Training and Development

A new survey by accounting firm Ernst and Young has found that graduates rate training and development potential as the most important factor in their choice of employer (BBC, 21st August 2007).Whilst 44% of graduates listed training as the most important selection criteria, only 18% stated that their annual salary was most important.Stephen Isherwood, head of graduate recruitment at Ernst & Young, said:

'Despite the many concerns students have when thinking about their future employer, it is still critically important for many of them that their new job offers them opportunities to learn, and to develop their own careers.' (Accountancy Age, 22nd August 2007)

There are some possible limitations of the findings of this survey however.Given the survey was hosted on the Ernst and Young web site, the majority of respondents are likely to be focused on those planning to enter financial careers only.Also, even amongst these financially minded graduates, the selection of an employer based on the level of training and development may be an indication of potential earnings in the future.Therefore whilst the starting graduate salary maybe less important, the long term financial rewards of work may still be key.

The importance of training and development both in the recruitment of quality graduates, and also in terms of the productivity of a business is recognised by many large firms.Within the Times 100 series, two case studies provide detailed profiles of the professional development provision with these aims.The Marks and Spencer case explains how employees undertake career planning to identify training needs. The National Grid case study considers how training provision is made in the context of workforce planning.


Training 'key in choice of boss' – BBC News, 21 August 2007

Survey: Training and development more important than salary – Accountancy Age

The Times 100 Case Study – Marks & Spencer – The role of training and development in career progression

The Times 100 Cast Study – National Grid – Developing skills in a large organisation through training and development

Suggested Study Questions:

What is meant by workforce planning?

What is the difference between training and development?

How might the provision of high quality training and development result in a market failure in the labour market?