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Formal Worker Training Grows to Record Level

August 24, 1993|From Reuters

NEW YORK — The number of American workers receiving formal training from their employers surged this year to a record 47 million, a survey shows.

The 15% increase, up from 41 million last year, "is the biggest yearly increase we've ever measured," said Editor Jack Gordon of Minneapolis-based Training magazine, which tracks such data.

The rise in training is being underwritten by a 7% jump in training dollars, from $45 billion last year to $48 billion this year.

The magazine survey--conducted this spring and scheduled for release in the publication's October issue--covers companies with more than 100 workers. The magazine polled 2,500 of the 131,000 firms that fall into that category, Gordon said.

The survey reflects the efforts of companies engaged in "formal" training, as opposed to "casual, on-the-job" training. The formal training measured includes classroom instruction as well as computer- and video-based training.

Gordon said the bulk of the $48 billion spent, 70%, goes to pay the salaries of corporate in-house trainers.

Other factors pushing the training boom, Gordon says, are the computer revolution, which virtually mandates training, and heightened competition from Japan, "which has been a big kick in the side of the head to American employers."

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