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The Cost of the Learning Transfer Problem is Bigger Than We Thought

Posted by Holton, Ed at Wednesday, 02/15/2012 9:30 am
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2.9 from 76 votes
ASTD recently released its new State of the Industry report and used a new methodology to calculate that the training industry spent $171 BILLION on training which is much higher than the $125 billion estimated the prior year. Note this is the direct cost of training only.

Typical estimates are that the cost of the wages and salaries for employees in training is roughly the same as the direct cost of training. That means that training really cost U.S. organizations about $342 billion, not $250 billion as previously estimated.

Even if we accept the high estimate that 30% of the learning transfers that still means that about $240 BILLION IS WASTED EVERY YEAR!!

Furthermore, even with a fairly modest 300-400% ROI (which is quite possible in good training) the total cost is A TRILLION DOLLAR training problem.

My regular readers know how appalled I am that we are willing to accept this huge waste in our profession. It is clearly the #1 problem in the talent development business today. WE MUST SOLVE THE LEARNING TRANSFER PROBLEM QUICKLY.

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