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Posts Tagged ‘employer’

Train to gain celebrates two years of success as 100,000th company signs up

Monday, October 13th, 2008

UK – 8th October, 2008 – Home improvement retailer B&Q has become the 100,000th company to sign up to Train to Gain, as the flagship service marks its second year of helping to boost the nation’s skills.

Employer representatives joined Ministers in calling on even more employers to take advantage of the training service, which helps firms get the best from their staff by identifying and helping meet skills needs. 78 per cent of employers say that they would recommend Train to Gain to other employers.

Since its launch in 2006, Train to Gain has helped over 570,000 employees in England get training, and over 291,000 learners have achieved a qualification. An evaluation published this year revealed that some 43 per cent of people who had completed their training reported having received a pay rise, and 30 per cent reported having had promotion. Funding for Train to Gain will increase from £520 million in 2007-08 to over £1 billion by 2010-11.

Lord Young, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills said:

“Successful employers see up-skilling the workforce as one of the most powerful things they can do to drive their businesses forward. Employers who have invested in the skills of their people in the past will be better placed to respond to the economic challenges, and they will also be better placed to take advantage of the opportunities in the next period of growth.

“B&Q has helped to mark a milestone for this service. Only two years in, a hundred thousand businesses have benefited from Train to Gain. Now more than ever, employers need to ensure they are getting the best from their staff by taking advantage of the range of training and funding opportunities available through Train to Gain.”

Martyn Philips, HR Director, B&Q said:

“Good skills at all levels are essential to our business if we are to continue to thrive in an exceptionally competitive market and we currently invest a lot of time and effort in ensuring our staff receive the training they need in order to be the best at their job. Train to Gain means we can now do this even better than before and helps us to really identify our employees’ individual needs. Over the next 12 months we anticipate around 35 per cent of our non-management population will be awarded the NVQ Retails Skills Level 2. In addition we will be launching an apprenticeship programme early next year.”

Miles Templeman, Director General, Institute of Directors (IoD) said:

“Skills and training have never been more important to UK businesses. In the ever-intensifying heat of global competition, skills are a critical factor in determining business success. IoD members are fully committed to this agenda – over 90 per cent provide training for their employees. Services like Train to Gain will help to maintain this encouraging trend. It has made a very positive start and there is clearly considerable potential to build on this foundation by continuing to raise its profile in the business community. It is there, after all, for employers to take advantage of.”

Richard Thorold, principal at Gateshead College, said:

“In the past two years since Train to Gain was introduced, as one of the North East’s leading training providers we have met with more than 116 employers. Train to Gain has turned out to be the success we hoped it would be and employers share our view; feedback from the businesses we’ve worked with has been very positive, with many of them reporting an increase in productivity, profits or efficiency as a result of our training.

“Train to Gain has enabled us to use our expert knowledge to develop bespoke training packages that identify skills gaps, build confidence, motivate teams and deliver immediate results.”

A spokesperson for the British Chamber of Commerce said:

“Businesses’ ability to grow and succeed is dependent on its staff. Professional development – both in terms of skills levels and management capabilities – is crucial, and business is committed to providing employees with the training they need. Train to Gain is a tangible embodiment of partnership between employers and the Government to training, and one which we hope to progress as Train to Gain evolves as a service to business.”

Frances O’Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary said:

“Where employers and unions work together Train to Gain produces great results both for employers and workers. Union Learning Reps know that access to learning changes lives and are keen for their employers to sign up to Train to Gain”.

John Vigar, Continuous Improvement and Business Coordination Manager, Lotus Group, commented:

“It’s great to see what an improvement the LSC initiatives like Train to Gain has made to our business’ performance and to the staff themselves. We have been able to further improve our performance measures as well as provide worthy recognition of our employees’ efforts.”

Through Train to Gain, the London-based construction firm FM Conway Ltd has trained 250 of its employees in a range of qualifications including Operatives and Masons through to Plant Operators. One employee, Sharon Field, completed a range of training starting at A-level equivalent, progressing through to postgraduate degree equivalent in Management. This helped her earn a promotion to director level.

Sharon Field said: “Getting the training to improve my skills has renewed my self-confidence. I’m sure that it will strengthen my ability to support the company in its future growth. Training has also improved the performance and loyalty of my other colleagues – ultimately benefiting our company’s bottom-line.”

Employers wanting more information on Train to Gain can either call 0800 015 55 45 or visit traintogain.gov.uk.

Learn New Skills

Monday, October 13th, 2008

It’s been a crazy few months between banks and stock markets and the big recession that is slowly gripping the world.  In an atmosphere like this it is up to everyone to improve their employability and career prospects by learning new skills and upskilling.  You don’t need to wait until your employer arranges this or even leave it so late that your social welfare officer arranges it.  Take the initiative and seek out the training that can make a difference for you.  If you want to keep up with the times, your old skills must be continually sharpened and new ones must be acquired.

Always keep in mind the following:

  • There is no such thing as “Finished Learning.” One who stops learning, stops growing.  Work hard towards sharpening your Foundation and Transferable skills.  It pays to spend some time sharpening your axe before attempting to fell a tree.
  • Keep an eye open for new skills and master them. At the same time, improve the ones you already have.
  • Do some research to find out what skills are and will always be most valued in your industry.  Two sites that may help you here are ‘A Career Guide to Industries’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Jobs’.

Issues that people typically have include the following:

What can I do? – You can do whatever you want to. Right from cooking to eating, you will find information pertaining to any interest that you may have.

Where to look? – Keep your eyes and ears open. There’ll always be something happening in your locality to match your interest.

Universities/Colleges: – Usually, universities and colleges have clubs, societies and student groups which bring together students with similar interests. You can be sure to fit into at least one of them and learn from those who have more experience than you and build networks.

Leisure Centers & Gyms: – These are places where you will find people who like physical activity like hiking, swimming and traveling.

Evening Classes: – Collect details of all evening courses conducted in your area. Learn a language you don’t know, or get trained to do creative things like sewing or origami.

Volunteering: – Though not as glamorous as a lot of other things, the feel-good factor is immensely high! Giving something back to society is an amazing way to boost your morale. And of course, it looks impressive on your CV too and can be used to reinforce your skills and validate new ones.

Distance and Online Learning: – If you prefer to spend more time at home and if that’s the only hindrance you are facing to learning new skills, this is perfect for you. Learn Skills is one of the places where you can start hunting for relevant information about courses and as for online courses, it is the best place to start looking for what you want with a very comprehensive range of courses that cover both skills and compliance based training.  If you have any specific needs you can contact Learn Skills.

Source: CvTips.com article “Learn New Skills”.

Skills Challenge Facing The Irish Economy

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Ireland – 15th May, 2008 – The skills challenge facing the Irish economy was the subject of a major seminar organised jointly by the National College of Ireland (NCI) and the National Centre for Partnership and Performance (NCPP), and held in Dublin on May 15.

The ‘Learning at Work’ seminar was chaired by NCPP director Lucy Fallon-Byrne and was addressed by Minister for Lifelong Learning Seán Haughey, Leo Casey of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Learning and Teaching and Prof Chip Bruce, National College of Ireland.

Four national initiatives, designed to promote and encourage learning at work, were showcased also at the seminar, providing the 100-plus delegates with real-life examples of innovative responses to the future skills challenge.

Among the issues discussed at the seminar were:

  • The role of workplace learning in driving and growing the Irish economy;
  • The opportunities for, and obstacles to, workplace learning that exist in Ireland today;
  • Effective ways of engaging employers and employees to ensure Ireland is equipped for the future skills challenge.

National College of Ireland president Paul Mooney said the message was simple:

“For Ireland Inc. to succeed, the barriers to workplace learning must be identified and systematically removed. To survive and prosper in a tougher global environment, we need to collectively up our game to out-think the competition.

“The highest performing companies of the future are the ones that are becoming engaged in workplace learning initiatives today. The time is now and there is zero room for complacency on this. The future is decided by those who sense change and actually start to do something to respond to this. For everyone else, the time bomb is ticking.”

A new DVD was launched by Minister Haughey. Produced by NCPP, the DVD profiles the practical experiences of five Irish public and private-sector organisations that have recognised and embraced workplace learning as an enabler of change. Their stories illustrate the value of promoting human talent and creativity in the workplace, and make a powerful business case for lifelong learning and workplace training and development.  Upskilling is now a necessity.

Copies of the DVD are available (free of charge) on request from the National Centre for Partnership and Performance.  Simply drop an email to Conor (conor@ncpp.ie) with your contact details, and he’ll post them out to you as soon as possible.

Source: Education MATTERS

Call for FE teachers to Register Their Professional Status

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

UK – 25th August, 2008 -  The Institute for Learning (IfL) is calling all teachers in an LSC-funded provision not to miss the 30 September 2008 deadline for registration as a teaching professional.

In September 2007, the government introduced regulations aimed at ensuring that the further education and skills sector has a qualified, professional workforce with up-to-date subject and teaching skills.

Work-based learning providers that deliver FE provision through a contract or funding agreement with the Learning and Skills Council are required to ensure that all their teaching staff:

  • register as members of IfL
  • undertake at least 30 hours’ continuing professional development (CPD) each year (prorated for part-time teachers)
  • abide by the Code of Professional Practice

IfL was formed in 2002 and is the professional body for teachers, trainers, tutors and student teachers in the further education sector, including work-based learning.  As an independent body, IfL is run by an elected council and works closely with several sector organisations, unions and employer bodies.  The aim of IfL is to support members and to continue raising the status of teaching practitioners in the sector.

The government will meet the full cost of standard registration for teachers in LSC-funded institutions; teachers will not be asked to pay any fees when registering. Teachers, trainers and tutors who do not work on LSC-funded programmes are also welcome, but will need to pay their own annual subscription.

Source: e-skills UK

Learn Skills will provide a range of high quality web-based teacher training courses that will address the needs of teachers from the viewpoint of CPD.