Is the Training Industry in Decline?


In a recent post on the LinkedIn ‘Training Managers’ Group’, SK Jumah wrote “In this short post I would like to get some feedback from different areas around the globe about the current situation of the “Training Industry”.  This post attracted replies from a number of different trainers based in eight different countries.  All these writers agreed with SK Jumah pointing out similar experiences in their country.  I have captured some of the main reasons given for this trend and would be interested to know if other members of the training industry would agree on this trend in the Asia-Pacific area.


Graham Borley:  “What you are seeing is a global phenomenon.  In all cases where the business comes under financial pressure the reaction is to always ‘look closely at costs’.  If training is considered only to be a cost item rather than a strategic initiative that has a real and measurable impact on business performance it will be vulnerable to cuts.


Munib Amin Shadid:  “I agree with your argument Jumah; however the reason behind the decline in TI in my opinion is mainly due to the failure of training departments in convincing the leadership of the organisation that training activities are paying their bills and impact directly on the bottom line.”


Kirsten Cusak:  “I think many organisations are less likely to outsource training because of the way people want their information now.  Over the last few years, I’ve seen a rise in just-in-time learning (classroom or on-line) which is very difficult for a vendor external to a company to produce.  In addition, more and more companies want training to be relevant to their needs – this includes a component about the company culture – which is extremely difficult for someone outside a company to understand.”


The rest of the comments were in a similar vein to the above.


In looking for a solution I believe that (if we do accept this trend) the Training Industry has to look to modern solutions and amongst those is just-in-time training.  Modern L&D solutions provide a huge edge over the older course based training and the cost can be as low as $10 per head per year.  What’s more the client gets a much superior content than what any one training provider can offer.  Some on-line providers (Modlettes) make it possible for the design of just-in-time programmes to be created in-house as DIY thus preserving the culture and the stories that are exclusive to the company.