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Companies are increasingly seeing the value in learning and development

Rather than being regarded a tag-on to HR, businesses are starting to view Learning and Development as a separate entity that deserves investment.

We work across HR and Learning and Development in the North West, but it’s L&D that’s really standing out to me as a big area at the moment. The market for Learning and Development professionals is really buoyant. There are lots of jobs, and lots of great candidates.

This is true across the board, but it’s especially noticeable in sectors like manufacturing. Traditional businesses like this are gearing up for change, and working to become more attractive to new employees. So, what used to be product-focussed is becoming more people-focussed. We are actually currently carrying out a project to look into areas like this at the moment, because it’s such an interesting trend.

In general, companies are looking for strategic skillsets to push their business forward.

Depending on the role and the level, L&D is focussed on a more strategic approach to delivering training now. Companies are asking for people with experience in strategic design and implementation. Interestingly, L&D is becoming more of a business partner concern across sectors too. This means that companies are asking for more in-depth skills.

When it comes to the type of projects on offer, they vary massively. Things like health and safety and technical, business-critical projects always feature highly. But the thinking tends to be more expansive now, with companies considering the benefits of L&D from the shop floor to board level.

Remuneration can be a bit of a grey area though.

Salaries do vary depending on the company and the role. A Learning and Development Manager can get anything from £30k upwards. More strategic roles command around £40k-£50k plus. A Head of Learning and Development could expect £60k plus.

Contractors can earn a nice wage too. Day rates fluctuate between £170 - £220 at manager level, and up to £650 per day for end-to-end consultancy.

There are lots of London-based companies leading the way with L&D.

Big sectors investing in Learning and Development range from manufacturing to retail and hospitality. Examples of companies include Matalan, B&M, Thomas Sabo and The White Company. We’ve noticed lots of big national organisations with a London base setting the tone with L&D investment. You tend to find there’s a lot of travel involved with regional L&D roles though, as they often cover all the rest of the country.

The main challenge for me, is the competition with other agents.

Because it’s a busy market with plenty of jobs and candidates, there are a number of agencies looking after HR. But as Learning and Development is often seen as part of the HR picture, there aren’t really many L&D specialists out there.

The challenge is that our department at Rullion has only been going since January, and lots of candidates and companies already have relationships with competitor recruitment agencies. So, it’s down to us to build that trust and reputation. Relationships are so important in this sector. It’s not just about skill, it’s about people, so we need to focus on building those connections.

We predict things will stay busy for L&D this year.

There’s a real need to separate Learning and Development from HR. This is being made clear by the companies recruiting in the market, and as agents, we need to tailor our solution to fit.

More specialist Learning and Development recruitment agents are needed, and that’s exactly what we intend to offer. Lots of companies are really focusing on attraction and retention now, and that’s why getting the right talent to manage this is so important. Being known as a Learning and Development specialist is my aim for 2017.