Almost half of Australian businesses would rather hire talent than train existing employees -- and its a worrying sign for the future of the workforce

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Almost half (48%) of Australian businesses would rather hire talent than train existing employees, according to a new study from TAFE.

And while an overwhelming majority of Australian businesses (80%) believe they should invest more in staff training, 70% of businesses are finding it more difficult to hire workers with the specific skills needed.

“Now more than ever, having the right skills within a business is critical to its survival,” said Jon Black, Managing Director at TAFE NSW.

“While the need for transformation is recognised within Australian businesses, too few are offering staff strong training and development packages, under the belief that it’s easier, cheaper and less-time consuming to hire new recruits.

“When we speak to corporations about their training needs, there is a strong appetite for customised, flexible programs delivered by expert trainers that meet the specific needs of the business and can also be delivered to staff on-site.”

The report shows training is the second most effective way of keeping staff (20%), behind pay and incentives.

“Organisations understand that they should invest in people rather that hiring new staff but unfortunately when training is left to managers who don’t have sufficient time or expertise in training to offer a strong remit, it is often ineffective and staff are left with a poor experience,” Black says.

“This is where the need for bespoke, flexible training delivered by experts in their individual fields becomes some important.

“Businesses need to identify the skills they need not just for today, but also for the future; providing existing staff with ‘on the job’ learning and helping them to upskill with expert trainers. Organisations that invest in customised, specialist training for their staff will help to set themselves up for growth and success by developing an agile workforce of the future.”

For the report, TAFE NSW surveyed managers from 409 Australian business with over 100 employees, representing a variety of industries.

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