Skills council guide to making the most of training
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has published a new guide to help companies improve the skills of their workforces. Skills: Transforming Business explains how to get the best out of staff through training and gives advice on how to use training support to improve the motivation and productivity of staff. It recommends that employers have a strategy to develop skills lacking in the workplace and introduce mentoring and shadowing to enable senior staff to pass on skills and experience, and make use of funding from the Government’s Employer Training Pilots. The guide also contains comment from industry figures and case studies from companies of varying size and sector. The LSC figures show that four in five employers are already taking steps to address skills deficiencies, spending 4.5bn, however only half of employees are benefiting. The guide is available online. www.lsc.gov.uk
Police leaders’ nationally recognised qualification
A new police leadership programme, referred to in the Government’s Police Reform White Paper Building Communities, Beating Crime, has received accreditation from the Chartered Management Institute. The core Leadership Development Programme developed by Centrex – the Central Police Training and Development Authority – acknowledges that leadership is determined by role, not rank and that all officers are required to exhibit leadership skills as part of their everyday work. The programme covers 16 modules, with topics including handling and analysing information, dealing with racist incidents, leading people and operational management. Successful students will gain nationally recognised management qualifications.
RNLI launches state-of-the-art crew training facility
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has opened a state-of-the-art, purpose built, residential training centre in Poole. Designed to train and prepare those involved in helping to save lives at sea, it features an integrated survival centre with wave tank, lifeboat simulator, live engine workshop, classrooms, auditorium, waterfront access and restaurant. A learning resource centre is also being developed to enable on-site and distance learning, with its own team of technical authors producing learning materials. The organisation hopes that by using the 60-bed residential facility it will save more than 1m a year, while the ability to market any spare capacity will generate additional income to further offset the college’s running costs. Currently, 90 per cent of crew members are not from a maritime background. That, along with the increasingly sophisticated lifeboats, makes the training offered by the college essential.
Colleges and employers urged to share knowledge
Education and skills secretary Charles Clarke has told employers they need to invest in further education to fill skills gaps, and that the Government “cannot and should not be expected to fund everything”. Speaking at the Association of Colleges’ Annual Conference, Clarke said that as personal beneficiaries, employers and students should contribute more to course development. “That is not meant to be a threat. It is simply the reality,” he said. “Even with the extra public investment, the overall pot of funding needs to grow. That means diversifying income sources, finding new business, and collecting more income from fees. “Greater college and employer collaboration is not just about fees and income,” he added. “It is also about ensuring that the needs of employers are understood and met, so they are confident that learners are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes.”