Finding myself sat next to a very eminent (and highly opinionated) celebrity chef for lunch recently, we discussed the merits of good training. Needless to say, we both agreed that it was hugely beneficial both on a personal level and for our industry as a whole. 

I went on to say that I felt very lucky to be part of a company where training and personal development were built onto it's DNA and actively encouraged at all skill levels. (During the last nine months I have attended over two dozen courses ranging in diversity from Health and Safety to mediation skills to personal branding, which incidentally I highly recommend.)

My dining companion (who is highly regarded as both an entrepreneur and an educational ambassador within our industry) thought about that for a minute and then surprised me with a rather cynical remark: "the problem there is that this commitment to training is a risk since the chances are that most employees would leave having 'soaked' up all this new-found knowledge leaving the company out of pocket and benefitting their competitors." 
This seems to me a very blinkered point of view since it does not take into account all of the overriding benefits of such an approach:

• A constant commitment to training encourages a culture of innovation and growth within the organisation. 
• The employees that do stay for the long haul are more capable of moving the company forward and adapting to market upheaval (as we have seen over the last three to four years)
• New employees quickly become more productive, and therefore profitable, as they transcend this learning curve.
• This personal development stems stagnation and inertia which can strangle any corporation. 
• Many employees ARE encouraged to stay longer in the company which reduces the time, expenditure and energy of re-recruitment. 

In fact, when you think about it, there is very little so-called 'risk' involved. 

There is however one overriding reason why every company worth it's salt should invest in such training and that is because of the massive benefit to what you might call 'UK PLC' (in other words, the country as a whole). 

It goes something like this: Great training produces great employees, who build great companies (big and small), which creates real investment to feed industry growth, which creates new jobs, which require more employees who will need, you guessed it, great training.

And on the subject of your competitors: if they are spending expensive time and resources on trying to recruit your well-trained people instead of training their own, then I would suggest you have an edge over them anyway.