Government report highlights ineffectual £275m training spend – poor transfer to blame

The National Audit Office (PDF link) has published a report on the government’s skills requirements which criticise the heavy waste of investment and lack of data on both the costs and benefits of training and development.

As the Guardian reported:

  • The government estimated that expenditure on formal training in 2009-10 was £275m (around £547 per head). The NAO found this to be a significant underestimate as the figure did not include informal training or the value of the time of staff attending courses.
  • Only 48% of civil servants believed the learning and development they received in the last 12 months had helped them to be better at their job.
  • The report also showed 80% of civil servants considered there to be skills gaps in their organisations. Of these, 84% said difficulties in recruiting skilled staff was a significant contributing factor.
  • An overemphasis on classroom-based learning has led to insufficient attention given to on-the-job training.

A key finding was that the development of skills needed to be integrated into day-to-day operations and the role of managers in developing staff was not being sufficiently exploited.

At Retenda, we are working hard to provide a highly cost effective mechanism to reinforce any training undertaken and to embed that learning into the day to day work environment. By providing an automated schedule of key content reminders and action prompts, recall is greatly improved which in turn leads to greater confidence and competence. Far less waste and much higher learning transfer – a win for staff in terms of improved job satisfaction, a win for citizens in terms of improved services, and a big win for taxpayers in terms of reduced costs.



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