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Charities say cuts to training budget could threaten service provision

Charities say cuts to training budget could threaten service provision
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Charities say cuts to training budget could threaten service provision 1

Governance | Vibeka Mair | 6 Mar 2012

New research by Lasa has found that almost nine in ten charities are worried that the quality of service given to their clients will be affected by cuts to training budgets over the next decade.

Lasa quizzed 446 charity professionals on their training budgets and found 76 per cent felt that training and professional development were absolutely necessary for them to do their jobs well.

But, 86 per cent are worried that cuts to their training budget will affect the quality of service to their beneficiaries over the next ten years.

Nearly half (49 per cent) told Lasa that their organisation didn’t have a dedicated training budget for volunteers and staff to support the Big Society agenda, with a further 34 per cent saying that they “weren’t sure”.

Terry Stokes, Lasa’s CEO said “It’s important that in times of austerity, third sector leaders do not overlook the need to make provision for training and developing their most important asset, their staff. Our survey shows clearly how they are concerned about the knock-on impacts to services and more importantly, the clients who receive those services.”

Other key statistics from the survey include:
• Almost 74 per cent said that budget cuts were the main barrier to accessing training, whilst over half (53 per cent) cited ‘lack of time.’
• Over two thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said that their charities use e-learning.
• 65 per cent of respondents felt that a minimum number of hours of formal learning and development should be mandatory for charity staff due to the potential impact of charities’ work on the vulnerable and wider society.

James McHugh
Skills - Third Sector
8 Mar 2012

The recent survey by LASA raises some very good points about the importance of learning and development activity for both the quality of services which a charity delivers and to individual staff and volunteers in the sector.

In addition to this, we need to encourage further discussion about how charities consider learning and development activity in a more strategic manner. This covers more than just the amount of time spent training but also the quality of the training, how it is integrated into a charity's work, as well as how it fits in with the learner's skills and interests. We should also take time to reflect upon what particular skills might be required in the sector in the future and how these might be best developed.

LASA's research also highlights some of the well-known difficulties encountered by charities when it comes to accessing the right type of training, including blended learning. **content removed, please refer to community standards**

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