Editor's message: Organisations will benefit from a competitive advantage if they develop their workforce - from apprentices through to future business leaders.
Access to learning and development opportunities not only enables employees to improve their knowledge and skills, but can also increase their engagement. It can also be a useful tool in retaining staff in a time of skills shortages and a strong labour market.
Investing in learning and development to remain competitive, or to implement a specific initiative such as a programme of leadership development, are key reasons for organisations to increase spending in this area. For organisations seeking to cut back on training spend, there are alternatives to simply reducing the output of their training activities - including making more use of online and informal learning methods.
Whatever the learning and development initiative, don't forget to pay attention to the most appropriate method of learning delivery, and evaluate the outcomes to ensure that your organisation receives value for money and meets business needs.
Rachel Sharp, HR practice editor
The education secretary plans to revamp the lesser-known Level 4 and 5 qualifications to encourage more students to study them and help meet employers' demand for the specialist skills they provide.
Apprenticeships should be seen as an opportunity to improve social mobility, increase productivity and develop a skilled workforce, according to a report backed by former education secretary Justine Greening MP.
Almost one million temporary workers are being excluded from skills development opportunities because of a poorly designed apprenticeships system, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation has claimed.
St John Ambulance talks to XpertHR about its programme to develop future managers and how this has increased self-awareness and improved practical skills, as well as leading to better relationships between units.
Only 13% of employees believe the learning opportunities they've been given over the past year have been very effective, according to new research.
Updated with information on the planned extension of apprenticeship service accounts to employers that do not pay the apprenticeship levy.
Only 13% of workers in the UK have a mentor despite employees highly valuing mentoring opportunities.
The government is to consider using "gender-neutral language" in apprenticeship standards to ensure women are not deterred from training for a career in traditionally male-dominated occupations.
The government is in serious danger of making apprenticeships unaffordable for smaller businesses, with reforms urgently needed to curb the continued decline in apprentice numbers.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to learning and development.