Countdown to launches

Training offers you a quick guide to new products and services being unveiled at the HRD2000 exhibition. By Stephanie Sparrow

Key themes from the Government’s Competitiveness White Paper will be aired for discussion this week as Europe’s largest training and development conference kicks off at Olympia as part of HRD 2000 (3-6 April).

The exhibition, like the conference, will offer the chance to explore the possibilities of the Internet and assess the concept of lifelong learning. Witness the impact of the on-line revolution as major names step up the applications available.

Specialist software house Intellect (stand 1010) will be showing its interactive Workforce Online module with the latest version of the Workforce human resource software Version 8.0.

Intellect says Workforce Online will provide employees with an easy-to-navigate site with a logical set of links, menus and prompts. It is designed to provide an intranet or Internet package which allows employees to apply for internal vacancies, for example, by integrating the information into an organisation’s core Workforce for Windows modules.

The package can also be used as a library source for procedures documents and staff manuals. Information needs can still be defined by the employer, however, and it decides what employees can view, which fields are updateable and what authorisations are required.

Also promoting online learning is Ellis Hayward (stand 782) which is offering management learning programmes in a range of areas including customer service skills, call centre management and induction training, all of which can be delivered via the Internet or in-company intranet.

Training professionals should have plenty of opportunity to update their own skills and flex their purchasing muscle.

TrainingZONE (stand 1542) will launch three areas on its site. Managing director Tim Pickles explains, “TrainingZONE is for people engaged in training and HR. In one place we offer them their own magazine and the chance to speak to each other.

“At HRD Week we are launching several new areas of the site. One is the new jobs area. Trainers can post jobs vacancies at next to no cost. They can search for vacancies. They can set up an alert which means that they can be specific about what their ideal job would be and it tells them when something appears that matches it.”

Other areas include a resource zone which allows professionals to post and read research materials.

Trainers can make the most of the e-commerce marketplace with the launch of Skillvest.com – an integrated HR service, which uses the Internet to accelerate and streamline the search, evaluation and purchase of training for business users.

Launched from stand 692, Skillvest.com will allow businesses to request information and proposals or blind tender for training programmes in an open market.

According to the company’s CEO Jac Peeris, “Skillvest.com offers business a wide-reaching, time-efficient service which incorporates independent third-party feedback on both training programmes and training organisers. The days of HR managers searching through hundreds of brochures and taking pot luck on their training programmes are now over.”


Essential reading


The business benefits of learning to employers will be essential reading for all training professionals at the Nacett stand (344). This key information will become available on the body’s web site which is being launched at HRD2000.

The report Learning Pays and Learning Works-a Review of the Economic Benefits of Learning draws together current evidence on the value of training and education. Conducted by Prof Mike Campbell of the Policy Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University, the research looks at the returns companies get from their investment in people.

Updates on Nacett’s national and regional Learning Pays campaign which includes sponsorship and business seminars will be available at www.nacett.org.uk Users of the site will be able to find text and audio quotes from high-profile Nacett council members about the benefits of learning which could prove to be useful ammunition for presentations to the board.

HR managers are under increasing pressure, according to software giant PWA Personnel Systems. International director Adrian Hobbs will speak at the exhibition on the strategic management of human assets – the new competitive battleground, on 4 April.

He will tell delegates, “The HR role is changing to suit new business strategies. Line managers are being enabled to manage employees, while HR departments focus on aligning people strategy and business strategy, as well as monitoring and assessing the HR processes and advising the board and managers on people issues.”

Visitors who miss the seminar but who want to celebrate with PWA on its recent success in winning the Institute of IT Training Gold Standard, can catch up with the company on stand 1102.


Speedier recruitment


A speedier recruitment process is promised by PSL as it launches its latest on-line recruitment initiative jobsift.com on stand 418. The company says it is an Internet screening tool suitable for situations where high numbers of applicants have to be reduced rapidly to a shortlist for interviews or assessment. It aims to sift out applicants based on competencies relevant to the jobs they are applying for by using an online questionnaire.

The company claims it can be integrated with an in-house recruitment web site or be linked to commercial bulletin boards.

Delegates might want to visit the John Machete stand (1018) as the company has announced it has become prime European distributor for SkillScape Competence Manager, an online solution.

The SCM can be operated via the Internet and on intranets to provide a structure to manage skills development. Within SCM is a dictionary which provides 8,000 skills definitions.

“With SCM, employees can directly assess their skills against these or their own competency measures, define their skills gaps and through a seamless integrated link with Personal Registrar, instantly enrol in the courses that are recommended to fill those gaps,” says product manager Mark Homer.

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