increased their provision of more generic, transferable skills training and a quarter have increased their provision of training beyond the needs of the employee’s current job.

And satisfaction rates with external providers were high, with 90% of respondents saying they were happy with the service provided.

However, as previously reported, skill shortages were found to be a problem, seriously affecting almost a quarter (24%) of employers, with shortages most acute in the construction sector.

Furthermore 83% of employers reported an impact on business performance due to skill deficiencies among their existing workforce.

Internationally, UK companies compared well on training, almost half (45%) of employees participated in training in 2003, compared to the OECD average of 27%, and had, on average, 30 hours of training in 2003 – again, well above the OECD average of 21 hours.

Of employers surveyed by the CBI:
* 57% had increased job-specific training
* 51% had spent more on training
* 51% had increased provision of training in transferable skills
* 24% felt their business was seriously affected by skills shortages
* 90% were satisfied with the training received from private providers.
* 45% of their employees were engaged in training over the year averaging 30 hours each.

* The Employment Trends Survey 2004 involved more than 500 employers and covered approximately 750,000 employees in the private sector.

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