European companies are putting training projects on hold because of pressures to cut costs, according to IDC.
IDC senior research analyst Sheila McGovern said that, although many organisations recognised that training offered a competitive advantage, it was often perceived as time consuming and costly.
A report from the analyst described the situation as a temporary blip forced by economic pressures, and said that market growth in the training sector will resume in 2003.
But the slowdown is proving good news for companies offering outsourced training and education services.
"Despite the economic slowdown an increasing number of companies will turn to business skills training outsourcing, particularly e-learning, as a result of the technology developments that have rendered training less costly and more effective," explained McGovern.
And over the next five years the European business skills training market is predicted to outpace IT skills to reach $13bn by 2006 as companies acknowledge its value in terms of solving business problems.
The UK is one of the most advanced regions in e-learning adoption and development, alongside The Netherlands and Scandinavia.
But despite the hype, e-learning still accounts for a fraction of the total business skills training market, although that proportion is expected to rise to 27 per cent by 2005.
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