The value of high-quality training

Q&A with an Assured consultant

Joanne Thirlaway is an educational and business consultant with over 15 years' experience in supporting organisations with learning and training needs. Joanne works as a consultant for City & Guilds, working with organisations to review their training programmes so that they can achieve assured status.

We spoke to Joanne to understand why organisations should be investing in high-quality training programmes and the benefit of it to employees and employers.

Why do you think the training is so vital in the workforce?

Training keeps employees updated in their skills, which helps to motivate teams, improve performance and productivity, which in turn lowers times and costs of completing work duties.

It can improve employee job satisfaction, give an organisation a competitive edge, improve employee performance as well as making sure that the staff can do their job correctly and confidently.

What do you think about the quality of most organisations in-house training?

Sometimes I see excellent in-house training in terms of really developing the staff and training. It can be innovative, bespoke to them and well-tailored. Other times I see a practice that lacks strategic planning and structure and doesn't have that standard approach.

And why do you think that it is so varied?

Some organisations have very structured training departments with well planned training across the whole business. They invest in training and value the importance of training their staff. Then others you might find that it is an ad hoc approach and investment isn't there in training.

What do you think are the main issues facing some of these organisations?

One factor is lots of younger people are entering the workforce with different behaviours and skills and some lack transferable skills.

Another big issue is the costs to be able to invest in the training; perhaps businesses are not well-educated into the effectiveness of this investment and the return they get.

Also, a lot of businesses lack the resources required for in-house training. Although some organisations have a dedicated training department in many cases, it's about finding the right people that are free to do the practice during their busy work schedules.

How important is CPD and in-house training in today's workplace?

It is extremely important because it ensures individuals are confident in what they do and improves efficiency and productivity. Having higher-skilled staff can help with brand reputation and retention so that essentially is a considerable cost saving, which is a benefit to the business as well as the individual.

And what are the benefits of in-house program training vs the qualifications?

There are pros and cons to qualifications vs in-house training. Qualifications are very valuable and will always have a place in career development, but in-house training tends to be a more flexible approach, it can be tailored to your business and bespoke to your business to meet the objectives and deal with the changes. In-house training can be developed and changed to make sure it fits the purpose and is always up to date.

What do you think the difference is between high quality and poor training - and what is the impact it can have on staff and their businesses?

Good training is well-structured, it will have clear aims and objectives. It will be purposeful, well-planned and relevant.

Poor training can have all the opposites, it's going to be a bit disjointed, contain errors, be out of date and won't be consistent; you might find that one training is delivered in one way and then the next time it's delivered in another way.

This will impact the business if the training is poor and employers won't see the relevance of the training and won't want to do any training ever again because they think it's a waste of time.

If you are not investing in good training people are going to feel like they're not fully trained and they're not confident enough. They might not feel right in their role and possibly leave the job and that's obviously costly for the business.

How does training recognition help organisations and individuals on these training programs?

It says to external businesses that you really invest in your people, training and processes. It is a strong message that shows an organisation is transparent in what they do, and proud to have an external expert in learning and training to validate their programme. The link with organisations such as City & Guilds and ILM gives that external brand recognition, showcasing excellence to the wider world and individuals that work for that business.

In addition, having that recognition is the opportunity to have your system, procedures, and training reviewed by others which is helpful in the development of your business. It helps your staff from a motivational perspective, especially if they're looking for a promotion. The badges give them the advantage to show other employers what they have achieved whilst on-the-job, which can be powerful to young employees.

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