Training needs support: Mazzarol

THERE is inadequate support and encouragement for Australian small business owners to train themselves and their staff a study by the Society of Australian Certified Practising Accountants has found.

Similar findings also came from a Curtin Business School study.

The CPA study found, on average, staff in Australian small businesses undertook fewer than two training sessions per year and the annual amount spent on training an employee was just $262.

The Curtin study found small business owners lacked the managerial expertise to plan for growth.

Curtin small business unit executive director Tim Mazzarol said there was a clear message for policy makers in the research.

He said Australia lagged behind other countries such as Britain and Singapore where governments provided good incentives and encouraged small businesses to gain ongoing professional training and education.

“State and Federal Budgets, going back several years, have contained little other than tax deductions to assist small business with vital training and education,” Dr Mazzarol said.

“If Australian small businesses want to be competitive in the future, they must be internationally benchmarked.

But they are not currently investing nearly enough in themselves or their staff.

“It is noticeable that Australian small business owners are generally reluctant to train and educate themselves.

But if you don’t get the management right you won’t get the business right.

“There is a lack of awareness of the need to invest in their education and for many there aren’t sufficient incentives since the training levy was cancelled.”

Dr Mazzarol said small business owners had to systematically think ahead about human resource development.

“For many businesses, this is the main area in which they need to invest because, as their business is growing, the biggest issue they will face is to attract and retain good employees and develop them to the standard required,” he said.

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