Following two years of substantial cuts, training budgets saw what we can only hope is the beginning of a turnaround in 2010. This according to the Corporate Learning Factbook published by Bersin & Associates (which in 2010 surveyed 748 learning & development organizations from a range of company sizes and industries).
Overall, the Factbook tells us that companies spent 2% more in 2010 than in 2009, with average spending of $682 per learner. While this slight increase in L&D investment may be encouraging, it follows a pretty precipitous drop during the recent downturn, as the chart below indicates.
These figures tell us trends in overall practices; however, Bersin notes that the story is playing out differently in different segments. Large organizations, for example, fared better earlier in the downturn but have not been as quick to revive learning spending as their small and mid-size counterparts. Banking/financial services and government sectors are, in fact, continuing to curtail training expenditures while the technology, manufacturing, healthcare and retail sectors have seen increases of 4% or more.
And of course, like so many areas of people practice, the past few years have forced provided training professionals with the opportunity to fundamentally rethink how they deliver learning and development to their constituents. Another tiny piece of good news in this regard, training groups can pursue this objective with an average staffing increase of 6% in 2010 - to a median of 5.3 L&D staff for every 1,000 learners.
More information at the Bersin & Associates site.