Learning & Development

Study: Among European Nations, Britain Prioritizes Training the Most

A major survey of private-sector companies in Europe has revealed that British managers are the most ambitious when it comes to training their workforces. The study was conducted by the Cegos Group, a worldwide leader in training and development whose “blended learning” approach aims to provide the best learner experience by combining multiple learning formats (e.g., classroom training, e-learning modules, video conferences, webcasts, e-training programs).

Cegos recently published the results of its annual survey, called The Cegos Observatory’s Barometer: Training and Development in Europe. Around 600 human resources directors (HRDs) and training managers and 2,500 employees were interviewed for the project across France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK. The overall findings of the survey reflected the fact that many companies still do not rank training as a strategic priority—with the notable exception of the UK.


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The report addresses the “British exception” in its results, highlighting the following key differences found in UK companies:

  • British HRDs and training managers appear to be the most ambitious in terms of training—they regard their training policy as a tool for meeting the company’s challenges and objectives.

  • Fifty-seven percent consider that attracting and retaining talent is a “very high priority,” compared to 38% of French and German HRDs and training managers.

  • Almost 50% of British HRDs and training managers regard supporting their employees’ career project as a “very high priority,” compared to 28% for German HRDs and training managers.

  • British employees are also the most satisfied with their companies training policies: 84% consider that the policy implements all the requisite resources to correctly identify the skills they need (compared with 73% on average for employees in the other 5 countries, and 67% of Italian employees—the lowest level noted).

  • Eight out of 10 British employees believe the policy effectively informs them about the training courses they can participate in (compared with 6 out of 10 French employees).


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Francis Marshall, managing director of Cegos (UK) Limited, says, “The Cegos Training and Development in Europe survey is a major exploration of the training and development landscape across Europe, and the UK results show some very positive signs—clearly there is a significant difference in approach in Britain.

“The British data demonstrates that when companies use training policies effectively, integrating them into an active long-term strategy, it can directly increase employee satisfaction and their involvement in the training. Effective, high-quality training that truly engages staff is essential to the good health of any organisation—and to the development and retention of talented and committed employees.”

Mathilde Bourdat, Cegos training expert, also explained that the British employees are the only ones who prefer group training courses, and that British employees adhere better to training priorities established by their managers—something that is not always the case in other countries.