Survey: Travel training budgets will survive credit crunch

Staff training is unlikely to suffer as the industry comes under increasing pressure from the recession, a survey by sector skills council People 1st and ABTA has suggested.

Half of the 58 employers surveyed said their training budget would increase slightly over the next five years and 17% said it would rise significantly.

While the majority of businesses said they would be affected by the credit crunch, they had mixed views on how this would affect training and development.

People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom said: “Training budgets are often the first to be cut in times of economic difficulty, yet a lack of investment in training can lead to business failure.

“This piece of research shows clear commercial benefits of investing in training.”

Training is paying off for employers – 88% said their profits had risen since using training and 96% said customer satisfaction had increased.

However, just 34% of employers said recruitment has improved since they had introduced training.

With 91% of employees saying it was important or very important to them that a new job offered training, the findings suggest that employees are not always aware of what opportunities are available.

“This highlights [the fact] that organisations don’t market their training opportunities well enough to prospective employees,” said an ABTA spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, employees on the whole are happy with the amount of training they receive. A total of 81% said training had made them happier in their job and 80% felt it had helped them progress.

The survey covered 58 employers and 1,000 individuals. It was carried out over a period of six weeks from June to September 2008.

Type of training provided

A total of 71% of employees have received training in relation to new developments, while just over half (54%) have received ongoing development in the past 12 months. Induction or initial training has been given to 40% of all staff surveyed.

The most common forms of training provided by employers are familiarisation trips (82%), informal training (75%) and formal training (65%).

More than a third (37%) of employers provide formal qualifications for their staff.

The majority (80%) of staff have an input into the type of training or development they receive.

Main findings

  • 84% of employees have received training in the last 12 months
  • 82% of training takes place in the form of fam trips – the most common educational activity
  • 5% of businesses’ annual payroll costs and 7% of their annual turnover are spent on training and development
  • 23% of employers receive government funding to help put staff through NVQ and apprenticeship programmes
  • 15% is the average staff turnover – lower than the 30% average for the leisure, travel and tourism sector as a whole

Business benefits of development training

  • 96% of businesses believe customer satisfaction has increased as a result of training
  • 88% believe their profits have increased
  • 83% believe productivity has increased
  • 84% believe sales have increased
  • 72% believe customer complaints have reduced
  • 55% believe that staff retention has improved
  • 34% believe that recruitment has improved
  • 94% describe their company as a happy place to work
  • 98% believe that staff who are well trained are happier in their jobs
  • 96% believe that training pays off

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