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.