Training expenditures declining in Canadian organizations

    OTTAWA, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Spending on training, learning and
development (TLD) continues to decline slowly in Canadian organizations,
according to the results of the Conference Board's 10th Learning and
Development Outlook survey.
    Canadian organizations in 2008 spent an average of $787 per employee (or
1.5 per cent as a proportion of their payroll) on training, learning and
development. In real dollar terms, this level of expenditure represents a 40
per cent decline over the past decade and a half. Furthermore, employees in
2008 received an average of 20 hours training, down from 26 hours just four
years ago-a 30 per cent decline.
    "Compared to our leading competitor nations, our investment is modest.
Furthermore, training, learning and development spending may not be immune to
the pressure of the global recession," said Alison Campbell, Senior Research
Associate. "For the first time since the Conference Board began collecting
this data, more organizations are expecting a decrease in their TLD budgets
than an increase in the coming year."
    The report, Learning and Development Outlook 2009: Learning in Tough
Times, also provides insights about how organizations use informal learning to
augment employee skills. A majority of the 218 respondents believed that more
informal learning was occurring in their workplaces than in the past.
Respondents estimated that on average 56 per cent of all learning in their
organizations occurred informally, a significant increase from previous survey
findings. Respondents to the Learning and Development Outlook survey in 2004
said 33 per cent of all learning occurred informally; this number rose to 42
per cent among respondents to the 2006 survey.
    More than half of responding organizations indicated that they have
altered their TLD strategies in response to growing skills shortages. However,
two major groups in the labour force-mature workers and new Canadians- are not
being widely-targeted by employers for training. More programs for these
groups could help address skills shortages in the labour force.

    Learning and Development Outlook 2009: Learning in Tough Times summarizes
the results from 218 responding organizations. The survey was done in
partnership with The Canadian Society for Training and Development.

For further information:

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

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