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Aussie Bosses Support Learning

August 23 2006 - Australian employers show up well in a global comparison of support for employees' further education and training according to a Robert Half Finance & Accounting Workplace survey.

84 per cent of Australian finance and HR managers in the survey stated that their organization paid all (or part of) the cost of additional education programs for their employees. This compares with a global average of 77 per cent. 6 per cent of respondents also said that their organization supported employees who were engaged in further training with flexible working hours.

According to Nigel Barcham, Managing Director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting, supporting employees through continued education is becoming a very important part of Australian companies' employment and HR policies.

"It is the offer of benefits such as payment or reimbursement for additional education programs that can make or break an employee's decision to work for a company," he said. "Over the past decade, Australia has truly become a global player, attracting workers from all over the globe. Training on intercultural behaviour should be incorporated into every workplace to ensure staff coming into the organisation are able to integrate seamlessly with those already working there."

65 per cent of Australian survey respondents, and 50 per cent globally, said that with increasing globalization of business, training on intercultural behaviour would help employees understand cultural differences.

When hiring new managers, 60 per cent of Australian and UK respondents, and 57 per cent of New Zealand finance and HR managers in the survey, believed that a higher level of work experience was equally important to outstanding graduation results. However, 36 per cent of Australians surveyed thought that work experience was more important than academic results while an additional 3 per cent believed that outstanding graduation results should be mandatory for management recruits.

Nigel Barcham considers that employers should not discount the benefits of a candidate's experience in the workplace.

"Outstanding academic results may show a candidate satisfies the role technically. However, work experience will often provide those higher level skills important to managers, such as problem solving skills, the ability to adapt to difficult situations and most importantly, people skills.

"Those invaluable qualities make for a more 'rounded' manager, something a candidate with a degree alone will not necessarily possess," Nigel Barcham concluded.


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