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New CIPD survey shows most training fails to match learning preference

A survey reveals classroom training is still the most common form of work related training, despite 46 per cent preferring on-the-job training or at the desk.

The 2008 Who Learns at Work? report is the third in a series of surveys carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The preference for ‘being shown how to do things and practising them’ was also evident in research undertaken in 2005 and 2002.

Martyn Sloman, CIPD Adviser, said: "As trainers we need to deal with the world as it is, not the world we would wish it to be. Trainers are no longer the sun around which learner planets revolve. Employees have a firm preference for more active learning opportunities. They certainly don’t like solitary or unsupported learning."

According to the findings, respondents aged 16-24 favoured the hands on approach to learning slightly more than the wider population at 50 per cent. This would serve to question the widely held belief that Y generation learning preferences are considerably different from older employees.

There has been a marked shift in training responsibility throughout organisations in the UK since the first report in 2002, with more training decisions being made from line managers rather than the HR department. This move is shown in a drop the the last three years of respondents stating that the training they received was initiated by the HR and Training department between, from 33 per cent in 2005 to 21 per cent in 2008. An increase in training interventions instigated by the line manager was also picked up in the survey, from 45 per cent in 2005 to 49 per cent in 2008.

The often reported idea that UK workplaces suffer from a mass of reluctant trainees was also challenged by the survey results, with 92 per cent of those who had received training believing that it had been successful. Some 79 per cent of the 751 respondents also said their employer provides them with enough training opportunities. Very few employees were also shown to decline training, and 82 per cent said they had received training in the previous 12 months.

Mr Sloman added: "The good news is that they are positive about learning and prepared to learn. We must work with them, not impose what suits us."

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