Training news

Union celebrates as campaign nets 10,000th learner

A campaign by retailing and distribution trade union Usdaw to help workers return to learning has enrolled its 10,000th participant. Usdaw, the UK’s fifth biggest union, began its Lifelong Learning campaign six years ago, and has set up learning projects in more than 150 UK workplaces. Courses vary from workplace to workplace, depending on demand, but usually include maths, English and computing. Through Lifelong Learning, Usdaw representatives and officials work with employers and local colleges to set up affordable, and often free, learning opportunities for workers either at work or local colleges.

University links up with DTI to deliver language skills

The University of Luton has joined forces with the Specialist Schools Trust and the DTI to deliver language and cultural projects across London. The project – ‘World-Class Skills for London’ – will train 150 people from small and medium-sized companies in European or Asian languages to meet their international trade needs. The project is co-financed by the Learning & Skills Council and the European Social Fund, and will see Specialist Language Colleges deliver free courses for businesses over the next two years.

Transport sector skills gaps will put brakes on profits

UK business profits will fall and government aspirations for reducing traffic congestion will fail if skills gaps and shortages in the passenger transport sector are not tackled in the next 10 years. This is the warning from GoSkills, the newly licensed sector skills council for passenger transport. Chris Moyes, GoSkills chairman and newly appointed chief executive of Go-Ahead – one of the country’s largest public transport groups – said: “Many companies in the passenger transport sector are already suffering because of skills shortages and gaps. As more people near retirement age we are facing a significant challenge in terms of recruitment and retention.”

Slow uptake of e-learning keeps UK on the back foot

The British Learning Association (BLA) has expressed concern about the slow uptake of e-learning in the UK. David Wolfson, chair of the BLA, said: “At the British Learning Association, our members constantly tell us that in UK industry as a whole uptake of e-learning is at a low level compared to traditional delivery methods such as classroom-based, coaching, mentoring, and job-based work. This is despite the drive towards e-learning from the Government and from technology and e-learning suppliers. Many organisations, especially smaller companies, have not embraced e-learning and may never embrace it, and there is some considerable scepticism.”

HR directors keen advocates of vocational learning

UK business holds vocational qualifications in high regard and recognises the role industry has to play in the provision of such education, but is failing to take sufficient action, according to new research. The poll, commissioned by Foundation Degrees, shows that HR directors are leading the way in the drive to develop staff skills, with 98 per cent calling for industry to play a leading role in the provision of vocationally-orientated education, as opposed to 84 per cent of other directors. However, at present, only 25 per cent of business leaders say that their company is involved in the design and delivery of vocational training.

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