By Daniel Hunter

In a challenging global economic climate, CEOs increasingly believe in the value of learning, with 93 per cent of business leaders in the UK telling global e-learning provider Skillsoft that they will either maintain or increase their training budget over the next 12 months.

The reality of everyday business pressures in a competitive, 24/7 marketplace can be seen in the fact that 42 per cent of the CEOs interviewed said the length of a course was a more important deciding factor than its content.

The format of delivery was largely irrelevant (a mere six per cent listed this as an important factor in choosing training.)

The importance of professional development is further underlined by the fact that a surprisingly low number of the CEOs cared about cost: just 13 per cent listed it as their most important consideration, and measurable return on investment from training mattered most to only seven per cent of respondents.

The UK study, conducted by OpinionMatters on behalf of Skillsoft, surveyed 500 CEOs of businesses with more than 250 employees, across 13 business sectors.

Firms at the smaller end of the scale had slightly different priorities. An even higher proportion cared most about course length (49 per cent), and cost also mattered more, with 12 per cent listing this as the top priority.

“This research shows that business leaders increasingly appreciate the value of learning,” said Kevin Young, managing director, Skillsoft EMEA. “However, while training budgets themselves are not being cut, the time businesses have available to undertake training sessions is clearly shrinking. Courses need to be more succinct and to-the-point than ever, delivered in highly relevant, bite-sized pieces. Cost may not be a priority for the CEO, but it will and should matter to the Training and Development team, and we work hard to set the standard in cost-effective learning with a measurable ROI.”

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