Public sector cutting back twice as fast as private sector, says CIPD

The public sector is twice as likely as its private sector counterpart to report a reduction in external conferences, workshops and events (50% compared to 28%).
The figure comes from this year’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) Learning and Talent Development Survey of 600 organisations to be revealed in full at the CIPD’s annual HRD Conference and Exhibition, 6-7 April, at Olympia, London.
Over two-fifths of organisations report having cut funding (43%) forlearning and development this year, with 42 per cent anticipating a reduction and only one in 10 anticipating an increase in the next 12 months.
Over a half (54%) of organisations claimed their economic circumstances had worsened in the past 12 months, according to the CIPD survey, with a third moving to reduce the use of external suppliers in favour of in-house provision. However, two-fifths reported they have become even more business-focused due to the adverse circumstances.
Although companies have increased their training offering to a median of five days per employee, compared to four days per employee in 2010, the survey found, they have also increased their use of less costly development practices such as e-learning (54%), coaching by line managers (47%), in-house development programmes (45%) and internal knowledge-sharing events (37%).
The private sector is three times more likely to report that funding of learning and talent development will decrease in the next 12 months (76% compared to 26%), the CIPD found.
CIPD Learning and Development Adviser Dr John McGurk said:
 “With the full impact of the spending cuts yet to be felt in the public sector, maintaining support for employee development by linking it to organisational change is essential if organisations are to steer through these uncertain and challenging times.”
Dr McGurk was encouraged, however, that during the tough times organisations had “coped well with reduced budgets”.
In the private sector, the picture had picked up, Dr McGurk noted. “Not only have we seen learning and development being prioritised more in the recent recession than in previous ones, we’re also seeing a strong bounce back from firms recognising that investing in skills is the best way of capitalising on recovery.”
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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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