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Is training going to waste?

HR departments lose out as benefits from licensing aren't utilised

According to Microsoft, UK businesses are overlooking the training benefits associated with Microsoft's Software Assurance package because of a disconnect between the financial departments purchasing the licenses and the HR department who could drive value for the business from additional training.

Alex Keay, Group Manager Training and Certification, Microsoft Limited, explains further. "Getting HR involved in this process is crucial as businesses are missing out on training that boosts IT productivity in the workplace. As many as 22%* of UK employers say the skills of their workforce are not up to scratch and that this adversely affects the bottom line. A third of employers also recognise this as a failure to train their own staff. The training that comes as part of the Software Assurance package is one way that Microsoft is helping to address this issue."

Companies purchasing Software Assurance are entitled to a number of benefits, depending on the licensing agreement. Businesses can receive a range of training entitlements from e-learning to full instructor led courses from Microsoft Certified Partners for Learning Solutions (CPLS) who are the authorised channel for training on Microsoft products and services. This helps ensure that staff can be trained on the technology being implemented and therefore enables the business to make the most of its spend on IT.

Keay continued; "Often IT downtime experienced by businesses can be traced back to a gap in skilling around a particular technology. We are helping companies, through training to achieve a return on their IT. Skilling their IT staff improves the services they offer and also assists in staff retention and morale.

"We are working with our training partners to ensure they too are communicating these benefits to customers and that HR is involved in this process too. Companies need to take action themselves to find out if they are eligible for the training; what are they entitled to in terms of vouchers/elearning benefits and who in their organisation is responsible for the licensing of software and can make sure training benefits are passed to HR."

The training can be delivered by instructors or online, addressing all levels of competence. There are currently more than 1,600 CPLS partners world-wide offering a range of training. For further information on how businesses can access this training visit

*= Learning and Skills Council Research Feb 2004

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