Training and learning spending stagnant in Canada

    OTTAWA, May 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian organizations spend an average of
more than $850 per employee on training, learning and development (TLD), but
this level of investment has remained stagnant for the past decade, according
to the Conference Board's Learning and Development Outlook 2007.
    In fact, when inflation is considered, current TLD expenditures are 17
per cent lower than they were a decade ago.
    "Canadian organizations are under increasing pressure, due to a tight
labour market and competitive demands, to renew and upgrade workers' skills.
Building workers skills through training, learning and development is one way
for organizations to compete. Yet, TLD spending in Canada is stagnant," said
Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning.
    "Organizations appear unable to evaluate the effectiveness of formal
training on business performance. As a result, they may see it as a cost to be
minimized, instead of an investment that will yield a financial return."
    The Conference Board's ninth biennial survey of Canadian organizations
found that respondents spent 1.8 per cent of payroll on TLD ($852 per employee
on average). Employers also provided 25 hours of training annually per
employee, which is a 10 per cent decline compared to the previous survey two
years earlier. Measured in terms of per-employee expenditure and hours of TLD
provided, Canada's commitment to TLD is falling behind that of the United
    Other findings from the latest survey, which had 258 respondents,
    - Only four per cent of TLD courses are evaluated using measures that
      calculate return on investment. In contrast, 14 per cent of
      organizations do not track the TLD they provide at all.
    - Respondents in the knowledge-based industries-including organizations
      in the not-for-profit sector, professional services and financial
      services-spent the most on training, at more than $1,000 per employee.
      Industries such as wholesale/retail, education and health, and
      construction spent the least amount of money per employee on average.
    - Management personnel (at the level of supervisor or higher) receive a
      disproportionately large share of TLD budgets-44 per cent.
    - Informal learning, which is not well tracked or monitored, may be
      occurring more frequently. Respondents said 42 per cent of all learning
      occurs informally.

For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448;

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