People illustration People theory

Training and development

Today people are often the key resource of a firm and their employment can make up at least two thirds of all costs. Well-managed training and development will usually add more value often far more value than it costs. And increasingly, a firm's competitive advantage depends more on the quality of its staff than on any other factor.


Training is the acquisition of new skills and knowledge relevant to a job. Development involves the growth of an individual's wider education and capabilities within a field of employment.

  • Induction training familiarises new employees with their role and responsibilities. Colleagues are introduced, systems explained and the expectations of the job are clarified.
  • On-the-job training is arranged in the workplace through instruction and observation.
  • Off-the-job training takes employees away from the immediate workplace. It may be 'in-house' using the employer's facilities or 'out-house' and provided by another company or college/university.


Development has a broader focus on learning and relates to a career rather than to a job. It emphasises the employee's potential to acquire more capabilities.

The government supports training and development through modern apprenticeships which give young people vocational skills through a mix of on and off-the-job training. The Investors in People award requires firms to demonstrate their commitment to training and career development for staff.



Supporting Documents

These downloads will help to put people theory into context using real world examples from real businesses.

Entering a new market with a new product
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Find out how Experian employed people theory to succeed in the financial services industry by downloading our premium case study.

Re-branding a Corporate Image
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Discover how Kellogg's used people theory to succeed in the manufacturing industry by downloading our premium case study.

Using sports marketing to engage with consumers
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Discover how Kia Motors applied people theory to prosper in the automotive industry by downloading our premium case study.

Creating the right marketing mix
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Learn how Motorola used people theory to thrive in the telecommunications industry by downloading our premium case study.