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The advantages of off-site training

By JAMES COAKES Published 10th Nov 2014
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Training employees in-house has its advantages, but it's not always the best solution. Investing in off-site training has some key benefits that make it the preferred option in many situations, and an absolute requirement for employees in some jobs and industries. There are varioius reasons why choosing off-site training is the best option, and here are just a few.

No additional administration or resource management

Although many companies do save money by training in-house, it's not always the case that in-house training is less costly. Aside from purely financial considerations there are plenty of associated indirect costs in terms of time and resources spent. One-on-one training sessions are often fairly simple to organise, but when it comes to large group sessions, outsourcing can be much easier to organise since everything is prepared and provided including trainers, equipment, and space.

In-house training courses need space and equipment for training sessions, and the completion of administration tasks for preparing and evaluating training materials and employees who complete the training. These are all tasks that are removing one or more employees from their normal role, and which often aren't completed as efficiently as they would be by professional trainers and facility managers.

As well as this, when training facilities are maintained in-house, they typically go unused at least half the time, and maintaining equipment in these rooms is a time and budgetary drain that isn't always worth the cost. In all but the largest companies, dedicated training facilities are, unfortunately, often a wasted effort, especially if usable space is at a premium.

Delegates get to go off-site

There are advantages for employees in on-site training, but one big disadvantage is that when employees train on-site, there's always the chance that they'll be pulled out of a training session by a supervisor or coworker for one reason or another. When they go off-site for training it means they get to focus on the training without interruptions and distractions.

Another benefit is that heading off-site for training gives the whole exercise some additional gravitas, which means that it's probably going to be taken more seriously, rather than simply being viewed as a day off from work. Employees are more likely to sit up and take notice in a new and unfamiliar environment, rather than in one that they work in every day.

Networking opportunities

Employees who go off-site for training opportunities get to meet new people, and take advantage of some potentially valuable networking opportunities. Meeting people from different companies is also a good way for employees to get new ideas and new perspective on their jobs, as it gives them the chance to talk with people who might do things differently.

Better opportunities for niche employees

Sometimes, outsourcing employee training and education is not just an option, it's an absolute requirement. People with highly specialised job descriptions, such as IT employees, need ongoing training to ensure their knowledge and technical skills remain current. Since small and medium-sized companies tend to have small IT teams, it's highly inefficient to develop in-house training sessions for these staff members. Since these employees need highly specialised training, it's much more cost-effective, and time-effective, for niche workers to head off-site instead.

The image used is one of DeVere venues' meeting rooms. They have hotel style training facilities all over the country.

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