Dragon Naturally Speaking e-Learning - Training

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Skillsoft: Care workers need better training and regulation

A continuous learning approach, whereby all employees are aware of the standards of support they need to be offering, is vital.  

That's according to Chris Thompson, senior product manager at Skillsoft EMEA. Thompson was responding to the release of the Cavendish review yesterday which suggests that many healthcare assistants receive minimal training before they can work unsupervised.

According to Thompson, with the amount of training and performance support available on-demand, there is no excuse for failing to get it right.

"It is really sad to see that there is still no minimum standard of training for healthcare assistants in hospitals. Those involved in patient care should take responsibility for training their staff to ensure they fully understand the importance of their role; especially as they are often caring for those who are most vulnerable and in need of support," he said.   

"Care staff are the lifeblood of any hospital, so it is imperative that they can provide the best possible service to customers, making training and development a key area to get right.  A continuous learning approach, whereby all employees are aware of the standards of support they need to be offering, is vital.  

"As policies and procedures continue to change and be updated, only those organisations that have put effective training measures in place can prove that their staff deliver the compassionate and high quality service we all expect and deserve. Whilst scheduling a training day or half day can be costly when you factor in any travel and time away from work, alternative methods such as eLearning can reduce costs and provide more flexibility with scheduling, allowing employees to access training anytime, anywhere."

He added: "Simulations allow employees to gain experience and practice skills. Topical learning portals can be used to direct professionals to the most relevant material for their learning needs. Online books, summaries, articles and videos can be used as performance support on a daily basis. With so much training easily available on-demand and online, there really is no excuse for not getting it right."


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Collaboration to increase impact on business performance

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have announced a strategic collaboration to foster closer working links between the finance and HR professions, helping to increase their combined impact on business performance. 

The work will include an early focus on transforming how organisations understand, measure and report on people data to drive business success.

By working together much more closely, the two bodies are seeking to send a strong message to the professions they represent about the importance of HR and finance working together in any organisation. Together, CIPD and CIMA will embark on a programme of joint research on areas such as 'big data', integrated business reporting and shared services for HR and finance.  

Critically, the professional bodies will also make their existing relevant training and continuous professional development (CPD) offers available to members of both organisations to boost knowledge development and understanding through learning.

Charles Tilley FCMA, CGMA, chief executive, CIMA, said: "When talking about property value, the adage often used is 'location, location, location'. When thinking about the driver of any business, we should be saying it is 'people, people, people'."

"CIMA has long advocated that more emphasis should be placed on measuring the value of non-financial assets. We are delighted to be joining forces with CIPD to address what we both see as a critical issue for business. By working together, we hope to show that accurate and relevant reporting on an organisation's people, as well as on its financials, provides real insight into the true health of the business, on which sound investment decisions can be made."

One of the first shared projects the two bodies will embark on is a programme of research on human capital measurement. This is designed to address a shared concern that organisations are not consistently good at valuing the contribution of people to their performance and worth, or assessing the risks to business success that poor people management can bring.  While financial information is a critical and recognised measure of a company's value, the importance of people data is not fully understood by many businesses and is therefore overlooked, often to the detriment of longer-term thinking - something that CIMA and CIPD are striving to rectify.     

Peter Cheese, chief executive, CIPD said: "We know that people are critical to business success. But you get what you measure, and many of the recent crises affecting business can be traced back to failures of culture that could have been picked up if longer-term people-related metrics had been given more weight instead of a myopic focus on short-term financial results.

"Our collaboration with CIMA will help us build hard metrics for what is often seen as the "soft" contribution people and culture make to organisational value.  By working together on this and other critical challenges we intend to build stronger connections between the HR and finance functions - helping our respective members to build the knowledge and confidence to work together successfully."


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Provider input needed on design of new learning qualifications, urges AELP

Training providers should be involved in the design of the new higher level vocational qualifications, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers.  

The calls follow the government announcement that ministers are going ahead with the introduction of new vocational qualifications at level three and above, which are designed to be the equivalent of A levels and included in the new-look 16 - to 19 performance tables from 2016.  Exam boards will need to demonstrate their qualifications' quality by getting sign-up from employers or higher education institutions.  

In its response to the government's consultation in May, AELP expressed concern about the proposals to involve local employers in qualification delivery, assessment and award.  The response pointed out that the majority of the employers AELP members work with are SMEs who in the current harsh economic climate are entirely focused on sustaining and trying grow their businesses.

Most SMEs do not have the resources to deploy on contributing to the delivery of qualifications and playing a role in assessor teams.  When engaging the services of a training provider, they expect the provider to work closely with them, listening to their needs but then carry out these functions on their behalf.

AELP chief executive Stewart Segal said: "We are in favour of rigorous and responsive vocational qualifications and they should lead to an apprenticeship or a job.  

"Care should be taken over removal of existing qualifications and employers and providers need to be involved in the discussions on this process.  The provider voice on the formation of new qualifications is also important because providers can articulate the frontline views of their SME employer customers."  


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Businesses failing to engage young people in employability opportunities

Young people are missing out on important work experience opportunities due to a lack of engagement by local businesses, according to new research from the Transformation Trust.

The research asked teachers about the challenges faced by students from disadvantaged areas in accessing employability opportunities - for example work experience placements or mentoring schemes. Findings have shown that the majority of respondents (82 per cent) do not believe that businesses in their local area do enough to engage young people.  

The types of businesses teachers would most like to see working closely with them to provide employability opportunities are small businesses (93 per cent) and larger regional companies (89 per cent). 

Teachers were also asked about their attitudes towards employability opportunities for young people from disadvantaged areas. All teachers agreed that work experience opportunities are helpful in developing employability skills in students, particularly their confidence, aspirations and social skills. However, they also recognised that students from disadvantaged backgrounds face significant barriers to accessing these opportunities. The most significant barriers are perceived as low aspirations, poor self-esteem and reduced government funding for careers support. 

Access to work experience at a young age was also perceived as being important, as 96.4 per cent of the teachers said that it is important for students to have access to employability opportunities prior to starting their GCSEs. 

Amy Leonard, chief executive of the Transformation Trust, said: "This research shows that teachers have a clear awareness of the barriers facing young people from disadvantaged areas who want to access opportunities that will help them engage with the world of work. 

"There is a keen desire to see these opportunities provided by businesses from the local area. We know from experience that local businesses want to engage with schools too, but all too often don't know where to start or how to reach the right people. This is where the Transformation Trust can help with the launch of our new Hub, linking up businesses and schools to provide young people with the opportunities they really need to get on."


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Concerns remain over latest figures on adult learning loans

Adult learning has a key role to play in ensuring a sustained economic recovery, according to David Hughes, chief executive of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.

Hughes was responding to the latest application information released yesterday for Further Education & Skills 24+ Advanced Learning Loans - including figures which show that there have been no applications for loans for higher-level or advanced apprenticeships.

He's stressed the importance of adult learning and the wider benefits it will bring to individuals and communities.

"While it is good to see the number of loan applications continuing to increase month on month, the data published today raises a number of concerns. Do these figures show that loans are having a negative impact on adult enrolments or is it too early to make that judgement? Currently there have been 8679 applications for loans; however, this only represents around two per cent of the total number of people learning at this level in 2010/11. Is it likely, therefore, that the whole £129 million of funding will be utilised and what will be the knock-on consequences if there is a shortfall?

"From the start we have been particularly concerned about whether loans will work for the apprenticeship programme. The fact there has not been a single loan application from apprentices is extremely worrying, especially if this leads to older adults not being able to access higher-level or advanced apprenticeships. 

"The Government's own figures assume that loans for Apprenticeships by 2014/15 will be a third of the overall take-up. This data suggests that the Government needs to take specific action to ensure the implementation of loans is a success."

He added: "While there were always likely to be teething issues following the introduction of loans, anything that risks stopping adults from accessing higher level opportunities to progress further with their learning is something that cannot be ignored. Adult learning has a key role to play in ensuring a sustained economic recovery and in the wider benefits that learning will bring to individuals and communities. We will continue to support the sector and to monitor these figures closely to see how they develop as we get closer to September."


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Lack of management training stalls UK business growth, study finds

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of employers agree weaknesses in leadership and management in the UK are holding back company growth, according to new research published by Cranfield School of Management and learndirect.

Despite this, the study out today entitled: The new vocational currency: investing for success - shows only four in ten companies offer their staff training in these crucial skills.

The report examines the value of vocational qualifications to both individuals and employers and also looks at the issue of management skills in the UK, drawing on new research from You Gov. 

It found more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of UK employers agree weaknesses in leadership and management skills are also preventing employees from reaching their full potential. 

As a result the report recommends making management skills mandatory for all apprenticeship frameworks at level three and above.

Dr Emma Parry, reader in Human Resource Management at Cranfield School of Management and report co-author, said: "This research clearly shows that employers agree a lack of management training is having a negative impact on business growth and yet only four in ten companies offer their staff training in these crucial skills. It is clear from these results that vocational qualifications are strong currency in the UK employment market.  

"British businesses have an opportunity to broaden their talent pool by recruiting more people who hold vocational qualifications and may have been overlooked in the past due to not having a degree. This research shows that employers regard vocational qualifications positively, so now has never been a matter time to study a vocational qualification."

Other recommendations in the report include:

• Improving the status of vocational education and training in the UK - for example through a national government-led campaign and introducing a new duty on schools to provide information, advice and guidance on the full range of vocational options

• The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to work with industry bodies to improve UK management - including ensuring new government ministers and their shadows receive management training 

Gill Craven, director of service development at learndirect, said: "There's no doubt the government focus on vocational qualifications, particularly apprenticeships, is the right one to build a skills base for the UK which is fit to compete in the twenty-first century.

"However, the issue of poor leadership and management is holding back the success of both companies and individuals.  With the huge amounts of public funds being channelled into apprenticeships it makes sense to tackle this issue as well and make management a mandatory element at level three and above."


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Semta welcomes plans to give qualifications the same status as A Levels

A leading skills body has urged businesses and universities to support moves to give vocational technical courses the same status as A Levels. 

Semta, the sector skills council responsible for 128,000 Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering companies, has welcomed Government plans to raise the status of vocational qualifications in England. It describes the move to directly link them with school performance league tables as a great step forward in demonstrating to young people, their parents and teachers, that the best vocational qualifications offer an equally attractive pathway to a great career and at times are the preferred choice of employer

The government's proposed changes mean only vocational courses that achieve Tech-level status will count in secondary league tables for 16- to 19-year-olds from 2016.  Tech-levels will take as long to complete as A-Levels and will need to be endorsed by either a professional association or by five employers registered with Companies House. The qualifications will focus on hands-on practical training, leading to recognised occupations.

Applied General Qualifications will take the same time to complete as AS-levels, not directly linked to an occupation. These qualifications will need backing from three universities to count in performance tables.

Sarah Sillars, OBE, chief executive of Semta said: "This is a very positive development that will really drive recognition of the value of the best vocational qualifications.  For some time employers in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sector have had concerns that the quality vocational qualifications they have helped to develop and support are not recognised in the same way as traditional academic qualifications.

"There is a pressing need for more young people to study STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, Mathematics) subjects and enter the sector which is experiencing real growth and offers great career opportunities.  This action by government will help young people and their parents and teachers see the value employers place on particular vocational qualifications.  

"We need the best graduates and young people with practical skills to ensure Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering remains the driving force of the UK's economy.  Semta looks forward to working with the Government and employers through proposed Industrial Partnerships and the employers sitting on our regional councils to drive this forward."

Speaking at Leipzig, Simon Bartley, president of WorldSkills International, said it was vital vocational skills were recognised as being just as important as academic qualifications.

"If you need to design an aircraft and need people to build an aircraft, you need people to maintain the aircraft. Those people are coming up through the apprenticeship route; they are not coming through universities.

"We need a mixed economy of skills in every country in the world - academic, theoretical, research and absolutely hands-on practical skills," he said.


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Hospitality Guild Apprenticeship Awards now taking nominations

Nominations are now open for the Hospitality Guild's second annual apprenticeship awards, which recognise and celebrate the achievements of apprentices, employers, providers and mentors working in the hospitality industry in England.

Suzy Jackson, executive director of the Hospitality Guild, said that last year's awards had established themselves as the premier event celebrating apprentices' achievements and that she was looking forward to building on its success this year.

"We had such impressive nominations last year and the overall quality was outstanding. It really highlighted the fantastic work that apprentices do and, with apprenticeships at the top of everyone's agenda at the moment, we're really hoping to build on the success of last year's awards.

Nominations for the following categories are now open:

• Intermediate Apprentice of the Year

• Advanced Apprentice of the Year

• Apprenticeship Mentor of the Year

• Employer of the Year: SME (less than 250 employees)

• Employer of the Year: Large (more than 250 employees)

• Partnership of the Year

The award winners will be announced at an exclusive event in London in early December, where the Hospitality Guild will also be recognising rising stars from across the sector by inducting them into the Hospitality Guild's Young Hall of Fame. Both last year's and this year's intermediate and advanced apprenticeship winners will also be entered into the Young Hall of Fame.

The Apprenticeship Awards will once again be held in partnership with sector skills council People 1st, and have received support from a wide range of industry organisations and leaders, including the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the Professional Association for Catering Education (PACE), AELP (Association of Employment and Learning Providers), the BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) and general manager of Galvin at Windows and founder of National Waiters Day, Fred Sirieix.

The awards have the full support of David Way, executive director, National Apprenticeship Service. He said: "Many great figures in the hospitality industry started life as apprentices and their training gave them the confidence and skills to see their talent blossom. Awards help to build this confidence and motivate people to be the best they can."


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Video Arts wins IELA award for m-learning

Video Arts has won the 2013 International E-Learning Award for the best business use of mobile learning, presented by the International E-Learning Association. 

The winning project was a bespoke app which Video Arts created for a global telecoms group, to provide product and skills training, via smartphones and tablets, to more than 500 field-based sales people.

The app combines technical product training from the client with 'just in time' skills videos from Video Arts. It was designed to provide the field sales teams at the telecoms group with learning at the point of need as well as access to information on new products and network offerings. All usage activity can be tracked and a feedback function allows users to interact with the HR team.

Established in 2007, the International E-Learning Association is a community of e-learning professionals and researchers who are dedicated to advancing the knowledge and practice of e-learning in the classroom and the workplace. One of its goals is to promote excellence in the use of e-learning and m-learning.

"We are delighted to win this prestigious award for mobile learning. It's a testimony to the expertise and dedication of our bespoke team. This project is a living example of how we can incorporate our best-of-breed learning content to create a tailored solution that's accessible anytime and anywhere," said Martin Addison, CEO of Video Arts.

The International E-Learning Awards are given each year for the best work in e-learning, mobile learning and blended learning, in two divisions: academic and business. All entries are evaluated by the IELA Awards Committee, who look for attributes such as educational soundness and effectiveness, usability and overall significance.


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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Atos: Let’s learn from cycling’s approach to performance improvement

More than half of non-managers (51 per cent) believe they could be over 50 per cent more effective if an 'aggregation of marginal gains' approach, as used in elite sport, were to applied to their business. 

That's according to a report by International IT services company Atos released today. The study, Maximising the performance of your employees through the aggregation of marginal gains, based on a survey of 500 managers and non-managers in the UK, also found that over a tenth of their working week is spent on activities which have no value and could be avoided.  

The report is structured around Atos' framework - which identifies the following eight key areas - that collectively enable individuals to perform to their maximum:

1. Performance goals - A fifth of people felt objectives were unclear, and almost a third felt performance management systems were poor in their organisation.

2. Skills - More than a third of managers and almost half of non-managers believed they do not receive appropriate training.

3. Process - A fifth of respondents felt that accountabilities in their organisation are unclear, and over a third are monitoring too many non-critical performance metrics.

4. Information - More than a third of managers and slightly more non-managers could not access the right level of information to do their jobs.

5. Collaboration - A third of managers felt that collaboration with other departments was poor and almost a third cited too many meetings as a barrier to effectiveness.

6. Communication - The Atos report found that communications was seen as one of the top impediments to effectiveness - chosen by a third of workers who spend more than 80 per cent of their time in the office, and just over a third who spend less than 20 per cent of their time in the office. The report says that based on the response to Atos' zero email campaign and subsequent research on inefficient use of email, poor internal communication comes as no surprise.  

7. Environment - Poorly designed or unwelcoming office space can sap motivation and effectiveness, with around half our respondents indicating an uninspiring work environment was impeding effectiveness. Even people who spent less than 20 per cent of their time in the office cited this issue. 

8. Custom and practice - The final area of Atos' enablement framework considers the behavioral or managerial environment in which people work. This can be seen as a major barrier to effectiveness, with a quarter of non-managers citing micro-management as an issue and almost a fifth of managers holding this view. 

Lee Timmins, senior vice president of Atos Consulting in the UK, said: "What British Cycling has done as an organisation is put in place systems that enable each athlete to achieve their maximum potential. We firmly believe that there is a place for applying the marginal gains approach within a business context. 

"We know that employees are still spending significant amounts of time on activities which add no direct value to their organisations and, more importantly, their customers."

He added: "It is now possible to look at the individual rather than the process and the organisation as a whole. You only need to look at British Cycling to see that audacious goals can be achieved with many small interlinked steps." 


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WOL13: Technology needs to be incorporated into a blended approach

A big challenge for L&D professionals this year is to gain an integrated approach when working with different technology solutions.

That's according to Niall Gavin, head of HR & learning technologies at First Group, transport operators in the UK and US.

Gavin will be a speaker on a panel debate on learning technologies being held at this year's World of Learning Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham. And he believes a blended approach that supports the learner at every stage of their development is needed.

He said: "Learning technology needs to be de-labelled. From a learner's point of view, it's not about the how they learn, it's about what they learn. There is now an expectation among people, both in and out of the office, to be able to pick up a device and access any information they need. 

"This expectation translates through to their approach to learning - learners expect to be able to access learning resources through a variety of channels, technological or otherwise. From their point of view, it is not a separate category and therefore L&D professionals shouldn't treat it as such. 

"To achieve maximum benefit, technology should be incorporated into the full range of learning solutions to create a seamless, blended approach that supports the learner at every stage of their development.

"The challenge for L&D professionals therefore isn't around the different technology solutions, but how they work with them. A more integrated approach is required when it comes to identifying the need, creating and delivering relevant 'sticky' learning solutions and measuring the performance and business improvements."

The World of Learning 2013 is held in association with the British Institute for Learning & Development, the Institute of Leadership Management and the UK Trade and Investment.


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Gi group wins award for responsible business

Recruitment business Gi Group was named overall winner in the Workplace Talent and Skills Award category at Business in the Community's annual Responsible Business Awards Gala Dinner this week.

The award recognises GIiGroup's investment in programmes designed to improve employability which have ranged from schemes encouraging the aspirations of school children and providing careers guidance in colleges to pre-employment training and the provision of formal qualifications.  This has resulted in more than 1,000 qualifications being delivered to people with little previous formal education and the placement of previously unemployed people into more than 2,500 permanent jobs in 2012.

The event, at The Royal Albert Hall, marked the culmination of the 2013 Responsible Business Awards that are set up to celebrate the powerful and positive role of business in society. The awards scheme celebrates innovative examples of how businesses across the UK are making a positive difference - transforming communities through tackling key social and environmental issues, and transforming their businesses by integrating responsible behaviour.

Speaking about their award, Tiziano Roseto, chief operating officer, Gi Group, said: "Winning this top award is fantastic recognition of all the hard work the team has put in to make a positive impact on the employment prospects of many hundreds of people each year. Once again Gi Group is leading the field when it comes to responsible business."

Chris Jones, director general and chief executive officer at City & Guilds, and chairman of the judging panel (who presented the award) added: "Gi Group has helped over 2,500 previously unemployed people into permanent work, by introducing a programme that provides training and development to improve the skills and enhance the long-term job prospects of their temporary employees. 

"We were really struck by the passion and enthusiasm of their programme and felt this new focus on employability has helped to transform Gi Group into a model of what employment agencies should look like in the 21st century."


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Stressed managers to forgo annual leave, CMI claim

Many stressed UK managers are forgoing their summer holidays this year to avoid falling behind in their work.

That's the key finding from research released today by the Chartered Management Institute, which reveals that 35 per cent of leaders are putting the handbrake on their annual holiday plans. Workload was cited as the overwhelming reason why, with 69 per cent saying that they won't use up their annual leave. 

 And for those who plan to get away, most still plan to do some form of work. Only one third say they will "never" check their email on holiday, with 12 per cent checking in daily, 19 per cent taking a look "most days", and a further one in four (26 per cent) checking "once or twice" a week.   

Managers report that holidaymaking is both a blessing and curse. While 88 per cent agree a good break refreshes them, a quarter put in more than eight extra hours the week before going away - with a similar number facing the same when they return.  This is despite over half of those who work on holiday saying they do so to avoid the need to clear a backlog of work on their return. 

The good news is those who overcome such obstacles to go on holiday are rewarded for their efforts.  In addition to some well deserved rest and relaxation, they have a perfect opportunity to assess their careers. They have the time and space to reflect on what is and what isn't working in their professional lives and can take positive steps to affect change.  Whether that's reading a book to bone up on best practice, or deciding to gain a new qualification to boost future career prospects, making a commitment to ourselves is the first step to making our lives better.

Petra Wilton, CMI's director of strategy, said: "With the economy in a rut, managers are working harder and longer. It's about time some of them took a well-earned break, which will pay dividends when they come back healthier, happier and full of renewed energy and enthusiasm. 

"Of course taking time off can be tricky, but by arming yourself with the skills and techniques you need to manage yourself and your teams effectively, you can make the most of your time at work - and make it easier to take a break."


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Pupils to be better equipped for working life as a result of training

South Yorkshire school pupils are set to be better equipped for later life as a result of an initiative to develop their skills.

Students from Grenoside Primary School have been taking part in a project to apply the communication skills that training specialists Huthwaite International uses to train its business clients around the world, to their school and social lives. The technique is called Verbal Behaviour Analysis (VBA) and centres on understanding and applying the right words at the right time and in the right circumstances. 

In a specially organised event at Huthwaite International's Yorkshire offices, the company gave its offices and its consulting staff over to the year six students. The purpose of the day was for the pupils, whose school teachers have previously already been trained by Huthwaite to teach them VBA, to put those skills into action alongside the real experts - Huthwaite's own consultants. 

Grenoside teacher, Jenni Monach, has been working with Dr Lynne Bianchi, the principal research fellow at The Centre of Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University, to introduce these skills to the pupils for a couple of years in a project to study the impact they can make in a wide range of areas such as the ability to learn through group work - especially in science, transfer from primary to secondary education, self-awareness and future employability.

Alice Marsden, an 11 year-old from Grenoside Primary School, said: "It was amazing. It really taught me stuff I hadn't thought about before and I feel much more confident now about the way I persuade others, talk to people and listen properly to what they have to say."

Huthwaite managing director Tony Hughes said: "Throughout an exhausting day they've been trying their hand at the kind of effective persuasion exercises, sales simulations and negotiations that we usually run with senior executives at multinational companies - and they've done very well at it. Better verbal communication, persuasiveness, confidence and listening are all going to become very important skills as these children progress through senior school and out into the adult world. I've been very impressed by what they can do."


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Capital One is number one in Europe's best workplace list for 2013

Nottingham-based credit card company Capital One has won 'Europe's Best Workplace' in 2013 by Great Place to Work®.

The annual ranking is the most comprehensive study of organisational culture in the world and identifies, on this occasion, the 100 Best Workplaces in Europe. The announcement comes just two weeks after Capital One was rated the UK's number one best large employer in the UK 'Best Workplaces' Awards for 2013.

Each year, the Great Place to Work® Trust Index forms a key part of the assessment process, in which employees are encouraged to represent their honest views and perceptions of their employer. Feedback from more than 650 Capital One respondents was that employees felt 'valued and part of the business', with a strong appreciation for its 'great culture of fun & work life balance and 'genuine focus on the community'. Employees are also encouraged to participate in its annual festival - Visionfest - which showcases the best of employee talent. 

Brian Cole, managing director at Capital One, said: "To receive this level of recognition on a European scale is fantastic. We have been working extremely hard to turn our strategic vision - 'Let's make lives better' - into a reality so this award is testament to the commitment and hard work of all our employees.

"We are constantly striving to create and maintain a working environment that supports and motivates our people. Capital One has a unique culture, which is firmly underpinned by our vision and we are certain that this has been the key driver of our success as an organisation."

Capital One was second in the Great Place to Work® 'Best Workplaces' awards for 2012 and has climbed to top spot this year.  In addition, the company was shortlisted for Best Financial Services Provider by Which? in 2012.

Great Place to Work® launched the first Best Companies to Work For list in conjunction with Fortune magazine in the United States and Exame in Brazil more than 20 years ago. Great Place to Work® now recognises workplaces in nearly 50 countries. For the 2013 Best Workplaces in Europe lists, Great Place to Work® analysed data provided by more than 2.100 companies that represent more than a million employees.

Robert Levering, co-founder and global CEO of Great Place to Work®, said: "Companies in this year's ranking are developing organisational cultures dedicated to building trust and camaraderie among their employees.  Inclusion on this list reflects companies' commitment to continuously improving the quality of life of employees and setting new standards for organisations in the future."


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Seddon named building industry’s employer of the year for apprentice feats

Construction specialist Seddon has been named Employer of the Year by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG), which represents the building industry's leading contractors.

The national award recognises Seddon's deeply rooted commitment to apprenticeships and training. The company celebrated its 75th anniversary of recruiting apprentices in 2012, with 88 apprentices recruited across Seddon Group during that year.

This is the second time in three years that the Employer of the Year award has gone to Seddon.

Simon Nathan, head of policy at UKCG, said: "Seddon were worthy winners of our Employer of the Year award. The judges were impressed by Seddon's ingrained commitment to training apprentices and investing time in developing the next generation of talent. It was the 75th year of Seddon training apprentices and - despite a difficult construction market - they took on 88 new apprentices, many of whom will enjoy long careers with the company."

Seddon chief executive Jonathan Seddon said: "Skilled apprentices are the lifeblood of our industry and a vital part of what we do.

"To receive this award for the second time is a fantastic recognition of the commitment to apprentice training which exists throughout the company.

"We have always taken the view that helping apprentices to develop their skills and careers with our support is the right thing to do. Not only is it good for us as a company and the young people we work with, but it also benefits the wider construction sector and the communities where we work. Our aim is to keep delivering some of the best training the industry can provide."

The Employer of the Year award - sponsored by industry training body CITB and B&CE - was presented at the UKCG annual lunch in central London.


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Monday, July 1, 2013

Towards Maturity launch 2013 benchmark study

Learning and development research company Towards Maturity has launched its tenth year of benchmark research, the largest study of L&D effectiveness in Europe. 

The Towards Maturity Benchmark Study is a vendor neutral study that identifies how organisations are using learning technologies in the workplace. Since 2003, the study has analysed data from more than 2,200 organisations and in excess of 3,700 learners. 

The study takes between forty minutes to an hour to complete and enables participants to review their current learning strategy in six key areas:

• Objectives and vision

• Impact on business outcomes

• Stakeholder engagement

• Barriers to overcome

• Underpinning technology plans

• Implementation tactics

Organisations at all stages of learning maturity are invited to participate and to use the outcomes of the research which will be freely available. Those who benchmark don't have to reinvent the wheel. 

By taking part in the study, participants initially will be sent a free Personalised Benchmark Report in August with an in-depth analysis of their unique Towards Maturity Index - a measure of how the organisation is performing against others in the study. 

The personalised benchmarking report will also contain 12 updated key performance indicators and a new Alignment and Engagement Index to help participating organisations set strategy, engage stakeholders and open up new conversations within their business. The main findings of the study will be launched in November 2013 in conjunction with the Learning and Skills Group.

Seventy-three per cent of participants who completed the survey in 2012 said that their review provoked discussion or ideas on how to improve the impact of their learning services.

Niall Gavin, group head of L&D at First Group, said: "First Group has participated in the TM benchmark over the last 5 years and the continual review process helps us to challenge our thinking and track our progress both internally and against our peers. 

"The Towards Maturity Model has provided us with a practical framework on which to base our Learning and Development strategy, helping us to focus on supporting the strategic priorities of our business. I welcome the introduction of the new Alignment and Engagement Indices in the 2013 Study which will help us to strengthen our relationships with important business stakeholders."

Laura Overton, managing director of Towards Maturity, said: "Today's L&D departments are under pressure to transform the way that they support learning and performance at work but have little time to stop and reflect on how they are going to achieve this. The Towards Maturity Benchmark provides the opportunity to fast track their way to success. The independent evidence it provides, of both progress and opportunities to improve, is essential for any learning leader looking to be at the top of their game."

The study is open to L&D leaders across all sectors and it is free to take part. Participants can access the study on the Towards Maturity website at http://tinyurl.com/TMB2013


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War for talent increases threefold as turnover slows, survey finds

The proportion of employers reporting an increase in competition for well-qualified talent has risen threefold from 20 per cent in 2009 to 62 per cent in 2013. That's according to the CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2013, launched today at the CIPD's annual Recruitment conference in London.

The annual survey, which examines resourcing and talent planning strategies across private, public and voluntary sector organisations, found that six in ten organisations had experienced difficulties filling vacancies in the past year. Managerial and professional vacancies are the hardest ones to fill (52 per cent of organisations reported difficulties), followed by technical specialists, particularly in the manufacturing and production sector (46 per cent of organisations overall reported difficulties in this area, compared with 57 per cent in the manufacturing and production sector).

Ksenia Zheltoukhova, research associate at the CIPD, said: "As well as building a strong employer brand and thinking creatively about attraction and recruitment strategies in order to attract passive job seekers, employers will have to widen the pools from which they recruit and develop talent, as well as creating new and varied career paths driven by a culture of lifelong learning. For example, employers are increasingly appointing less qualified candidates and building their capacity to develop skills internally. Inclusive recruitment practices are also an investment in future skills retention, crucial as the war for talent intensifies."

The survey shows that the rate of labour turnover has declined steadily since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, and one in six organisations reported that an absence of applicants has contributed to recruitment difficulties.

Barney Ely, director at Hays Human Resources, said: "We are starting to see confidence slowly returning to the jobs market with interesting and challenging opportunities available for those highly skilled professionals who are looking to make their next move. However, these workers are still being cautious when considering a new role so employers are facing a competitive market when trying to attract people to fill skills gaps.

"They should step up to this challenge  by retaining and training their existing workforce with career development and progression initiatives, and by looking at broader talent pools  to ensure they have the skill set to drive business growth." 


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neuTrain launches content sharing platform

Not-for-profit organisation neuTrain has announced the launch of an online platform where training professionals worldwide share courses, presentations and other learning materials. 

New for the learning industry: materials are reviewed by users, following the YouTube model, offering contributors a wide audience of content feedback.

The platform allows trainers to share their learning materials, including presentations, trainer notes, instructions for delivery, hand outs and other content. Having viewed the sets of materials, users can purchase them. Eighty percent of the download fee goes directly to the contributor, with neuTrain taking twenty percent to cover running costs.  

neuTrain founder Lucy Standing predicts strong demand from learning professionals world-wide, who are happy to share good content and best practice rather than researching and creating courses which others have already produced elsewhere.

"The L&D world is changing: time and financial resource are rare commodities. Our simple aim is to help people deliver performance by sharing free, reviewed learning material.  I firmly believe that access to knowledge should be easily available and unconstrained by commercial interest. We offer a straightforward, no nonsense approach to improving training efficiency while boosting the online exposure of those involved," she said/ 

Industry professionals have back the new launch and believe it possesses numerous benefits

Donald H Taylor, chairman of the Learning and Skills Group, said: "neuTrain has something new to offer. I'd recommend any area where learning professionals can go to share. It's vital that we move from being the gatekeepers for information to the people who take information and add value to it. We do that best by not reproducing something that has already been produced many times elsewhere but by looking at the best that is out there and add our expertise, our value, our insight. That way we're doing the best job for our organisations."

Steve Whiddett, managing director, WHE-UK and chairman of the Association of Business Psychologists, said: "I view neuTrain as a natural partner. I've always worked on the principle that if I have useful information for my clients, they should have it. They will come to me if they want the added value."

Martin Baker, CEO, Charity Learning Consortium, added: "The Charity Learning Consortium is a community of charities and learning professionals working together to reduce costs and share best practise. Reinventing the wheel is not an option. Instant access to existing, reviewed material is a valuable asset. We love neuTrain's approach."

For further details, visit: http://www.neutrain.net


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7 Strategies to Improve Safety for Contingent Workers

Construction workers, farm laborers, warehousing employees and hotel workers are more likely to be employed on a contingent basis in the United States, which may make them vulnerable to occupational hazards. In a new white paper, the Center for Progressive Reform highlights the occupational safety and health concerns faced by contingent workers and shares strategies to improve their working conditions.

The white paper “At the Company’s Mercy: Protecting Contingent Workers from Unsafe Working Conditions,” by CPR member scholars Martha McCluskey, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro and Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Shudtz, highlights the occupational challenges facing contingent workers in the United States and suggests strategies to improve their working conditions.

“Their shared experience is one of little job security, low wages, minimal opportunities for advancement, and, all too often, hazardous working conditions,” the white paper says of workers whose employment is contingent upon short-term fluctuations in demand for employees. “When hazards lead to work-related injuries, the contingent nature of the employment relationship can exacerbate the negative consequences for the injured worker and society.”

Employers of contingent workers often do not pay for workers’ compensation or health insurance and can simply hire replacements when workers are injured – factors that give these employers little financial incentive to eliminate safety hazards or help injured workers return to work. Additionally, employers sometimes misclassify contingent workers as “independent contractors” in order to claim the workers will pay their own taxes and insurance – a practice that reduces the employer’s expenses while also removing the incentive to create a safe workplace, the paper states.

The white paper includes case studies on contingent workers in four industries: farming, construction, warehousing and hospitality. The construction industry, for example, employs a disproportionate number of contingent workers in the United States. Most of these workers are young men, and many are Hispanic or Latino, performing dangerous jobs that have a high risk for falls, nail-gun injuries, musculoskeletal injuries and more.

7 Ways to Protect Contingent Workers

The CPR white paper offered seven strategies to ensure the contingent work force is protected:

1. Empower workers with a stronger right-to-know. “Well-educated and well-trained workers are the most empowered – they know their rights, they know when they have been wronged, and they know the best way to correct a hazardous work environment,” the report states. “Contingent workers do not get enough education and training.”

2. Empower workers with a right-to-act.“Under current law, workers lack the power to commence legal action on their own accord against an employer that is breaking the law; instead, they must make a formal complaint to OSHA compliance and await the agency’s response …Workers need to be able to wield power that is proportionate to their huge stake in the game. That power should come in the form of an amendment the OSH Act that would create a legal vehicle for enforcing worker rights against employers,” the paper asserts.

3. Strengthen OSHA enforcement. The paper claim that “OSHA could make a significant impact on health and safety in contingent workers’ lives through modifications to existing enforcement policies … In addition, OSHA has the ability to test the new policies for effectiveness by implementing them in discrete geographical areas or selected industries.”

4. Create ergonomics standards. “Since ergonomic hazards pose significant risks in industries and occupations that employ many contingent workers, OSHA should establish regulations to eliminate those hazards,” the paper states. “…OSHA could issue a series of industry-specific ergonomics rules, geared toward particular hazards. Starting with industries that employ a significant number of contingent workers would lead to better protections for millions of workers without coming close to the alleged $4 trillion price tag that prompted the congressional veto of the broader standard in 2001.”

5. Reform voluntary and consultation programs. “As the contingent workforce grows, OSHA has an obligation to revisit existing programs to ensure that they meet the needs of contingent workers,” the paper asserts. “First, OSHA should revise the minimum criteria that companies must meet to be part of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) … Given the health and safety concerns raised by employer decisions to place contingent workers in new and high-hazard jobs, VPP entry criteria should be revised to require that VPP employers only use contingent workers in low-hazard occupations such as clerical work.”

6. Build a case to close statutory loopholes. “OSHA should also determine if there are data that support closing loopholes in the OSH Act that limit the statute’s applicability to domestic workers and farmworkers on small farms,” the white paper added.

7. Improve foreign-language capabilities. According to the white paper, “the high number of Hispanic workers in the contingent workforce suggests that language barriers can create challenges for education and training … In addition to hiring more bilingual inspectors, OSHA must increase the foreign-language capabilities of staff who develop education and training materials. The agency should establish a goal of making all of these materials available in multiple languages and formats, reflecting not only the spectrum of workers’ native languages, but also differences in culture and literacy.”

“As the contingent worker population grows, the occupational safety and health community will have to adapt,” the paper concluded. “OSHA Compliance Training can lead the way with new rules and better enforcement, but the agency will also need the help of other advocacy organizations, from union-affiliated campaigns to worker centers to faith-based groups. Because the contingent workforce is particularly vulnerable to unfair treatment and poor working conditions, empowering these workers to act will take the support of many advocates.”


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Redsky to provide training solutions for Moneysupermarket

Learning and development specialist Redsky Learning has extended its portfolio of clients after being appointed to provide bespoke training solutions to Moneysupermarket.

The price comparison website has commissioned Redsky Learning to deliver 'Catch the Bug', a workshop aimed at enhancing delegates' creativity and innovative capabilities. Moneysupermarket.com has signed up to a series of the creativity masterclasses for its teams across the UK.

Rachel Phillips at MoneySupermarket, said: "At MoneySupermarket we understand the importance of people development and Redsky have designed a fantastic series of high energy, high impact creative master-classes, to be run as part of our in house MPower management development programme. Innovation and creativity are at the heart of what we do and so we chose to implement the Catch the Bug master-classes to help staff to think differently and come up with new and exciting business goals."

Redsky Learning specialises in development of leaders at all levels with experience in retail, construction, finance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, public sector and leisure. With a fresh approach to learning, Redsky works in partnership with clients to prepare a tailored development programme that addresses their needs and challenges.

Diane Coolican, managing director of Redsky Learning, said: "We are thrilled to be working with this influential and well-known company. These programmes have been designed to mirror the companies' unique aims and cultures to inspire staff and enable teams to work more effectively to deliver even better results. Both creativity and effective leadership are essential skills for the success of any business and we are looking forward to working closely with Moneysupermarket.com to meet their business objectives."


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Students do possess right attributes for work, study claims

New research looking at the business benefits of engaging with young people challenges the perceived wisdom that school leavers lack the basic skills and right attitude for the workplace. 

The findings come from qualitative research commissioned by Career Academies UK, a business-education charity that helps bridge the gap between employers and socially disadvantaged students.

Sponsored by Santander, the research consulted senior managers in companies about their experiences of working with 16- to 19 year-olds. The study identified seven key benefits for employers, which roughly divided into two groups; personal benefits to employees involved in working with young people and commercial benefits to the organisations themselves.  

By engaging with young people, companies stated that they had become better connected with their communities and customers, improved their marketing to young people and opened up new talent streams.  

A massive 75 per cent of respondents stated professional development of the staff involved was a key benefit of engaging with young people. A further 70 per cent felt that increased employee morale was another reason to open their doors, an opinion shared by these businesses irrespective of their size. 

One in five of the employers surveyed had recruited a young person as a direct result of engaging with the Career Academies UK programme with one employer estimating a saving in recruitment costs in excess of £100,000. 

Director of policy at Career Academies UK, David Walker said; "The message is clear.  Once they come to know them, employers do value young people and are struck by their enthusiasm and energy levels. What is missing is the connectivity between the two. The time has never been more important for businesses to access this untapped resource.  If attitudes don't change we risk losing a generation that cannot afford university and cannot find work."  

With one million young people out of work, employers' perceptions of young people are a major hurdle to employment. The CBI reports that 81 per of SMEs are not confident that school leavers possess the right level of employability skills.  The CIPD says poor careers advice and a lack of support leaves young people with little understanding of the world of work and how to improve their chances of finding a job  

However, Katerina Rüdiger, head of policy campaigns at the CIPD, said: "This important research confirms what many employers who do recruit young people know already: bringing young people into your organisation makes business sense. We also know that many employers want to increase their engagement with young people, but sometimes struggle with taking the first step. HR professionals can lead the way in this, which is why the CIPD is working with its members, providing them with practical advice and guidance on how to take on young people and how to collaborate with organisations like Career Academies UK to make this happen."


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Impact: Effective leadership can help deal with uncertainty

If you can create a culture which supports collaboration and innovation, you're well set up to deal with the uncertain times that lie ahead. 

That's according to senior personnel at people development company Impact International who were speaking exclusively to TJ at the first ever Learnfest forum held at the firm's headquarters in Cumbria.

With talent management being the main focus of the festival, Helen Symes, senior account director, and Sam Carey, UK managing director, took time out to discuss the latest trends. And both believe good leaders are needed to deal with the tentative times ahead.

Symes said: "We're living in a VUCA landscape and we need leaders who are good at acting in the moment and are able to deal with ambiguity and instability - so I'd say agility in this instance is a really important thing.

"For me, the bit about leadership being the red thread is very important for us. It's very important for any talent management strategy. If you have the right leadership, you create a good culture where people are really good at identifying and spotting talent from within.

"What's interesting is that a lot of organisations are now helping their managers become talent spotters. We do some work with helping businesses help their managers become apt in this regard.  With this in mind, it's all about our approach to changing the mindsets of leaders. Leadership and behavioural change are of vital importance and it's about conveying this message to others."

Carey agreed with Symes and stressed the significance of having the "right alignment" when it comes to leadership. 

"Anybody with a voice has a leadership capacity within them and that's definitely something which we think about and try to pass onto others. It's about helping everyone to fulfil their potential. It's not about who you are but what you do in the moment. 

"Organisations have a responsibility to do well by doing good by others. This comes back to having the right culture. And if people don't have the right culture, employees will leave. All this leads back to leadership - it's about having that right alignment," she said. 

Speakers at the event also voiced the great role young people have to play in organisations. Sue Hunt, director of strategic programmes at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) praised the amount of young people who helped volunteer to make the Games great. And with the war for talent raging, TJ were told that managers need to think about the way they adjust to the needs of different generations. 

Symes said: "The generational differences are a big thing which all leaders are going to have to think deeply about - generations x, y and z are all in the workplace at the same time. The generation of Baby boomers now do not want to retire. This is leading to a situation now where you have an environment with the biggest spread of generations that we have ever seen. They have different priorities, wants and needs and learning styles - it's really important for leaders to consider this and decide how they're going to react.

"Then there's technology. What does it mean for the way in which we connect and share knowledge and how we then communicate and develop our talent?"

Carey added: "This war for talent rages on - it's different but it's still there. The morphing from talent to aptitude is something we're seeing more of and a lot of organisations are saying that the war is for finding the people that have the raw materials rather than skills as this can be developed on the job."

The event itself was laid out in a festival-like atmosphere with delegates networking with learning experts in circus tents and on lawns. Attendees were encouraged to discard of formal wear, while the option to take part in activities, development experiences and team-based sessions made for great conversation and creativity. 

Learnfest revolves around a different theme each year. The focus this year was on talent management. For more information on Impact International, visit: http://www.impactinternational.com/ 


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Cumbrian business tops Best Workplace list for 2013

Leadership development consultancy Impact International has been announced as the UK's No 1 Best Workplace for 2013 (medium category) by the Great Places to Work® Institute.

The award has been given to Impact for its effectiveness in understanding how to motivate and lead a workforce. The company advises more than 400 businesses - many of them global brands including Sony, Thomson Reuters, Swiss Re, United Nations, Barclays, P&G, Lend Lease, BP and UBS - from its headquarters situated on the shores of Lake Windermere. 

By blending industry expertise with investment in sector research, Impact helps its clients to understand what motivates their employees to be happy and effective at work. One aspect of the company's unique approach to running a successful business is their 'Acts of Leadership©' methodology which focuses on unlocking leadership qualities in all employees, not only at senior management level. This approach, alongside employee engagement and sustainability, is something that Impact puts into practice in its own company as well as encouraging other organisations to do the same.

David Williams, Impact's founder and CEO, said: "At Impact, we believe that everyone has some capacity for leadership action, with our core aim being to encourage every individual in the business to reach their full potential so that the business can perform to its very best. Winning this Best Workplace award is a fantastic testament to the team's hard work in ensuring that we create the right environment in which we can work together to do the best work for our clients."

With 17 offices across Asia Pacific, America and Europe, Impact International also owns three country house hotels in the heart of the Lake District. The company's unique locations are purposely far removed from the traditional corporate world. They aim to offer a unique environment for employees to learn and develop, to re-energise and focus on personal and business priorities.

"Since Impact ran its first programmes in 1980 we have attracted many intelligent, energetic people who have helped to create a business that is about community, professionalism and fun. We don't presume to engage our people - they are their own people who are perfectly capable of engaging themselves. Instead, we all work together to do worthwhile things well, to be a company worth working for. And it works," he concluded.


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Speexx wins the 2013 IELA award

Communication skills training provider has been awarded with the 2013 IELA Award for the "Blended Learning" category.

The award ceremony took place last week at the ICELW Conference in New York.

The International E-Learning Association (IELA) Awards are bestowed on an annual basis for the best projects and solutions in e-learning, mobile learning, and blended learning, across two divisions: Academic and Business/Industry. 

All submissions are evaluated by the IELA Awards Committee who look for a variety of attributes. These include educational soundness and effectiveness, usability, and overall significance. 

Organisations from all over the world submitted applications for the highly esteemed award. According to Dr. David Guralnick, chairman of the IELA Awards Committee, this year's set of submissions was of "particularly high quality". The IELA committee, which consisted of experts in the E-Learning field, selected the top nine applicants as winners, runner-ups and honourable mentions. 

Speexx was chosen as the winner of the "Blended Learning" category for its online language training solution, which combines innovative self-paced e-learning tools with live communication skills training by certified native speakers for Business English, Spanish, German, Italian and French.

Armin Hopp, founder and president of Speexx, said: "We are delighted and honoured to be selected for the IELA Award. As a global provider of innovative online language training solutions, Speexx strives to fulfil the highest qualitative standards in the Talent Management sector. 

"Winning the Blended Learning category award bears testimony to the results delivered by our Perfect Blend of online learning tools, real-life communication skills training and active coaching. On behalf of Speexx, I would like to thank our customers for their continued support and the IELA judging panel for this accolade."


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Continued global growth drives Kineo expansion

Learning technology solutions provider Kineo is expanding its head office operations in the UK following a period of sustained business growth.

The company opens its new headquarters this week, which will be home to a team of more than 150 staff. Kineo last moved its operation in April 2008, having grown from an initial four founding members in 2005 to 50 permanent staff. The organisation remains close to its roots, however, with a new base at Sovereign House, a recent re-development built in the heart of Brighton.

The UK expansion mirrors the wider success of Kineo's global network across the US, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Middle East and Europe. This week also sees the opening of a new office in Canberra, Australia.

Now part of the City & Guilds Group, Kineo is able to offer the complete learning solution; from custom e-learning and learning management systems (LMS), through to fully accredited blended solutions, managed training programmes and apprenticeships.  

Kineo's managing director Steve Rayson, said: "This expansion takes Kineo into a fantastic new, purpose-built headquarters to accommodate our growing team. It's important to us to progress but we're committed to our home town of Brighton, especially with the great views we've now got across the South Downs and the English channel!

"The move comes at a time of sustained growth across Kineo worldwide. With more offices opening around the world, and our newly extended portfolio of products and services, we're looking forward to exciting times ahead as we continue to innovate and grow."

As part of the expansion, Kineo has a number of positions available within its team. Details can be found on the Kineo website: http://www.kineo.com/jobs-at-kineo/jobs-at-kineo.html 


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Safeguard the potential of the Contingent Workers

We all are aware of the fact that today workers or employees are not safe at their working premises, as they confront a wide range of emerging health and safety issues that requires to be noticed. OSHA has introduced its future direction towards the health and safety of contingent workers. The health section comprise of threats from operating respiratory illness, combined exposure to latest mixture of harmful chemicals, and exposures to radical fine particulates, as well as amphibious and unreal vitreous fibers. Within the safety space, rising problems embody, fall hazards from wireless communications and high-definition television tower construction, noise in construction, and difficulties in reaching the increasing population of mobile employees.

OSHA SAFETY RULES

OSHA provided safety and health support for 1st response, salvage and recovery operations, and hygiene operations in hazard analysis, monitoring, and refinement. Extra activities are already current to boost OSHA’s readiness. This space would require continued attention throughout the look amount. OSHA tenders a good choice of training compliance courses and academic programs to assist broaden employee and leader information on the popularity, avoidance, and interference of safety and health hazards at their workplace. OSHA, in addition to this also tenders training and academic materials that facilitate businesses train their employees and suit the activity Safety and Health Act.
OSHA plays a vital role in supporting contingent workers by polishing off programs designed to save lots of lives, stop injuries and diseases, and shield the health of America’s employees.

These 7 Strategies comprise of:

Emerging leadership qualities and standards for work safety and health,Supervising employment premises and coping with employers and staff,Offering guidance to small businesses,Providing training compliance help, outreach, academics, and different cooperative programs for employers and staff,Providing matching grants to help states in administering consultation comes and approved activity safety and health social control programs, andDeveloping friendly relationships with different agencies and organizations in order to cope with vital safety and health problems.Exercising sturdy, efficient, and honest social control

OSHA additionally supports contingent workers by making certain that its rules effectively address policy problems which they are doing not produce inessential restrictive burden.

OSHA Strategic Management set up, focuses on serious hazards and dangerous workplaces and includes ways that emphasize:

Increasing partnerships and charitable programs

Providing and extending academics and training compliance help.

OSHA MISSION

OSHA’s mission is to delve and make sure work safety and health safety for contingent workers.

OSHA, along side its valued state partners, achieves its mission through varied means that, as well as work social control of applicable laws and rules, inspections, consultation services compliance help, outreach, education, cooperative programs, and supplying of standards and steerage. So as to extend its effectiveness, bureau collaborates with a spread of organizations fascinated by activity safety and health.

About emPower

emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit
http://www.empowerbpo.com
.


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Innovia films crowned apprentice team of the year

Nine apprentices from SME firm Innovia Films have been named the country's official 'apprentice team of the year' following a six month challenge against some of the country's employers and training providers. 

Innovia Films fought off competition from seven other teams after raising more than £6,000 for charity and completing a community project which involved renovating sites for charity, Chrysalis.

The teams in total raised more than £34,000 for eight different charities as well as staging school talks and conducting media interviews to explain how Apprenticeships enable young people to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.

Supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge tests non-technical work skills and the personal attributes of competing apprentices.

The final stages, at Brathay Trust's Cumbrian HQ saw Innovia Films narrowly beat Norse Group and 2012 winners Cobham into second place.

The two-day event in Cumbria tested teams' problem solving and physical endurance, culminating in a muscle-sapping whaler boat race, across Lake Windermere that tested the upper body strength of competitors to the maximum.  

David Beeby, CEO of Innovia Films, congratulated their apprentices and said: "Our apprentices are a vital part of our organisation and to see them recognised in a national competition is a huge achievement for both us as an organisation and the apprentices as individuals." 

Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock, added: "When you look at the talent and enthusiasm shown by Innovia Films, it's obvious why more businesses are choosing to hire Apprentices. 92 per cent of employers who take on Apprentices say they lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce. 

"The competitors in this year's Brathay Apprentice Challenge are an asset to their companies and an inspiration to other young people. The challenge is further evidence that Apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for young people who want to achieve their career goals through an alternative route to University."


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Businesses must act now to avoid a "talent retrofit"

Organisations across the UK are facing a leadership crisis according to new research out today from talent and career management specialist Right Management.

The research found that just one in eight (15 per cent) UK-based professionals think that their organisation has a robust leadership pipeline. This problem is being acutely felt at a senior level, with many companies experiencing a "talent retrofit" whereby business leaders are only receiving development and training after they have been put into leadership roles.

A shortage of talent at all levels was reported to be the most pressing concern for 34 per cent of HR professionals around the world, dropping slightly to a quarter (27 per cent) in the UK. Leadership planning is also a real concern, with a fifth (21 per cent) of UK respondents saying that a lack of high potential leaders in the organisation was their greatest challenge in 2013 and one in ten (11 per cent) saying that they routinely look externally before filling critical roles in their organisation.

The research, which surveyed 2,600 senior HR executives across 14 countries, found that organisations across the globe are facing the same leadership development challenge, with the USA and Canada being the least optimistic. Only four per cent of HR directors in the USA and seven per cent in Canada felt that their current leadership pipeline can cover most of their business needs.

Mark Hodgson, talent management practice leader at Right Management, said: "It's becoming increasingly clear that very few organisations have a structured or systematic approach to identifying leadership potential.

"It can take several months to hire at a senior level which could leave many organisations facing a 'leadership limbo' if they don't have potential high-level talent within their organisation. To combat this, it's vital that organisations align their talent agenda with the future needs of the business to ensure that they have a clear pipeline of talent at all levels."

He added: "Leadership development needs to happen before people are put into leadership roles; without this, businesses risk facing a 'talent retrofit' which could take years to really come to fruition."


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OWP13: Apprenticeships are a hugely successful model

The worker of today is different to the worker of previous years, and this is down to the new skillset needed, TJ were told.

According to Stephane Garelli, business professor at the IMD business school in Switzerland, the skills that workers need are going to continuously change and this will have a massive impact on the way we educate our workforce.

And for Garelli, the importance of initiatives like apprenticeships should not be understated when it comes to the changing nature of skills.

"In most major European countries, we're now looking at a dual education system with university on one side and apprenticeships on the other," he said.

"What we're starting to see, especially in most countries that have an apprenticeship system, is that they struggle less when it comes to talent management. And this overall leads to lower employment, especially youth unemployment, which is a problem that plagues a lot of countries in Europe."

Speaking at the Orchestrating Winning Performance programme, hosted by the IMD business school, he stressed the importance of conveying the right message to employers when it comes to apprenticeships.

"Apprenticeships really are the name of the game for me. You've seen great successful models in countries like Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

"For me, what's important is that we convey the right message to employers and illustrate the value an apprentice can bring to the business - we know this is a long-term process though. But if we ignore this issue, it could well turn into a bigger political problem."


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New scheme launched to match talent with vacancies

More than 3,500 engineers, students and apprentices have already signed up to a flagship industry scheme designed to match engineering talent with new job opportunities.

The national web-based Talent Retention Solution (TRS) brings together specialists whose jobs may be at risk or people who want to work in engineering - with companies that are looking to recruit skilled staff to satisfy growth in their companies.

Launched in 2011, TRS, was created by business for business. The scheme has now grown to include more than 600 companies of all sizes supporting a number of sectors including aerospace, electronics, energy, construction and automotive. These include not only some of the UK's largest companies - such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, BAE Systems and Siemens - but a range of midsized and smaller sized firms.

This number of companies on TRS is set to nearly double with the addition of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) and British Glass as the latest sponsors of the scheme. Their participation in the scheme will immediately allow their member companies automatic access to TRS. 

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "What I like most about the TRS is how simple it is. It's like an 'eBay' for engineers that matches vacancies with talent. 

"With successful manufacturers constantly telling me they struggle to recruit engineers, I hope the popularity of the TRS will encourage even more people to sign up - especially small businesses who can use it for free."

Allan Cook, chairman of the Skills and Jobs Retention Group, which led the development of the TRS, said: "I am delighted with the service TRS is providing and how employers in our sector plan to expand it further. The involvement of our latest sponsors - ECITB and British Glass - is a further boost for TRS, given their tremendous reach with companies across a wide range of industries including nuclear, oil & gas, construction and glass manufacturing. This will enhance the scheme, adding to the companies that have supported TRS since its launch in 2011. 

"Many more companies and individuals will benefit from the exceptional access to talent that TRS offers. SMEs, students, apprentices and experienced engineers can all register at no cost - it's a simple and effective way to see the career opportunities available in our most important and exciting industry. This is a win-win situation for employers, potential employees and the whole industry."


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Isle of Man invests in training to support growing sectors

Through strong public-private sector collaboration, the Department of Econimc Development has launched a two-year full-time training programme aimed at developing and delivering a local workforce with the practical skills and training necessary to meet the employment demands of the Isle of Man's fast growing sectors.

The significant investment in the "Manufacturing Technician Skills" programme, starting in September 2013, represents another step forward for the promotion of the Island's flourishing manufacturing sector. Building on the success of the ACE (Awareness of Careers in Engineering) scheme that has been rolled out across the Island's primary and secondary schools, the new programme will provide opportunities for employment in certain craft or operative roles as well as being the pathway to formal apprenticeship and technician training vacancies. With an initial intake of 18, plans are under development to increase this figure further in the future given the growing long term need for skilled staff.

Minister for Economic Development, John Shimmin MHK, said: "Developing a highly skilled workforce is pivotal for fostering inward investment and maintaining the success of the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster as the main generator of growth on the Island.  It will also help contribute to the development of technologies and solutions in the manufacturing sector, making the Isle of Man an important player in the world supply chain. 

"Currently, 100 per cent of Isle of Man engineering apprentices who complete their training move directly into employment and we are confident that, with the benefit of the Island's business-friendly environment and effective public-private sector relationships, this trend will continue under the new initiative.'

Chris Allen, vice chairman of the Manufacturing & Technical Industries Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, added: "The Island has a strong engineering sector and ensuring the availability of a skilled workforce is a critical factor in our continued success and future growth.  We face the same challenge as the UK and indeed Europe in that these skills are in short supply and we are in direct competition with other jurisdictions for skilled people.  

"We have worked with both DED and the Isle of Man College to bring forward a local solution, providing the skills and abilities identified by the local business sector as being essential."

In conjunction with the private sector, the department has also launched a number of joint initiatives to address training within the Isle of Man's 'emerging sectors' of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and e-Gaming.

The department is undertaking an Island-wide survey of ICT skills to plan how best to maximise growth in the sector. In addition, the initiative will be encouraging local businesses to provide work experience, placements and possible apprenticeships. 

Shimmin said: "E-Gaming continues to provide growth and now represents 8% of our economy. Indeed the sector created a further 60 new jobs in the first quarter of 2013. The launch of the Postgraduate Certificate in E-Gaming in December 2012 also created a renewed interest in the sector and we now have a core of locally-based participants who are currently working in the gaming industry."


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UK rail industry must stay on ‘track’ with training, report warns

A staggering 77 per cent of rail industry professionals are concerned about a skills gap within their organisation.

That's according to a new research study released today by Thales Training & Consultancy which reveals that training budgets need to be focused on technical and management skills.

Looking specifically at where the industry perceives the skill gaps, 72 per cent believe the development of hard/technical skills - those which enable an individual to fulfil their day-to-day role - is suffering the most. This is a risk for the rail sector as many of the hard skills are linked to compliance issues, opening organisations up to audit failures, fines and litigation. Soft skills, which refer to how people achieve goals through communication and management, are not a concern (28 per cent). This conforms to a belief within the sector that soft skills will remain a key focus over the next 10 years.

Rachel Kay, business development director at Thales Training & Consultancy, said: "The UK has historically been at the forefront of rail innovation and therefore it's vital for those working in the industry to be armed with the right skills to do their job.

"It's great to see that despite the turbulent economic climate of recent times, the rail industry has understood the importance of developing its people and has continued to invest in development, ensuring that managers are fully equipped to meet the changes in technology and lead the next upgrade of the rail infrastructure in the UK.  However, for training to be effective it is critical that it is mapped against organisational business objectives with clear measures of success to avoid the pitfalls of the skills gap."

Looking to the future, 46 per cent of respondents believe that the industry should focus on developing technical skills. As part of the UK railways upgrade, the introduction of new technology will be a training priority as the engineering community adapts to new ways of working. Leadership skills (28 per cent) are also key to the future to ensure the UK rail industry stays at the forefront of innovation. Inspirational leadership is key to driving innovation and this figure could be seen as low. 

Bill Alexander, head of training & skills at NSARE, said: "These findings really replicate what we've been seeing in the rail industry in terms of the depth of the current skills shortage and the emerging skills needed. As an industry we have to look at how we can attract sufficient numbers of people with the right skills, both hard and soft, into the industry to meet the challenges of the investment programmes on the mainline railway and London Underground. We need to consider recruitment planning and adopting a long-term strategy to meet the industry's future needs. There is a massive amount of work to be done but we're confident we can address the skills gap."


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Trust amongst city workers still lacking, CIPD survey reveals

Less than one in three financial sector workers outside of senior management say they're proud to work in the sector, a new study has found.

Today's report, which will be launched by the CIPD at a panel event hosted in collaboration with the Chartered Banker Institute, seeks to place the issue of culture and trust within the sector at the centre of debate ahead of the publication later this month of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking's final report. 

The findings show that almost two thirds of all workers in the sector believe some people in their organisation are rewarded in a way that incentivises inappropriate behaviour, and three in four financial services workers (eight out of ten workers in the banking sector) say they think some people in their organisations are paid excessively.

Employee Outlook:  Focus on rebuilding trust in the City, is based on a survey of more than 1,000 employees in the financial sector and finds that 75 per cent agree that some people in their organisation are still paid excessively. Employees at levels below senior management are most likely to agree (79 per cent) but even 66 per cent of senior managers agree that some people are paid excessively.

Highlighting these findings of new research published today by the CIPD, Peter Cheese, the CIPD chief executive, said: "Financial services remains a sector under fire. Despite median pay across the sector being in line with other industries, and many workers whose working lives couldn't be further removed from the extraordinary and atypical world of investment banking, even within the sector too many workers' pride in their work and faith in efforts to repair broken cultures is being torpedoed by the high profile and damaging behaviours of the recent past".

Worryingly, the survey also found that less than half of respondents rank customers as their organisation's most important stakeholder, while a third consider shareholders to be their number one priority. A further 43 per cent said there had been a shift in focus towards the interests of customers in the last year, while 39 per cent had seen no change in focus and one in ten had seen the emphasis shift away from customers, in favour of profits and shareholders.   

 "For too long, many of our financial institutions had been built on cultures that encouraged and rewarded excessive risk taking and singular focus on short-term financial gain. These cultures reflected a loss of sight of core purpose, at the expense of responsible and sustainable business success, and driven by the disproportionate influence of some parts of investment banking over a vast and important industry that also encompasses critically important retail banking support for individuals and businesses. 

"It's encouraging to see the wider recognition of these failures, but this survey shows there is still much more work to be done. I hope the Parliamentary Commission on Banking's final report later this month will acknowledge the importance of addressing cultural and behavioural shifts as much as regulatory change.

"Organisations need to re-evaluate their core purpose and the values which should define their behavioural expectations and norms. A key part of this is to re-consider their longer term duty to customers, shareholders and the wider stakeholders they impact, including the communities in which they work. 

"Employees need to be able to understand and relate to the purpose and values at every level. This needs to be reinforced through how leaders and managers behave on a daily basis and how they are recruited, managed, developed and promoted. If we define corporate values in practical and meaningful ways, we can define organisational cultures that are truly values-driven and which are lived, breathed and consistently reinforced through actions and behaviours day-in-day out, from top to bottom," he concluded. 


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7 Strategies to Improve Safety for Contingent Workers

Construction workers, farm laborers, warehousing employees and hotel workers are more likely to be employed on a contingent basis in the United States, which may make them vulnerable to occupational hazards. In a new white paper, the Center for Progressive Reform highlights the occupational safety and health concerns faced by contingent workers and shares strategies to improve their working conditions.

The white paper “At the Company’s Mercy: Protecting Contingent Workers from Unsafe Working Conditions,” by CPR member scholars Martha McCluskey, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro and Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Shudtz, highlights the occupational challenges facing contingent workers in the United States and suggests strategies to improve their working conditions.

“Their shared experience is one of little job security, low wages, minimal opportunities for advancement, and, all too often, hazardous working conditions,” the white paper says of workers whose employment is contingent upon short-term fluctuations in demand for employees. “When hazards lead to work-related injuries, the contingent nature of the employment relationship can exacerbate the negative consequences for the injured worker and society.”

Employers of contingent workers often do not pay for workers’ compensation or health insurance and can simply hire replacements when workers are injured – factors that give these employers little financial incentive to eliminate safety hazards or help injured workers return to work. Additionally, employers sometimes misclassify contingent workers as “independent contractors” in order to claim the workers will pay their own taxes and insurance – a practice that reduces the employer’s expenses while also removing the incentive to create a safe workplace, the paper states.

The white paper includes case studies on contingent workers in four industries: farming, construction, warehousing and hospitality. The construction industry, for example, employs a disproportionate number of contingent workers in the United States. Most of these workers are young men, and many are Hispanic or Latino, performing dangerous jobs that have a high risk for falls, nail-gun injuries, musculoskeletal injuries and more.

7 Ways to Protect Contingent Workers

The CPR white paper offered seven strategies to ensure the contingent work force is protected:

1. Empower workers with a stronger right-to-know. “Well-educated and well-trained workers are the most empowered – they know their rights, they know when they have been wronged, and they know the best way to correct a hazardous work environment,” the report states. “Contingent workers do not get enough education and training.”

2. Empower workers with a right-to-act.“Under current law, workers lack the power to commence legal action on their own accord against an employer that is breaking the law; instead, they must make a formal complaint to OSHA compliance and await the agency’s response …Workers need to be able to wield power that is proportionate to their huge stake in the game. That power should come in the form of an amendment the OSH Act that would create a legal vehicle for enforcing worker rights against employers,” the paper asserts.

3. Strengthen OSHA enforcement. The paper claim that “OSHA could make a significant impact on health and safety in contingent workers’ lives through modifications to existing enforcement policies … In addition, OSHA has the ability to test the new policies for effectiveness by implementing them in discrete geographical areas or selected industries.”

4. Create ergonomics standards. “Since ergonomic hazards pose significant risks in industries and occupations that employ many contingent workers, OSHA should establish regulations to eliminate those hazards,” the paper states. “…OSHA could issue a series of industry-specific ergonomics rules, geared toward particular hazards. Starting with industries that employ a significant number of contingent workers would lead to better protections for millions of workers without coming close to the alleged $4 trillion price tag that prompted the congressional veto of the broader standard in 2001.”

5. Reform voluntary and consultation programs. “As the contingent workforce grows, OSHA has an obligation to revisit existing programs to ensure that they meet the needs of contingent workers,” the paper asserts. “First, OSHA should revise the minimum criteria that companies must meet to be part of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) … Given the health and safety concerns raised by employer decisions to place contingent workers in new and high-hazard jobs, VPP entry criteria should be revised to require that VPP employers only use contingent workers in low-hazard occupations such as clerical work.”

6. Build a case to close statutory loopholes. “OSHA should also determine if there are data that support closing loopholes in the OSH Act that limit the statute’s applicability to domestic workers and farmworkers on small farms,” the white paper added.

7. Improve foreign-language capabilities. According to the white paper, “the high number of Hispanic workers in the contingent workforce suggests that language barriers can create challenges for education and training … In addition to hiring more bilingual inspectors, OSHA must increase the foreign-language capabilities of staff who develop education and training materials. The agency should establish a goal of making all of these materials available in multiple languages and formats, reflecting not only the spectrum of workers’ native languages, but also differences in culture and literacy.”

“As the contingent worker population grows, the occupational safety and health community will have to adapt,” the paper concluded. “OSHA Compliance Training can lead the way with new rules and better enforcement, but the agency will also need the help of other advocacy organizations, from union-affiliated campaigns to worker centers to faith-based groups. Because the contingent workforce is particularly vulnerable to unfair treatment and poor working conditions, empowering these workers to act will take the support of many advocates.”


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