Most big Greek companies seem to have largely integrated professional training into their business culture but there is still a long way to go, recent data show. «There are firms that spend significant amounts on staff training, particularly in the sectors of banking, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and telecommunications, and others, such as insurance and the retail trade, that have a less methodical and systematic approach,» said business consultancy KPMG’s general director, Nikitas Constantellos, at a press briefing yesterday. Customer service, International Financial Reporting Standards and the improvement of skills are the fields of professional training most in demand at this point in time. According to KPMG data, internal company seminars have increased by an average of 30 percent annually since 2002, while companies are increasingly focusing on measuring the return on investment (ROI) from professional training. According to European statistics, the reasons why firms decide to adopt training programs are 60 percent related to the improvement of staff skills and 40 percent to other issues, such as employee satisfaction and the strengthening of incentives and commitment toward the company. In the UK, about 80 percent of large firms have a separate budget for staff training; spending on professional training per worker varies between the equivalents of 900 and 1,400 euros, representing about 7 percent of turnover.