New Article in Training and Development – the magazine of the AITD

Well I hope everyone had a merry christmas and is looking forward to the new year. I just though that I would share with everyone my latest article which has been published in Training and Development Magazine which is published by the wonderful folk at AITD.


So it has been a big year and I just want to thank everyone for all of their input, help, assistance and of course for reading my blog and offering your comments.

I am going to have a week or so off now, until after Christmas, and then I will be back in the swing.

So everyone have a happy Christmas and a I loom forward to talking to you all in the new year.


ASTD 2012 State of the Industry Report

Once again ASTD have released their State of the Industry Report for 2012

and as usual the figures and information contained in the are extremely interesting.  I just want to pick out a few  of the figures that really jumped out at me.

  • A 4% drop in training expenditure per employee from $1228 to $1182 between 2010 and 2011 with Healthcare having the highest spend per employee of any industry area’
  • Employee’s spent on average 30.5 hours in training over the year, which is again slightly less that last year but still substantially higher than a decade ago,
  • Direct expenditure as percentage of payroll was 3.2%, which was from 2.7% in 2010,
  • One that I find really interesting to consider is that in 2011, 29.9% of the total L&D spend was on external services and 14.3% on tuition reimbursement, with the balance being spent on internal L&D related costs, which represents a more than 10% increase in both the external and reimbursement areas, and the final one
  • The cost per learning hour rolls in at %85 (this is the cost to provide one hour of learning to one employee).

In terms of  the type of training and content;

  • the top three content areas where,
    1. Managerial and Supervisory Training
    2. Professional or Industry specific Training
    3. Business specific processes and procedures
  • Executive development, customer service and basic skills (including computer skills) were the bottom 3 areas,
  • Instructor lead training was still the most popular delivery method accounting for 59.4% of all training delivered, and
  • 68% of organisations do not make any internal learning content available via mobile devices.

So what does all of this say and mean.  Firstly it needs to be noted that the vast majority of respondents whose data is used in this report are from the US and in this years report there were substantially more large organisations represented than in previous years, however that being said I think there are some interesting discussion that could be had around the costs associated with training.  I also think the fact that Managerial and supervisory training is seen at the top area for content delivery points to the fact that lack of front-line and mid level management skills in staff are an issue for all organisations everywhere.


So if you have the opportunity to read through the whole report it is well worth it as it makes interesting and thought-provoking reading as always.

Business savvy and consulting skills for the modern L&D professional

This is a really good post from Lightbulb Moment. We need not only to be good business managers ourselves, but we need to connect strongly with the business we serve.

Learning and Development is changing – for a number of reasons and in a variety of ways. Aspiring and emerging L&D leaders are working hard to get L&D to the “top table”, to raise the profile of their roles, teams and what we all know L&D can and do offer the business.

This is often a struggle in a variety of organisations. For some, the skills, behaviours and attitudes of its own staff are stymieing it: L&D staff capabilities are responsible for 51% of the success, according to CLC research [the Corporate Executive Board paper titled “Improve the Impact of the L&D Function on Business Outcomes” is now a broken link].


Does the business need L&D?

For others it’s about those in a position to make a difference not seeing what the economic climate means to business, or their direct reports not being able to tell the story that convinces…

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Government Response to QLD Skills and Training Taskforce

The Queensland Government has released it official response to the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce Report.

The response released a few days ago is no real surprise with the Government fully supporting 35 of the 40 recommendations and providing in principle support to the other 5 recommendations.  So which of the recommendations did the government only support in principle?  Recommendations 2.1-2.5 all of which relate to the creation of an Industry led Skills Commission were only supported in principle, with the Government committing to;

• rejuvenate the state’s industry engagement arrangements to better meet industry skill
• clarify the contribution of Industry Skills Bodies in gathering advice and insights from a
broad range of industries across the state.

So why didn’t fully support and accept them, personally I think it is an issue of timing and funding.  Skills Queensland already exists and operates exceedingly well within the confines of its powers, although criticisms have been raised of the level of industry engagement it undertakes.  A clarification of the role of Skills Queensland and a strong separation between purchaser and provider as outlined in the recommendations is something that could be done relatively quickly, but in terms of timing it is probably better to deal with the issues surrounding TAFE and get the public provider running more efficiently, effectively and competitively before implementing any other changes.

There are also a couple of other things in the response that I think are worth noting;

  1. direct public training investment towards qualifications that are more likely to lead to  employment – This needs to happen as soon as possible, if there are not strong employment outcomes why is the training being publicly funded,
  2. make funding for entitlement training fully contestable from 1 July 2014,
  3. target training funding towards VET in Schools options that deliver clear employment pathways – Less funding for arts and entertainment (video game design for example) and more funding for Trades and Health and Community Services,
  4.  refocus TAFE Queensland to operate commercially and provide training that is responsive to industry and student demands,
  5. work with TAFE Queensland employees and unions to negotiate a modern enterprise agreement that delivers increased productivity outcomes – See my previous post,
  6. open up third party access arrangements by the end of 2013 with the aim of maximising use of public training assets – private providers able to use TAFE facilities, what and excellent idea.
  7. establish a parent entity for TAFE Queensland, independent from the Department of Education, Training and Employment – This should assist TAFE with the transition, particularly if the right people are put in place from the word go.
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