Continuous Corporate Commitment to Employee Training and Development

(Monday, October 17, 2011)

Continuous Corporate Commitment to Employee Training and Development

Training needs greatly recognised with higher average training hours recorded



[17 Oct 2011 - Hong Kong]   Employees’ training and development needs were greatly addressed with a higher average number of training hours and continuous corporate commitment to training budget, according to the 2011 Training and Development Needs Survey by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM), which has been conducted annually since 1999 to identify the overall training and development needs of employees as well as the most important training topics during the year.


A total of 121 companies, employing over 139,000 full-time employees, joined the 2011 Survey conducted during the period from June to August 2011. Key findings of the survey are as follows:


Training Hours


100 companies provided data on this area. The average number of training hours per employee per annum rebounded from the record low of 17.9 hours in 20101 to 19.9hours this year. (Chart 1)


89% of respondents indicated that their employees received on average more than five hours of training per annum. (Chart 1)


The retail sector provided the highest number of training hours (28.3 hours), followed bybusiness services/professional services (26 hours), and transport/logistics (21.1 hours).


Investment in Training and Development


119 companies provided information on their company’s training and development budget, 95 companies (80%) indicated that they had a training and development budget for 2011.


The proportion of training and development budget to total annual base salary was 2.7%on average (reported by 80 companies), 0.1 percentage point lower than that in 2010 (2.8%). (Chart 2)


The construction/real estate/property development sector allocated the highest budget (5.9%). The wholesale, import/export, trading, distribution sector reported the lowest budget (2.1%). (Chart 3)



“The survey results showed that companies realised the importance of employee training by continuously spending on development programmes while the average number of training hours per employee per annum bounced back this year. We can see that employers put much emphasis on providing appropriate training for staff,” said Mr Francis Mok, President of the HKIHRM and Co-chairperson of its Learning and Development Committee.




Training Topics


Talent development programmes continued to focus on “development of high potential leaders/managers” (80% of 90 responding companies) and “development of high potential employees” (70% of 90 responding companies).


“Ethics/conduct/corporate governance” remained one of the top five important training topics for all levels of employee.


This year, “developing talent” was identified as one of the top five important training topics for senior management, first time since this topic was first tracked in 2010.


“Greater focus on talent development and staff potential indicates that in a global war for talent, there are increasing difficulties in recruiting top talent. Companies tended to strengthen their own workforce by exploring staff potential across different work levels. It is important to maintain a well-trained and high-performance workforce who can help with their employers’ sustainability under different economic situations,” said Mr Chester Tsang, Co-chairperson of the Learning and Development Committee of the HKIHRM.


Key Challenges in Formulating Training Plans


The top three challenges indicated by 117 responding companies are:


1.          training and development priority overshadowed by other business priorities (49.6%)

2.          lacking a systematic process to survey training needs (39.3%)

3.          soliciting full support and championship from management (34.2%)


Judging from the top three challenges, it is found that management support and the ability to identify training needs are important factors affecting staff development programmes.




“Organisations with vision will always highlight the value of training. Although ‘doing more with less’ has become the formula in most businesses nowadays, we believe that training and talent development can tie in with a company’s business priorities, instead of competing with them. A capable and effective workforce can always be relied upon to meet a company’s strategic objectives,” concluded Mr Mok.




-  END -

1. The number of training hours was tracked starting from 2007.


[Please click here to download data charts] 




As the most representative professional human resource institute in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM), a non-profit making organisation, has over 4,900 individual and corporate members. Founded in February 1977, the Institute aims at developing, maintaining and enhancing professional standards in HR management, and increasing the perceived value and influence of the HR profession. The Institute organises a wide range of professional activities such as multi-level training programmes and conferences, and provides services such as conducting surveys and publishing a professional journal. The HKIHRM is a member of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management which is one of the continental federations under the World Federation of People Management Associations. For more information, please visit our website at




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