Headlines: May 21st, 2012

Public sector staff who survive the cuts are taking on additional roles which require new skills. Because training budgets have been cut this extra training need is being met by learning from colleagues and independent research.

A survey by Badenoch & Clark shows that over a quarter of respondents have taken on further roles, as jobs have disbanded and as team numbers reduce. The result of this change is that a fifth are learning new skills as roles merge, or have taken on greater responsibility with the need to up skill.

However, with reduced training budgets, nearly two fifths of workers must now learn the additional skills required to do their job from colleagues or independent research, as external training is reduced. Over a quarter of staff claim to be receiving less external training than six months ago.

Matt Gascoigne, Executive Director at Badenoch & Clark, said: “While independent training and development is already well established among private sector employees, the public sector lags behind. The sector continues to face significant workforce challenges and training is a critical area that has suffered in the recent cuts. As training budgets are slashed, employers are encouraging staff to turn to internal and online training programmes and are often only considering external training when it can be seen as a critical part of business development. While turning to colleagues and independent research is not necessarily a bad thing, it is important that any training employees receive is reliable and informed; delivering education and development that ultimately benefits the organisation.”

He added: “Good training and development is linked to strong levels of employee engagement and motivation. With workers now exploring the possibility of improving their skill sets separate to programmes offered internally, it is even more essential that public sector organisations view training as part of a successful retention strategy over the coming months. It is entirely possible that workers are seeking independent training in preparation for a new job.”