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Syndicate Training - what's the story?

19th Sep 2000
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Syndicate Training bill themselves as the answer to any harassed Training Officer's dreams, by offering to combine forces on behalf of a number of companies to arrange cheaper training. TrainingZONE recently received some details about this London-based company, and finds a few questions left unanswered....

According to Director Garry Abbott, the concept behind Syndicate Training is to enable companies to enjoy savings by combining with other companies to purchase training courses. Syndicate Training will then go and source the training at a discounted cost, thus saving money and time for those who've signed up. Syndicate Training say they can do this by "aiming to ensure 100% occupancy of each course".

The brochure which we received lists 40 different course titles (standard soft skills training such as negotiating, time management and stress management), which are available to those signing up on 3-6 occasions during a year.

One slightly confusing thing though is that Syndicate actually appear to be running the courses themselves, which would pitch them as a training provider rather than a broker, which is what they claim to be. Unfortunately there's also a lack of information about the trainers involved and the venue for the events (said to be in Central London). The company are quoting a cost of £9,450 + VAT for 24 delegates a year, which they say works out at £395 per course. TrainingZONE's calculator makes it £416.25, but we'll try not to split hairs!

TrainingZONE says:

We have some reservations about the way Syndicate Training appear to be working. Are they a direct training provider, a broker, or a training agency? TrainingZONE member Tony Dimech posted some information on the site after he received a letter from them, and rang them to find out more. Tony says that one of the Directors told him in the course of their conversation that "their members (some well known companies) were fed up of the unethical pricing policies of training companies, and were hoping to put a number of training companies out of business." If this is the case, we're obviously concerned.

There's also some confusion about the exact market the company is in, and who is involved. If you're a trainer and have worked for the company, we'd like to hear your experiences - both positive or negative. Alternatively, if your company has signed up for their services (and there are a lot of major companies on the sample membership list), we'd like to know how you've found the service. We're keen to try and clarify matters for the likes of Tony and anyone else who is thinking about signing up, or working for the company. Please do add a comment below where everyone else can read it, or e-mail us if you have any information to add.

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