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BECTU's say that following their recent meeting with the Training and Development section of the BBC, the BBC have reaffirmed their commitment to training and to Wood Norton.
At the meeting the Training and Development section outlined their response to the ‘One BBC reorganisation plan’. Now part of the Human Resources Division, management of Training and Development expect that between 15 and 18 posts might go over the next two years, mostly in administration areas, as the section’s contribution to overhead savings.
The job cuts will probably be achieved through natural wastage - no compulsory redundancies are anticipated.
Training and Development in the future will be a centralised department, which would make savings by eliminating duplication and by improving purchasing procedures. Some of the £16 million currently spent on external training packages could probably be saved by making better use of in-house resources, but not all training needs could be met from within the BBC.
At the meeting management emphasised their commitment to training by confirming 1.2 per cent of the corporation’s payroll, about £12 million a year, has been set aside for training in New Media, E-Learning, Information Technology and New Entrants.
Even if the hotel and conference centre are sold off, Wood Norton is to remain an important training resource. The facility will be strengthened by additional investment in digital equipment and the transfer of Training and Development’s marketing operation to the Evesham site.
However, journalist training is still under consideration, and although there were no plans for a single unit devoted to journalists, management hope to enhance both the quality and amount of training on offer.
BECTU say that according to management, few staffing problems were likely to follow the reorganisation of Training and Development. There would be a maximisation of resources, increased sales of training programmes inside and outside the BBC with the aim of maintaining the BBC's reputation as a cost-effective broadcaster training facility.

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