These facilities have been recently upgraded to include the very latest in IT technologies. With the use of computers increasing exponentially both within the workplace and at home, more and more people are becoming aware of the need to have a basic grasp of what they are about, and this desire to learn can be harnessed in many ways to develop skills across the board. Through the teaching of basic IT skills, companies such as TBG Learning can highlight and address needs in many diverse areas that may not have immediately apparent even to the learner themselves.
There are a wide variety of Government initiatives designed to help employers to build the skills base of their employees. Foundation Modern Apprenticeships (FMAs) and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (AMAs) are two examples, taking the learner through a structured programme of training and assessment up to a National Vocational Qualification Level 3 combined with a range of key transferable skills in areas such as Communications and Information Technology. Funding towards these for employees aged between 18 and 24 can be accessed via providers such as TBG Learning, or alternatively from the new national Learning and Skills Council, which has 47 local arms all over the country. For older employees, local Colleges of Further Education ? particularly those who work with work-based learning providers like ourselves ? can provide a vast range of opportunities to build and enhance on their existing skills base.
TBG Learning has for many years now been helping employers to access Government funds to deliver occupational and basic skills training to literally thousands of adults, helping them to improve their self-confidence and to find and sustain paid employment. The success of our programmes has brought us into contact with a wide range of businesses all over the country, which have used our expertise to enhance their own training programmes for both new and existing employees alike.
For many years we have been keeping ourselves ahead of the game with regard to developments in work-based learning. Many employers remain largely unaware of the range of learning opportunities available, the methods by which they can access funding to help towards the cost of them, and how such learning can be incorporated into their everyday operations without disruption to activities “at the coalface”. For example, each of our Learning Centres has within it a staff of peripatetic Trainer/Assessors, each of whom has a practical track record of working in their specialist occupational sector porownywarka-chwilowek.co.pl
. Qualified with national awarding bodies such as City and Guilds to deliver learning opportunities on-the-job and in the workplace, they use the naturally occurring elements of the employee?s role itself to develop learning and progress towards nationally recognised qualifications. In this way, day-to-day work can continue largely uninterrupted, enhanced by pre-arranged periods of more formal one-to-one training either elsewhere on the employer?s site or perhaps, if it is more appropriate, using the extensive facilities available at a local TBG Learning Centre.
The current Government has made a mantra of the phrase “education, education, education”, but it would be a mistake to think that it is merely a soundbite referring only to the academic interests of schools, Colleges and Universities. Certainly the importance of education to our children should never be under-estimated, but there is no reason why it should be limited to them ? why should a system of education be somehow the sole prerogative of the under-21s? Why should it not be a lifelong opportunity? Much as we in the UK at birth become a “member” of the NHS, drawing on its resources as needed during the whole course of our lives, why should we not begin to see education and learning in the same manner? How can we promote a real working culture of lifelong learning that works to all of our benefits?
One hurdle to this is that age-old concern of employers and Government alike ? resources, or perhaps more pertinently the lack of them. But this is where employers have a huge role to play.
Consider this for a second: using the one-in-seven ratio that Moser reported, how many of your employees may be in the position of disguising a basic skills need? And how much more productive could they be to your business with just a little help from you to improve their basic skills? How much longer are they likely to stay with an employer who was prepared to give them that bit extra time and effort to improve themselves?
Yet too many employers still sometimes see “training” as merely the necessary experience any employee needs in order to be able to successfully undertake the role expected of them. It is of course much more than this ? it should not just be “sitting next to Nelly”, it is about investing the time in allowing employees to take time out from the everyday details of their working day and see the bigger picture as it ideally should be.
By definition, this means that they should have the opportunity to begin to learn about and experience some of the areas of the business that might be beyond the reach of their normal role, because this will put their own contribution into a context that can lead to an overall improvement in how they go about performing their duties as well as a tangible raising of results. It shows, using the earlier driving analogy, not just the route ahead, but the general landscape in which they are travelling in a way that may better help them to avoid “potholes” and “wrong turnings”.
Looked at in this way, perhaps employers should take a long look at the role of investing time and resources into helping their employees of whatever age to improve their wider skills base. As a report from the Moser Group revealed recently, one in seven adults in the UK have such a poor level of literacy that they would have difficulty in locating a plumber in the Yellow Pages.
Such adults sometimes develop incredible “coping” strategies that enable them to get through the day without being as they see it, “found out”, but are they therefore able to use their positive potential to its full capacity given that they spend so much time and energy on avoiding such a fundamental issue? The answer is undoubtedly “no” ? yet such individuals could well be working for you now!
Imagine driving along one of those twisty, high hedged country lanes, such as you find in the South-West of England. Imagine doing so, knowing where you want to go, but not being totally sure of how to get there. Sometimes you see a road sign, but for long periods you just seem to be driving along blind, knowing only how to move the car forward and just hoping that some way or other you will end up where you want to go.
It might surprise you to know that many employees often feel this way. They?ve been shown how to drive the car, and they?ve been shown on the map where they have to get to – but beyond that, they?re basically just following the hedges because that?s the only thing they have to tell them how to get to where they want to go!
So wouldn?t it be good if, just for a moment, they could “helicopter up” off the road and see the way ahead? They could see how the roads join up ahead of them, plan out how to go down the right turnings and avoid the dead ends, all with a view to getting to their destination as quickly and painlessly as they can? This is exactly what training in the workplace does.