Are training costs getting out of hand? Can they be justified?

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    karen deller

      Hi Des, you are right.  and it appears that the bigger training companies are the ones that are charging the most  – and getting away with it.  i think that other big and listed companies feel more secure working with big training companies so they accept the over-inflated prices simply for the security of dealing with a large, national provider.  they associate size with quality – and the two don’t always go hand in hand.  (Not to say that all small providers are better – many are not.)  KD


      Hi Des

      In my field, the powers that be often engage the services of a “so-called” expert from the bigger centres  who charges in the region of R10K plus travelling and accommodation for a two day program.

      The funny thing is that when this “expert” opens his mouth, one quicly learns that he knows nothing about the Region – one cannot compare our “plaas” here in P E. to Gauteng and also these ‘experts” come from multi national conglomerates and really knw nothing about small business. While here, “back at the ranch” we have SME Specialist who have been engaged in SME development for 10 years +

      What a waste!!!!


      Good morning.


      We (Skills Factory) also posted a similar topic on Tuesday. 


      “The following pattern is emerging where service providers offer incentives for learners who attend their public courses, e.g.

      – A Free two nights Luxury Hotel Accommodation
      – Blackberry
      – Laptop

      This offering invariably impacts on the affordability of training interventions.

      How does this impact on the affordability of skills development in South Africa?

      What is the role of SETAs in addressing this?

      What are the ethical implications?”


      Training providers that deliver quality, SETA accredited training finds it difficult to “keep up” with the other providers, that is not accredited, offering these incentives.  Being SETA accredited and having to do assessment and moderations and all the hidden costs that comes with it, it makes it impossible to still entice learners with these incentives as then the price will be through the roof. 


      Although it is a public course, usually an employer pays for the learner, so who should actually receive this laptop or Blackberry?


      @ Kaybee – This is the problem, there is no fixed rate.  And I have a suspicion that the companies that offer these incentives pays the minimal.  If heard of providers paying R500 per day.

      Irene James

        Hi Des

        One has to compare apples with apples if you are looking at costs – Unit standard based, accredited training, which involves the production of portfolios of evidence, internal and external moderations and verification is very costly and will naturally cost far more than workshop type short courses, which many Providers still offer. It takes an entire team to support the delivery of accredited training if it is done properly.

        Our experience has been that organisations who are serious about developing their employees, (for the right reasons) and who have a learning culture,  know what they are looking for and do their homework.  Once they have investigated all the requirements, they are prepared to invest accordingly – because they know what the ROI will be. And they are not shy to state their expectation of the intervention, many of them wanting intensive customisation of material (which involves workplace research by the Provider).

        These same organisations are quick to point out that they have burnt their fingers through “cheap and nasty” interventions, which are ultimately the most expensive because your return is worse than nil – it is a negative when you consider the damage it does to motivation to learn, reputations etc.

        Quality costs, but as a Provider, you are only as good as your last intervention – so exceeding expectation is often the “Norm”.

        Irene James




        talk to me, Nompe. I will get you good quotes

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      One thought on “Are training costs getting out of hand? Can they be justified?

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