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L&D spend to rise in 2009

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Only 17% of learning and development professionals expect their annual training budget to be cut in 2009.

According to research from training and learning and development organisation Cegos UK, 44% of senior L&D professionals think budgets will remain the same during the next 12 months, while 24% expect budgets in 2009 to increase.

Four out of 10 respondents (44%) said middle managers would be the focus of professional skills development in 2009, a third said individual team members would be a main focus and just under a quarter (24%) will make up-skilling senior executives a top priority.

E-learning will see growth in 2009 with 73% of respondents planning to use online means for professional development and 36% planning to increase their e-learning efforts. More than a quarter (27%) plan to use serious games for learning.

Blended learning will be the most popular approach with more than half of organisations taking this route.

Francis Marshall, managing director of Cegos UK, said: "Organisations are expecting more bang for their buck from their training budgets. Learning and development solutions today need to be accountable, cost-effective and less time-consuming. E-learning delivers on all fronts and is becoming increasingly appealing for many companies as it means less time spent away from the desk and more time being productive."

Trainer development will see budgets cuts next year, with more than a quarter of companies planning to reduce efforts in this area and 22% of respondents citing planned reductions in development programmes for senior levels.