Financial services 'less involved' in training

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The finance, banking and property companies, which represented 10% of the 800 training managers surveyed, spent less time on the 'creative activities' involved in designing training programmes and the bulk of their time on organising training.

Not only are the majority of managers (91.7%) heavily involved in managing the delivery of training, but for 94.9%, providing advice to line management takes up a substantial portion of their time.

'The IPD survey finds that although the majority of companies in the UK expect to maintain or increase their training budgets, they generally underestimate the costs of training. This is particularly true in the many companies that do not have separate training budgets.

The majority of respondents (75.9%) indicated that training managers were not involved with forming information strategies in their companies. 'This could be an area where the profession is being excluded from significant developments,' says the report.

The most widely used methods of training remain the traditional ones, namely on-the-job training, face-to-face training courses, formal education courses and conferences.

Of the more recent work-based techniques, there is extensive use of coaching and mentoring. But new technologies are expected to be the growth area in the next year, with the largest expected increases in the use of intranets (69.6%) and the internet (69.7%). The use of extranets is expected to grow by 52.6%, CD-Roms by 60.7% and other forms of computer-based learning by 57.9%.

However, the report says: 'What is striking about the new technology-based methods are the low effectiveness ratings when compared with traditional face-to-face techniques. The internet and intranets had positive effectiveness scores of only +9% and +6.9% respectively, about the same as open learning.'

The IPD suggests these relatively low scores may well reflect a high level of uncertainty among training managers about the effectiveness of these new technology-based methods when compared with stand-up forms of instruction.