Managers are getting the lions share of the training pie in British organisations, leaving those further down the ladder to compete amongst themselves for the little training budget that is left over.
Despite many enterprises claiming to have put in place company-wide training programmes, a survey carried out by Cegos UK found that priority is still given to training and developing managers at the expense of other staff.
Six out of 10 of those questioned said they felt management-level employees got the greatest access to training in their respective companies and more than half (53 per cent) felt their employers did not give them clear training goals to enhance their promotion chances and grow their skills level.
A further three quarters felt they were offered training that was not useful or relevant to their roles or future development.
"A good, company-wide training strategy enables the employer to build on people's long-term capabilities and also has a beneficial effect on motivation as people feel valued when they see you are investing in their future," said Jeremy Blain, Joint Managing Director, Cegos UK.
"Unfortunately many companies fall into the trap of spending their training budgets on expensive management courses, scraping the barrel when it comes to the rest of its workforce - their potential future leaders, and wondering why their organisation isn't gaining a competitive edge.
"It's also no wonder that return on investment from training is so hard to measure if so many people are getting the wrong training, even at management and leadership levels.
There needs to be a three-way contract between the company, employee and training provider to make sure learning interventions are far more learning goal focused and measurable."
Whilst the survey found that employees are disgruntled at the fact that management-level are, more often than not, awarded the cream of a company's training budget, they felt more empowered in deciding their own training direction.
The survey also revealed that companies are as committed to external training programmes as ever, with almost two-thirds saying they had received external training sessions during 2005.
Blain added: "An enterprise learns as its people learn. It is therefore important to promote a learning culture where employees feel they are making decisions in their training, whilst adding to their professional profile. So many companies fail to tap into this valuable mindset".