Effective staff training programmes can lead to stronger sales and better retention, according to the cosmetics company Lush.

Staff trainer Lisa Titcomb and retail director Liz Bennett said bad training can de-motivate employees and cause damage to the brand.

"When people are trained to a high quality they feel invigorated, motivated and have a desire to do well," they remarked.

They also said training cam help to boost retention, as staff are more likely to stay with the company if they feel valued and "invested in".

Insisting that staff should not be trained "parrot-fashion", they said good training programmes should include interaction with employees and allow for individuality.

The National Employer Skills survey 2007 found that 48 per cent of employers had a training plan in place, while 35 per cent had a dedicated budget for training expenditure.

It also revealed that an estimated 37 per cent of employees had received no training from their employer over the previous 12 months.