According to the well known – and well respected – journalist John Charlton, writing for Personnel Today, a report from French e-learning specialist Cegos names UK companies as top of the European training league. The Cegos survey of 1,000 medium and large companies in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain found that 61 per cent of staff at organisations polled in the UK received training in 2007, compared with fewer than half in the other four countries.


UK companies also tend to be more e-learning focused in their approach to L&D, with 55 per cent of UK organisations providing e-learning, compared with 51 per cent in Spain and less than 50 per cent in the other countries. Cegos also said the average length of UK training courses was 14 hours, compared with 28 in Italy, 25 in Spain, 24 in Germany and 19 in France.


UK training spend is lower than other European countries surveyed, except Italy. The average UK training budget was £261,000, while it was £829,000 for France, £684,000 for Germany, £292,000 for Spain, and £236,000 for Italy. Other findings include:

  • 86% of UK and 74% of German respondents use coaching, compared with fewer than half elsewhere.
  • 43% of UK companies have a corporate university, compared with 47% in France and 24% in Spain.


Comment: After all those years of being told that the UK lags behind Europe in terms of formal education qualifications, this survey redresses the balance and offers a glimpse of reality. Basically, there is less vocational education and more vocational training in the UK compared with other European countries. So, we do things differently in the UK and it seems to have worked for over 150 years. And, by the way, today’s ‘technology strong’ approaches to learning delivery – e-learning, mobile learning and so on – seem well suited to the UK’s approach to corporate learning.