It's brutal in the job market and ain't so great for those that provide services either. I believe that the job loss in workplace learning will not recover, never, ever. Organizations will look to outside resources (like me) to get the work done project style. This will require different skill sets for those in the corporate side in managing program, projects and contracts. That's my theory.
From the September 2010 Training + Development Intelligence// story, As Future Brightens for Job Seekers, Disturbing Trends Emerge for Trainers, hiring will increase. However, only 11% of respondents described their HR and L&D functions as industry leading. This is a tremendous lack of confidence in the internal resources in training and developing new hires. From the September 2010 CLO Magazine, Cushing Anderson in Business Intelligence, When, Why and What to Outsource, we learn that training outsourcing is overall declining. However, when organizations outsource, they outsource "important" functions. For 2011, 81% of companies will hold steady or increase outsource spending. Those outsourced functions are: custom content design, development; training delivery; learning strategy development with program oversight; technology management and reporting and measurement.
The message for me is that internal providers must build credibility and deliver results. If not, there continues to be a willingness to buy.