News roundup

This month’s news.

E-learners report lack of support

The majority of e-learners want extra support from their employers, yet more than a third are failing to provide it.

Research published this month by the Campaign for Learning, in association with the University for Industry, Peter Honey Learning and KPMG, found that although individuals have a positive attitude towards e-learning they would like some human contact and learning support. But 37 per cent of employers do not offer it.

The most favoured form of back-up respondents would like is telephone support, cited by 28 per cent.

Other popular forms of assistance are advice via e-mail, workplace learning centres or one-to-one tuition.

Overall, e-learners are positive about the potential for e-learning in relation to other learning methods. As many as six in 10 think it is possible to learn as effectively through e-learning as other media.

Employers themselves are also positive about e-learning, but are failing to collect the relevant data about it within their companies.

As many as two in five do not know how many e-learners there are in their organisations and the same number have no idea about how much of their training budget is being spent on e-learning. Of those who are aware, three-quarters spend less than 10 per cent.

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Net no threat to coaching skills

Training specialists have nothing to fear from the Internet as their coaching and interpersonal skills will always be in demand, according to chief executive of the Further Education and Development Agency Chris Hughes.

"There is no substitute for the guiding hand of the trainer," he told Training magazine. "Experience in the US and now in the UK shows that users can feel isolated."

The impact of the Internet will be one subject covered in next month’s Learning 2010 conference, organised by Feda and the University for Industry. Speakers including Lord Puttnam, chairman of the General Teaching Council, and Susan Greenfield, director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain will look at the workplace of the future and how skills can be updated.

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Training key to stress-free staff

Better management development programmes, not occupational health initiatives, are the key to preventing stress at work, claims a new report from The Industrial Society.

New Work, New Stress, launched at the Labour Party conference by the society’s chief executive Will Hutton, is critical of employer initiatives such as counselling and says companies should instead consider the impact of organisational changes, "concentrating on training managers to spot signs of job strain and deteriorating mental health before they become a problem".

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Customer care put to the test

Training in customer service will soon be put to the test as anonymous callers visit the 64 finalists in the Customer Service Awards 2000.

Known as "service verification" teams, the undercover agents secretly visit the contenders before reporting back to the judges on issues of customer care and attention to detail.

The results of the competition, which was organised by the Daily Telegraph and Energis, will be announced on 24 November.

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