Learning and Development on a Budget

Your budget for the next year is set and one of the casualties is learning and development; meanwhile your employees are asking what training is available in the coming year.  Believe it or not, the two are not mutually exclusive and a reduced L&D budget may actually be the perfect opportunity to ensure you are maximising the return on training investment as well simultaneously meeting employee and business needs.

The following three areas hold the key to getting the most out of your L&D dollar:

 1.     Policy, Process & Structure

A clearly defined policy, process and structure will assist you to maximise the benefits of the learning and development activities you invest in.  Key areas to address are:

  • Ensuring alignment between individual and business objectives i.e. rigorous analysis of skills and/ or training needs versus your business strategy;
  • Actively evaluating the effectiveness of learning and development activities by reviewing their application in the workplace;
  • Reviewing supplier contracts with any external providers. This may involve negotiating discounts or consolidating suppliers;
  • Maximising internal organisation of training requirements to leverage economies of scale.  This may have the added benefit of bringing together employees from different parts of the business and be a positive influence on internal culture and relationships.
  • Ensuring a clear policy is in place detailing eligibility requirements, approval processes and retention clauses such as co-contributions, claw backs etc.

 2.     Select Effective Learning and Development Options

When seeking to reduce costs, the obvious first step is to reduce the use of external providers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to reduce your commitment to learning and development.  The following options, if managed properly, may even result in a more comprehensive program that delivers more bang for your buck. 


3.     Maximising Available Financial Support

Depending on individual circumstances, businesses and/ or individuals may qualify for either State or Federal Government incentives to supplement investment in apprenticeships, traineeships and training/ career development initiatives.  In some cases incentives are available from both levels of Government and may take the form of payments, allowances, reduced wage rates or taxation concessions.


Actively reviewing and managing learning and development within your business to maximise your return on investment has the potential to reap many benefits, including:

  • reduced costs;
  • career development;
  • knowledge retention; and
  • fit for purpose programs and structures.

But perhaps most importantly, an effective learning and development function will ensure that you have capable and engaged employees, best placed to drive the future success of your business.

Contact WCA Solutions - People & Culture Solutions if you require any assistance with managing your L&D Function, Industrial Relations and/ or general Human Resources on (08) 9383 3293 or

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