Over 75% Of Cos In Romania Lowered Training Budgets By 30-40% In 2009

Over three quarters of companies operating in Romania lowered their training budgets by 30%-40% in 2009 because of the crisis and focused on in-house and online training, which led to a decrease of nearly 50% on the local training market, to EUR17.5 million, human resources experts said.


Imaginea articolului Over 75% Of Cos In Romania Lowered Training Budgets By 30-40% In 2009

Over 75% Of Cos In Romania Lowered Training Budgets By 30-40% In 2009

"The financial crisis triggered readjustments in most companies' plans and strategies. To use resources as efficiently as possible, human resources departments had to implements cost cutting measures and implement restructuring plans, cut professional training budgets and benefits," Bogdan Dragoescu, chief operating officer with Manpower Romania, told MEDIAFAX.

Madalina Balan, managing partner with recruiter HART Human Resource Consulting, said employee training budgets were 30-40% lower this year compared to 2008, as companies reassessed their training and development needs.

Companies also cut budgets for team building activities and motivational courses.

"More than half our clients have discarded training for now hoping to save money and direct it to keeping jobs and cushion the effects of the crisis. With all these efforts, companies will soon realize that challenges cannot be met with people trained for the relaxed and abundant period of the past years," said Florin Radulescu, partner with training firm Ascendis.

He added the local training market decreased by as much as 50% this year compared to 2008, to about EUR17.5 million.

Catalin Naftan, sales manager of PayLogic, which offers recruitment, payroll, staff management and human resources management services, said the main reasons why companies adjusted training budgets are increased workforce stability and cost cutting measures.

"Most companies discarded various training programs to cut costs and some even fully scrapped such investments," Naftan said, adding 78% of companies in Romania either lowered or completely cut their training budgets.

Also because of the crisis, most companies made it a priority to keep valuable employees and offer them training and sought customized solutions and blended training solutions, with online educational elements, said Matilda Crossman, managing director with training firm ExP Group.

Crossman said many employers resorted to in-house and online training.

"Some companies lowered their training volume keeping only what was strictly necessary and other tried, at any cost, to do in-house what they would regularly outsource, and a third category continued the programs that were in line with their business priorities. (...) The new requirements are radically different compared to past years. They are extremely specific and highly customized and target small groups in companies, to the detriment of standard, generic programs that cover a wider number of employees," said Radulescu.

He added training firms have had to adapt their services as demand declined.

In 2010, experts expect the training market to stabilize.

"The training market will stabilize, as those companies that offer a quality, different and cost-effective product will see stable, gradual growth, not similar to that in 2007-2008, but surely similar to that seen in stable, developed markets," said Crossman.

Radulescu expects a renewed interest by companies to invest in human resources since there is more and more talk of efficiency, increased productivity, cost cutting and sustainable growth.

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