connected blue puzzle piecesHR research and advisory firm Bersin by Deloitte has announced new research that shows spending on training rose 15 percent in 2013 ($1,169 per learner), signaling a nationwide response by businesses to the growing skills gap. The industry study, The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014: Benchmarks, Trends, and Analysis of the U.S. Training Market, surveyed nearly 300 organizations and uncovered key findings, including:

• Mature organizations spend 37 percent more on learning and development (L&D) functions than the least mature groups. Additionally, most mature organizations have also adopted a “continuous capability development approach that allows them to be more agile with their responses to market change. This model of learning includes development planning, formal interventions, rotational assignments, coaching, mentoring, and sharing and collaborative learning.

• Technology organizations invest more ($1,847 per learner) on average and several firms have made significant investments for transforming their employees from product sellers to industry experts. Other tech companies have morphed the focus of their engineering teams to consumer electronics, Big Data, telecommunications, and cybersecurity.

• The largest share of L&D budgets go to leadership development, accounting for an average of 35 cents per training dollar. Tellingly, nearly two-thirds of all organizations cite leadership gaps as the top business challenge.

“The problem many organizations face today is not a shortage of people, it is a shortage of key skills, especially those in engineering, scientific and technical fields,” said Karen O’Leonard, vice president, benchmarking and analytics research, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Businesses are responding by investing more. And in mature organizations, this investment is not just short-term training – it involves building a ‘supply chain’ of skills to fill these gaps for the long-term.”


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