Stein: 'Don't cut training spend'

Wyevale garden centre staff trainer Neville Stein is concerned that the credit crunch may mean retailers cut spending on training.

Stein told HW: "My view is that UK companies, and not just horticulture companies, spend a pitiful amount on training compared with our Continental European cousins.

"Training seems to be a low priority. It is seen as a cost rather than an investment and therefore could be one of the costs that is cut during a credit crunch," he said.

"I have no evidence yet that training is being cut but I am worried that companies may take a view on this and cut what pitiful training budgets they have as a knee-jerk reaction to a credit crunch.

"We learnt from the 1990s that we needed to reduce costs - but the mistake many businesses made was not to reinvest cost savings into growing market share.

"Now is the time to see where to make savings - strip out costs that do not add value to the business process, aggregate purchases to achieve discounts, improve efficiency and you'll save money.

"But these savings must then be spent on marketing and training," he added.

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