Written on: 18 August 2021
Written by: Frances Hardcastle
Share this post:
It’s no secret that keeping your employees’ skills up to date is a vital part of business success. Regular training can help your team develop new skills, keep up with evolving industry standards, and become more effective within their roles.
In this blog, we’ll take you through the various costs of training your team, so that you can maximise your training budget and identify learning and development priorities for your business.
In the UK, employers invested around £42.0bn in training each year, with an average spend of £1,530 per employee, according to 2020 government figures.
If this seems like a high figure – don’t panic. There is no one size fits all approach to building your training budget. Different industries and job roles have different training needs. Think about it – you wouldn’t expect an IT Support Technician, a HR Manager, and a Digital Marketing Strategist to have the same training plan. So why would they have the same training budget?
When deciding on a training budget from scratch, you need to think about what you want your training to achieve. You can define this by asking three questions:
So, how much would you typically be expected to pay for staff training? Staff training comes in many forms to address different business needs. This means that the cost of employee training can range from nothing at all to thousands of pounds. This all depends on the route you choose and the qualifications your team need.
Below, we look at the prices of some of the most widely used staff development routes:
Many online courses are free of charge, or available for a small monthly subscription. This means the main thing you’ll have to budget for the time it takes to find and complete a suitable programme. This kind of training can vary in quality – from detailed courses designed and delivered by industry experts, to hastily produced marketing content trying to sell related services to participants.
Online courses rarely result in industry-recognised qualifications, but they can lead to certifications that demonstrate knowledge or skills, such as a Google Analytics certification.
Professional qualifications consist of courses and assessments that are accredited by a professional body for your industry, such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), or the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
These qualifications follow a curriculum determined by the relevant professional body, and some certifications are mandatory within specific industries such as accounting and engineering. Training costs will vary depending on the professional body, course level, training provider, and delivery method.
As an example, a Level 4 qualification from a Chartered Institute can cost around £2500 for initial training and assessment, depending on your provider. As the complexity of the course content increases, so too do the prices. A Level 7 qualification (equivalent to a master’s degree) could set you back around £5500 without VAT.
If you choose this training route, it is also worth budgeting extra for membership costs to the professional body, and potential resit costs for any assessments as these can be billed separately.
Did you know that apprenticeships could be used for professional development? There are a wide range of qualifications in all kinds of professions, from Level 2 to Level 7 programmes. From entry level to senior management, there’ll be an apprenticeship programme to suit your training needs.
Professional development apprenticeships each follow a programme designed by industry leaders, resulting in a recognised qualification, extensive knowledge, and in-demand skills.
Apprenticeships are also great value, with some excellent funding options and subsidies available.
For example, a Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship is worth £15000 – but these training fees are either entirely pre-paid through Apprenticeship Levy contributions for large organisations, or 95% funded for smaller businesses.
This means a business with an annual wage bill of under £3m could expect to pay just £750 for a complete professional development programme.
Degree and postgraduate courses are another option for in-depth staff development and can be useful for senior staff working towards strategic goals. Some courses are accredited by professional bodies, which can provide high-level training for specific job roles.
As you might expect, professional development degrees, diplomas and postgraduate courses can be costly. After all, these are extensive training programmes which can take up to three or even four years of intense study.
If you choose this route for staff training, you should budget for tuition fees. These can be up to £9,250 per year for a degree course, or between £4,900 and £30,000 a year for a postgraduate qualification.
Training your staff is an investment. While browsing courses and price lists, you should keep one eye on the return on investment – the savings you will make through increased productivity, higher staff retention, and more successful outputs from your team.
The average employer spends about £3,000 and 27.5 days to hire a new worker – almost double the average training costs. According to the UK L&D Report, businesses who put employee learning and development at the heart of their strategy perform better and enjoy a low staff turnover rate.
People like to work for people who will invest in them, where they can grow their knowledge, develop their skills, and keep up to speed with the industry they love. Failure to build learning and development opportunities into your employee experience will only prompt your most driven employees to look elsewhere for career progression opportunities.
Investing in your team through training and development can reduce staff turnover and help people be happier and more productive in their role.
When it comes to training your staff, there are options to suit all kinds of development goals and training budgets. The key thing to remember is that training shouldn’t be a one-off event, but rather a continuous journey that you and your employees embark on together.
Choosing a training method that grows with you, such as an apprenticeship programme, can be a great shortcut to creating a solid personal and professional development plan for your employees.