This month’s training news

E-learning ineffective

Few respondents to a wide-ranging UK learning and development survey believe e-learning is the most effective way to learn.

Only 1% of those polled in the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) eighth annual learning and development survey – due to be published tomorrow – said e-learning was the most effective form of learning compared to 17% who cited formal training courses.

On-the-job training and coaching/mentoring were rated the most effective ways to learn by 39% and 13% of respondents respectively. Just 2% of those polled thought self-study was the most effective way to learn.

But the survey found that most respondents (84%) said their organisations encouraged staff to take more responsibility for their own learning and development. And the research indicated that the use of coaching is widespread: four out of five organisations polled said they use coaching. Eighty-two per cent said they trained line managers to provide coaching and mentoring.

Overall, according to the survey, training budgets are under strain. One-third of organisations said their training budgets had fallen in the past year, while 17% said they had risen. Forty-two per cent of public sector organisations reported a fall in their training funds.

But two-thirds of respondents said they believed that learning and training is taken more seriously by senior management and 58% said their training departments had more credibility than in the past.

Yet only 42% said they felt a career in training and learning was more appealing now than in previous years.

CIPD learning and development adviser Martyn Sloman said some of the results “make depressing reading.”

“If this [survey] is a correct reflection of what is happening, in no way can learning, training and development professionals be satisfied with our standing and influence.” He called on training professionals to “demonstrate we can deliver value over an extended time”.

The survey was based on responses to 635 completed questionnaires returned by CIPD members.

Train me or I’m off

About one-fifth of workers want to quit their jobs because of poor training and development, claims a recent survey by HR consultancy Watson Wyatt.

It said it asked 8,500 workers in 10 European countries if they were considering quitting their jobs in the next 12 months. Forty per cent said they were and 52% of those cited poor training and development as the reason.

MPs headline event

Government ministers Bill Rammell and Margaret Hodge will give keynote speeches at the Association of Learning Providers annual conference in May.

Other speakers include the chief inspector of adult learning, David Sherlock, and Association of Learning Providers chairman Martin Dunfold.

Topics to be discussed will include the launch of the national employer training programme, train to gain and how to improve quality in work-based learning.

The conference will take place at Stansted Airport on 17 and 18 May.

What a waste

According to the recently published Bumper Book of Government Waste:

  • The NHS spends £2m a year on IT training for cleaners and porters
  • The NHS is spending £225,000 training old people how to wear slippers
  • The Department of Culture, Media and Sport paid a lecturer £12,000 to kick an empty curry carton down a street
  • The Home Office spent £74m in 2004 on 142 consultants – which is £500,000 each
  • The Learning & Skills Council spent £70m hiring 135 consultants – also £500,000 each.

Watering down exams

The Financial Services Association (FSA) will press ahead with plans to drop training and competency requirements for some financial staff.

It said this will apply to people working in wholesale financial services who do not deal directly with retail customers.

Some City businesses warned the move could lower standards of professionalism and make it more difficult to spot and remove rogue employees.

This prompted the FSA to delay implementation of its plans, which will now come into effect in November 2007.

They will mean that financial services staff who do not deal with retail customers – the public – will not have to take exams which were compulsory.

FSA general counsel Andrew Whittaker said the plans, when implemented, would enable firms to make their own decisions about the competency of their staff.

On me ‘ead, son

Football clubs will help the government’s campaign to improve adult literacy and numeracy by encouraging fans to sign up.

Clubs such as Everton, Manchester United, Norwich City and Brighton are backing the Heading for Success project, which was launched recently at the Football Association’s London headquarters.

The project is part of the government’s Skills for Life strategy, launched in 2001, which aims to boost adult literacy and numeracy skills in England.

The 10 clubs that are backing the project will work with local colleges and learning providers to offer adult education, either at colleges or at the clubs’ grounds. The lessons will feature football-themed learning materials.

Sir Trevor Brooking, FA head of development, said: “It’s great to see top clubs using this – fans’ loyalty – to help improve the literacy and numeracy skills in their local community. We hope this initiative will help people realise that it’s never too late to learn as an adult.”

For more information, call 0800 100 900 and mention Heading for Success.

Their luck’s in

Newcastle-based national qualifications body NCFE will develop qualifications for those promoting and selling National Lottery cards.

NCFE and lottery operator Camelot will put together two qualifications: certificates in National Lottery Retail Skills Levels 2 and 3. They aim to equip staff swho sell tickets with relevant product understanding and – said NCFE – “enhanced selling techniques”.

The courses will be run in-store by qualified college assessors using workbooks. The qualifications have been approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Camelot runs retailer training courses using a mix of workshops, DVDs and videos.

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