This month’s training news in brief

Ikea’s leadership challenge

Home furnishing giant Ikea is taking its staff through some woodland-based challenges to drive leadership and decision-making. The cerebral and experiential activities, run by business consultancy The Holt, include a 3-D maze, through which teams must find a safe route. Mike Hussey, HR manager at Ikea Leeds, said that the activities “had an amazing impact on everyone understanding the difference between managing and leading”.

Pledge of quality

Better training outcomes for learners and employers and more shouldering of responsibility by learning providers are promised by the Quality Improvement Agency for Lifelong Learning (QIA), which will be launched in April 2006. Andrew Thomson, chief executive designate of QIA, said: “[It] will be the first agency whose sole and explicit task it to support and drive systematic improvement across the whole sector.”

Heritage at risk

The lack of training culture among historic crafts is endangering the conservation and restoration of historic buildings. Research by ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry and English Heritage, found that the industry need to recruit an additional 6,500 people in the next 12 months to meet demand in areas such as stonemasonry and thatching. The bodies are hoping to secure funding for a heritage conservation qualification at NVQ level 3.

Coaching gains interest

Portman Building Society, said to be the UK’s third largest, is investing in two tailored coaching schemes. Senior managers will benefit from a Coaching Champions scheme and Coaching for Performance will be aimed at managers with more than five direct reports. Both are designed by the people development specialists Full Potential Group.
For more on coaching at work go to Local leaders and Best behaviour

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