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Kent-based employers are missing out on a key plank of competitive advantage by failing to make the best of staff training investments and existing workforce skills, says Ashford-based specialists Calibre HR & Training. While all firms are focussing on making organisations as efficient and as effective as possible in a less favourable economic climate, Calibre HR & Training’s experience of the local SME market suggests too few are taking full advantage of their human assets.

“Employers typically spend about £300 on training for each employee a year – more for small employers - yet only a half use techniques to capitalise on that learning in the months afterwards. If skills are not reviewed and revisited within four months of any training, they will be gone. Not only is that a huge waste of money, but the company will continue to lack the skills it needs to compete,” says Calibre HR & Training director Tara Lloyd.

Calibre HR & Training also believes firms should do more to take advantage of employees’ transferable skills. “It is hard for all businesses in tricky economic times to invest in training – sometimes the money is just not there. This means it is even more important to tap into what you already have. Our experience is that local firms have skills in the workforce of which they are unaware. If you don’t know what your workforce is capable of, then you are not tapping into this ready-made resource. For instance, activities such as leading discussion groups or football teams, teaching judo or mentoring, PTA activities etc all require skills that could be shared and used in the workplace.”

Calibre HR & Training has published a free factsheet on getting more from skills in the business to help employers get the most from existing and planned training investments and identify other workforce skills that could benefit the business. The factsheet includes information on how to assess the impact of development programmes on business performance and how to ensure new skills are applied and developed back in the workplace. The factsheet also gives advice on introducing tools to get the most from new training investments and how to identify and utilise employees’ hidden skills.

Tara adds: “It goes without saying that firms need the very best skills they can get to compete in a tougher economic climate – well skilled staff also means lower staff turnover and better motivation. By monitoring where spending is going and what the benefits are, employers can invest where the biggest impact will be, curtail expense where not required and utilise internal or different resources to ensure the workforce remains more highly skilled than competitors’.”

For further information contact Tara Lloyd on 07775591354 or

Notes to editors
About Calibre HR & Training
Calibre HR & Training offers a wide range of HR and management training services with a network of associates across Kent, Sussex and Surrey. The firm’s directors are Steve Walker, Tara Lloyd and Elspeth Watt. Between them they have a wide variety of HR and training experience including for SMES, not-for-profit sector organisations and blue-chip companies.

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