This week’s training news

Careers drive for former athletes hits the ground running

While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ponders the venue for the 2012 Olympics, it is also attempting to address the issue of retraining former athletes. The organisation has launched the Athletes Career Programme, designed to help athletes get back into the labour market at the end of their sporting careers. The programme, to be implemented by recruitment firm Adecco, will provide professional career development services worldwide, during and after athletes’ sporting careers. The scheme will help 2,000 athletes back into the labour market, the IOC said.

Call centre operators warned over ignoring staff needs

Employers of call centre staff must adopt a smarter approach to training if high levels of employee turnover are to be reduced, experts have warned. The seventh Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, by call centre specialist Merchants, reveals that annual staff turnover last year was 23%, compared to 19% in 2003. Even though they spend 69% of their budgets on staff, organisations are failing to invest in training for call centre agents. The length of induction training in call centres has fallen from 36 days in 2003 to just 21 days today, according to the report. The ratio of coaches to employees stands at 1:46. Yet, to achieve best practice levels of six coaching hours per agent per month, the ratio should be 1:25. The complexity of interactions means agents need more training, not less, Merchants said.

Business giants back organisational development plan

Senior managers from 17 organisations including Airbus, BAA, Cancer Research UK, Chevron Texaco, the Department of Health, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust and the Royal Bank of Scotland have joined forces to start a masters programme in organisational development. Called the MSc in People and Organisational Development, the programme is run by research and development organisation Roffey Park and will be accredited by the University of Sussex.

UK Skills launches National Training Awards

UK Skills, the independent organisation that champions skills and learning for work, has launched the 2005 National Training Awards. Building on the success of past years, UK Skills is hosting a series of free half-day workshops across the UK, run by experienced training professionals, to help formulate entries. Graeme Hall, the newly appointed chief executive of the organisation, said: “Last year we had more than 1,000 entrants and 300 winners from 23 industry sectors. This shows that employers recognise that training is a vital part of business development and the impact it can have on the bottom line.” The deadline for entries is 29 April.

Trainers team up to offer leadership development

Learning consultancy Headline Training and roleplay company CentreStage have teamed up to offer a series of leadership development workshops. ‘Develop Yourself as a Business Leader’ consists of four one-day workshops. The four modules are: Introduction to Leadership; Personal Impact and self-management; Inspiring and developing others; and Leading the Organisation. “Being a manager and being a leader are two very different things,” said Tim Brewer, of Headline Training. “In today’s volatile economy the old ways of management no longer work. You cannot address these new challenges with more of the same management solutions.”,
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