• Call centre staff at NFU Mutual Direct's new Glasgow centre have been given five weeks' full-time training. All 60 employees already working at the centre undertook the course before beginning work. A further 200 staff, yet to be recruited, will also attend the programme. Head of direct sales Sharon Watkins said, "NFU Mutual places great emphasis on creating careers for its employees, not just jobs."
Playing down poaching
• The danger of trained staff being poached by other firms is exaggerated, according to a new report. It found that training staff is more likely to encourage them to stay with their employer than leave. The report, by Cambridge University's Institute for Manufacturing, gives the results of a survey of more than 2,000 companies. Michael Kitson, of the institute, said, "Training encourages further innovation by bringing 'fresh pairs of eyes' to work and challenging traditional ideas. Once people get into the learning cycle, their confidence grows and they are able to react more positively to the changes they face."
Scheme to keep staff
• Whitbread has launched a training programme aimed at tackling the leisure industry's staff retention problem. The company, which employs 98,000 full- and part-time staff, is offering the training and communication skills courses to managers. The courses are aimed at providing managers with the skills to train, communicate and motivate staff members.