More than two out of three organisations have cut funding for learning and development this year, with the biggest impact hitting the public sector, new research reveals.

A survey of 600 organisations by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed that a third had reduced the use of outside contractors and moved to in-house learning.

Cuts to public sector funding were having a “widespread impact” on learning and development, said the report.

Despite the cuts, firms said they had increased training offered to staff from four to five days a year, albeit by using less costly methods such as e-learning.

Dr John McGurk, of the CIPD, said: “With the full impact of the spending cuts yet to be felt in the public sector, maintaining support for employee development by linking it to organisational change is essential if organisations are to steer through these uncertain and challenging times.”