Amazing in the current economic climate; fully funded training for leadership and management development is still available to a select few. If you happen to be a strategic person (director, leader or manager) in a SME in the North East the immediate outlook may not be so grim as funding is still available for leadership training and development. This said, the pot available is of limited size and awarded to those who qualify on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Fair or not, I guess this depends on your perspective and relative position.
To date, we at Sampson Hall have steadfastly and consciously avoided the funded route to providing our leadership development and training services, mindful of the perception apparently ‘free’ services hold no real value to the recipient. However, is funded training really free and do those who access this look at it as having no real value? The answer to the first question is “no”; the funding has to be found from somewhere and, one way or another, that somewhere is our taxes. The only people who can answer the second question are recipients of funded training, this said, without follow up on training the likelihood of any single training evolution yielding much of a return is low.
Fairness or unfairness of the ‘why’ in this instance largely remains a matter of opinion in my mind but what of the ‘how’. If a fund is managed conscientiously with the training and development services being properly scrutinised and validated as a client’s priority need the potential positive impact on both the business and the economy should be obvious. We have found an organisation who manage funding in just such an ethical way and they have also managed to strip the application process down in an extremely practical way to cover essential criteria only. They actually go to the trouble of validating the client need as opposed to ensuring the service provider ‘ticks all the right boxes’. I cannot help wondering if this is why there are still coffers in their fund when others are apparently empty.
So what? We always follow up our delivery of training through our ‘999’ policy and provide one to one support during the process if required. Therefore, if we work with an agency who really does exercise their guardianship of grant funds in such a way as to ensure the client’s needs are being properly met, we can make our services affordable to businesses who would otherwise find us cost prohibitive. A genuine win win!