DoH report on ethnic health will address the particular needs of minorityhealth groupsSouth Asian men appear to be more prone to angina and heart attacks, whileBlack Caribbean and Indian men have higher rates of stroke, the most detailedstudy of the health of ethnic groups ever undertaken by the Government hasshown. The Department of Health’s report into ethnic health inequalities also foundChinese women had lower rates of ischaemic heart disease, while higher rates ofdiabetes were found among men and women from minority ethnic groups, except theIrish and Chinese. Yvette Cooper, the Minister for Public Health, said the survey provided themost detailed picture yet of the differences in health between different ethnicgroups. “The Government has already announced a series of projects to tackleethnic health inequalities and these results will help us to address theparticular health needs of minority health groups,” she said. Among other findings, men from South Asian and Chinese communities were lesslikely to be obese, while Black, Caribbean and Pakistani women were morelikely. South Asian men had higher rates of central obesity, while Chinese andBlack Caribbean men had lower rates. Bangladeshi men were 60 per cent more likely to smoke, and smoking rateswere also higher among Black Caribbean men. Chinese men were less likely to smoke than men in general. Among women, South Asian and Chinese women were far less likely to smokethan women in the general population, Irish women were more likely. High total cholesterol was less likely among Black Caribbean, Pakistani andChinese men than in the general population, the DoH survey found. Among women, all minority groups – except the Irish – were less likely tohave high total cholesterol than the general population. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Health is an ethnic issueOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today
Comments are closed. Seniormanagers can benefit from both internal and external advice, by Julian AvissSenior managers and high-fliers often want specific help on certain issues.Rather than opening themselves up in front of a group of peers, many find itsafer to talk these issues through with a coach whom they respect and trust.Often the coach is either an internal HR practitioner or an externalspecialist. But there is no reason why senior managers cannot have both. The escalating interest in executive coaching provides a real opportunityfor HR practitioners to extend their sphere of influence. Those in HR arealready well placed to provide an internal coaching role, offering seniormanagers a different perspective, challenging them and encouraging them toconfront the performance issues they need to address. Such a relationship can be informal. It does not necessarily need a specific”contract” covering issues such as where to meet, how often, for howlong or prior agreement on the specific focus and goals of each session. Senior managers generally want more than an internal sounding board who is a”good egg” and can empathise. They want someone credible, withexperience and an understanding of the business who can give praise andpositive feedback and also add value. If you are a trusted, respected individual who can listen and steer people’sthoughts about their own performance, you can enhance your internal profile byfostering these ad hoc relationships. However, if the person being coached isto benefit, you must realise your own limitations. Roffey Park is publishing a management discussion paper this week whichidentifies the key aspects of corporate coaching and describes the process as acontroversial meld of consultancy and psychotherapy. Certainly, coaching crosses the boundaries between counselling andmentoring. It is important to know which role an HR professional is providing.For example, if personal issues are being introduced, there is a real dangerthat you may – if you are not a trained counsellor – enter territories beyondyour expertise. It takes a high level of self-awareness to recognise that your manager maybenefit from an external perspective. It takes an even greater amount ofself-confidence to advise the person being coached that someone else may bebetter suited to helping them with these issues. Such honesty may come as a relief. If it involves a senior person who needsto come to terms with issues relating to their own behaviour, self-confidenceor self-esteem – or improve their management of personal relation- ships atwork – they may prefer to talk to someone who is perceived as more impartial. By recommending that the high-flier also gains an external perspective, youare not severing your relationship. It is possible to create a coachingtriumvirate, working in partnership with an external coach to provide acost-effective and timely solution to the coachee’s needs. HR practitioners must overcome any insecurities when working in conjunctionwith an external specialist. The internal and external coaches must trust eachother and ensure they are working to the same agenda. The external coach needs to be clear about what development interventionsare available internally. He or she may also need a knowledge of the internalrelationships to know which issues would be better addressed by the internalcoach. As with any coaching relationship, the coaches must aim for the employee tobecome independent, so the issues of dependency and closure must be clarifiedat the outset. With the right blend of individuals and firmly established boundaries, atriumvirate app-roach to executive coaching can be a most effective way to helpsenior managers further improve their performance at work. Julian Aviss is director of in-company development and consultancyservices at Roffey Park. What Makes Coaching A Success? will be published byRoffey Park today (30 May), tel: 01293 851644 www.roffeypark.com Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Coaching execs gives HR chance to steer key staffOn 30 May 2001 in Personnel Today
Comments are closed. Training HR professionals and line managers in the integrities of the law isno easy task. But how can you ensure that employment law training is useful andinteresting? We take a look at an innovative new approachLadbrokes, Rabobank and Centaur wanted to enliven their employmentlaw-related training. Each company had a variety of issues they were keen toaddress, including the latest rules on union consultation, reducing the risk ofdiscrimination and harassment allegations and avoiding the need for employmenttribunal cases. By employing Steps Role Play, a drama-based trainingspecialist, they found that the innovative use of drama and professional roleplayers could best explain the implications of employment legislation. “Traditional employment law training is often seen as horriblydull,” said Richard Wilkes, director of Steps Role Play. “We addspice to these sessions by using professional actors to portray employees inwork situations trying to come to terms with the issues. We’ll show a range ofscenarios and at key points we’ll freeze-frame the action and ask the delegateswhat the characters should do or say next in order to proceed. We improvise thesuggestions back into the scenario so people can judge the effectiveness ofeach suggestion. This allows delegates to fully engage in the drama withouthaving to role-play themselves. They get to concentrate on the training issuesand they learn by analysing and summarising what they have seen.” Ladbrokes Ladbrokes is the world’s largest bookmaker with 10,000 staff, many of whichare members of a union. Now that individuals have a legal right to beaccompanied at a disciplinary, grievance or appeal meeting by a representativeof a recognised union, the company felt it was essential that the implicationsof this new legislation was explained. To do this the company developed aworkshop to highlight best practice in employee relations. In a series ofregional one-day development workshops, Steps Role Play was used to portrayemployees and union representatives, enabling line managers to practice theskills of handling grievance and disciplinary interviews. Actors were used to role play Ladbrokes’ employees – such as cashiers,deputy managers and shop managers – as well as trade union representatives,giving delegates the opportunity to manage a mock interview. The workshop was delivered 20 times in five regional locations – in Scotlandand the four corners of England – for all Ladbrokes’ area operations managersand district supervisors, a total audience of 200 people. “We have over 10,000 employees and although we’re a verypeople-oriented business, it’s only natural that sometimes some things don’t goas they should,” said Steve Pitt, HR development manager at Ladbrokes.”In these situations, you’ve got to follow the right procedures and dealwith people in a fair and reasonable manner. We decided to create and run aseries of regional development workshops that were as near to real life aspossible, but didn’t believe we could provide the necessary role playsin-house.” Steps was appointed after the HR team researched the market to find suitablerole play companies which could provide a high standard of role players fromeach of the key regions in the UK. “We didn’t want London actors role playing in Scotland,” saidSteve Pitt. “We felt it was important to get regional accents and otheraspects right. The standard of the Steps actors was very high. They providedvaluable feedback to each delegate on how it felt to be on the receiving end.We had given them ‘areas of attack’ that could be explored during the roleplays, to see how the managers responded, and they utilised these verywell.” Rabobank Rabobank, the Dutch co-operative bank, has run 20 workshops in its Londonoffice to ensure all 750 UK employees understand the bank’s policy onharassment, bullying and discrimination. Steps Role Play worked with the bank’s HR department and solicitors Allen& Overy to design the workshops. The company also provided four role-playsto illustrate the issues in practice and reinforce the need to maintain cordialrelations in the workplace. “There have been a number of cases of harassment and discrimination inthe City and they always attract adverse publicity,” said Mike Gostick,head of human resources at Rabobank in the UK. “We thought it would be agood idea to develop a mandatory workshop to create a more formal awareness ofthese issues. We also wanted to show how easy it is to fall foul of the law andto highlight the sort of standards we expect.” Called “Dignity at work”, the two-hour workshop featured anoverview of the new legislation in this area, provided by Allen & Overy.Steps undertook the four role plays, portraying managers and employees facingharassment, bullying and discrimination situations. At key points the actorswould stop the role play and seek guidance from the audience on what theyshould do or say next. Each scenario was rounded off with a legal opinion and adiscussion of the points raised. “When planning the workshops, we thought there must be a better way ofdealing with this than simply teaching people about employment law,” saidMike Gostick. “I approached Steps Role Play and together with Allen &Overy we brainstormed the format. The end result was a light-hearted approachthat was very effective.” The workshops have formed part of the bank’s attempts to foster a climate ofmutual respect. Now they have been delivered for all staff, Mike Gostick saysRabobank’s employees can concentrate on their primary aim of creating value forclients. Centaur Centaur Communications, the independent publishing company, turned todrama-based training to enliven a series of one-day seminars on employment lawlegislation for managers. Steps Role Play helped design the seminars and provided role-plays tohighlight best practice management approaches and the effectiveness of coachingand counselling. “If we end up in a tribunal and subsequently lose as a result of badmanagement by a member of staff, the cost can become quite phenomenal,”said Mark Moorton, human resources director at Centaur. “We decided thatwe needed to introduce a new training initiative to keep our managers up-to-datewith recent changes in employment legislation. It’s not the sexiest bit oftraining, so we thought we could use drama-based training to bring some life tothe proposed sessions.” Steps Role Play worked with Centaur and its lawyers, Davenport Lyons, todevelop a one-day seminar called “Managing your workforce”, which wastargeted at anyone within Centaur who manages other people – such as editors ofmagazines, publishers and advertising managers. “I wanted the focus to be on best practice management, rather than solelyabout employment law,” said Mark Moorton. “We also wanted to addresscoaching and counselling because by applying these skills effectively, you canoften avoid any trouble as far as the law is concerned. Steps added real valuebecause their role plays brought a degree of realism that you just wouldn’t getif managers within the company role played among themselves.” The seminar ran four times, at Davenport Lyons’ offices in central London,with around 15 to 20 managers attending on each occasion. The seminars provedso successful that Centaur is now planning a second wave. “A lot of managers here have had no formal training in managementskills, they simply find themselves in at the deep end by virtue of the jobthat they do,” said Mark Moorton. “The seminars have showed them thatcoaching and counselling could help them to achieve a lot more. They are nowaware that these skills can benefit them and the business, because performancegoes up and they end up with a much happier and better working team.” Learning by exampleOn 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article NetworkOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today This month’s networkFunding changes bring opportunities The change from Training and Enterprise Councils to Learning and SkillsCouncils must not be ignored by employers. It means that, for the first time,businesses can speak directly to regional training bodies. As you are probably aware, the new LSCs, which have replaced Tecs, are nowformulating their plans in local areas. This new set-up allows employers todiscuss their training needs with LSCs and tell the LSCs what they want fromlocal training providers. What you may not know is that there is also a myriad of changes in thefinancial systems, including the standardising of the funding rate in some ofthe funding streams, which will affect all training providers. The changes should mean wider and more flexible training provision, andcould mean greater opportunity for private training companies – and evenemployers themselves – to become training providers. Employers are encouraged to talk to their local LSC to make sure theirvoices are heard and they have “real” input into the provision beingplanned to make sure it meets their needs and the needs of other employers. Cath Whelan Chief executive, Funding Finders Sidestep IT skills crisis The IT industry is suffering from a skills shortage because it simply isn’tattracting enough people from diverse backgrounds, according to a recent surveyby Silicon.com. So, in the current turbulent business climate, why aren’tcompanies responding? On the whole, it is because the board still isn’t buying into the importanceof developing IT professionals. Providing appropriate learning opportunitiesmust become a priority for companies and be driven from the top. And thatdoesn’t mean signing away the responsibility to an external training company,it means investing the time and resources internally. Doing this enables companies to recruit people from diverse backgrounds andre-train them to fulfil the exact job requirements. And in today’s businessenvironment, “exact job requirements” are rarely as straightforwardas they seem. For example, how can companies be closely aligned to verticalmarkets if they have little or no knowledge of those markets? Market expertise and business awareness have become essential components ofan IT manager’s portfolio. Devised and run in-house, a learning programme canfill the gap between an individual’s skillset and the demands of the job rolefar more thoroughly than an external training course. However, there will always be a need for companies to react quickly to marketdemands. For example, specialists with e-business skills tend to be chased fromcompany to company, and no amount of planning or investment into internaltraining can support this unpredictable need. There is inevitably a requirementfor buying in skills at a higher rate as new opportunities arise. Despite these problems, investing in people in this way can only help theimage of IT as a potential career. For some people IT is perceived to havelimited prospects, because traditionally the role is largely operational. Roger Smith Head of Marlborough Training Academy Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
BAA Stansted has recruited 70 long-term unemployed people as part of theairport’s strategy to meet its growing staffing needs. The Runway to Work initiative started in January and has placed new membersof staff in management, flight administration, customer relations and retailwork. The initiative provides the long-term unemployed the chance to combine twoweeks of classroom-based training with three weeks’ work experience at theairport. The scheme is run in conjunction with Haringey Council, Reed in Partnership,the Employment Service and North London Learning and Skills Council, and ispart of the airport’s strategy to address the increasing problems ofrecruitment at Stansted Airport. BAA Stansted HR director John Norman said, “Stansted’s growth providesan opportunity to extend the economic benefits of employment to the widestareas. “By facilitating partnerships between airport employers and publicsector agencies we are bringing together people who have access to funding,with companies who have current and future job vacancies – bridging the gapfrom long-term unemployment into employment.” A forum comprising public, private and voluntary sector organisations hasalso been set up to look at all aspects of recruitment and employment includingthe skills available in the local labour market and training. One of the itskey objectives is to set up an airport skills training programme. The forum is supported by the Airport Employers Group made up of 24 airportemployers, which meets every six months, and a smaller steering group thatmeets quarterly. Airport employment strategy manager Wilma Scott said the airport would needto increase its workforce of 10,500 to 17,000 by 2011 to cater for a predictedrise in passenger numbers from 13 million to 25 million over the period. By Ben Willmott Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Jobless join BAA ranks as staffing scheme takes offOn 4 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today
Interpersonal Relationships in Organisations is an open programme offeringreal-time learning about yourself and your interactions with others, says MarkBunker, communications executive at Burger KingInterpersonal Relationships in Organisations Designed and delivered by: Roffey Park, Forest Road, Horsham, West SussexRH12 4TD Phone: 01293 851644 E-mail [email protected] you want to help people understand and enhance their interpersonalrelationships with others, the best way to do it would be to get a group ofpeople together for five days and let them relate to each other and learn fromthe experience. That’s exactly what I found happened on Roffey Park’s open programmeInterpersonal Relationships in Organisations. The philosophy of the programme is that there are patterns to people’sbehaviour that will reconfigure wherever they are. This means we all recreatethe relationships around us in whatever group situation we experience. As a participant on IRO, you learn about yourself through your interactionswith others on the programme. In October 2000, I was a communications and press officer at insurerLiverpool Victoria, the UK’s largest friendly society. I had some issues interms of the way I conducted relationships with others at work. I was veryassertive, bordering on aggressive at times, and I sometimes vented myfrustrations verbally when I came across what I perceived as blockages in theorganisation. My manager at the time suggested I should attend IRO. He knew of theprogramme as he’d sent someone on it previously and had been very impressed bythe change in their behaviour afterwards. He said the programme would be goodfor me. I knew I had to do something to address my behaviour, so I took hisrecommendation. Preparation IRO is a five-day programme run with two tutors. Before starting theprogramme, one of the tutors called me to ask if I had any questions or ifthere was anything I was concerned about. The idea was to get you thinking about your aims for the week, to understandwhy you were attending and to highlight the special nature of the programme andthe type of experiential learning involved. I was sent pre-course material to work through, which involved collectingfeedback from my manager and peers about my interpersonal relationships. I wasalso asked to prepare and bring a work-based scenario which I could talk abouton the programme. Format IRO is not a typical course with few “training activities”. It hasa high degree of complexity and ambiguity, which in many ways mirrors the realworld of work. Much of the week features large group work, where you learn from therelationships you form with others. We started by clarifying objectives, agreeing ways of working and reflectingon the feedback received in the pre-course work. We were then asked to sharefirst impressions of each other. This was something I hadn’t experiencedbefore, and it was one of the features of the programme throughout the fivedays. There was always plenty of feedback available – if you wanted it. The large group work was an opportunity to find out not only how you wereperceived by others, but also how these impressions were formed and how theywere influenced by events. The interaction and contact with other participantsbecame a key source of real-time learning. Outside of the large group, the content was moulded around individualrequirements. We could self-select sessions or activities based on our learninggoals and the tutors would then offer workshops on those themes. I chose workshopson power, authority and office politics. Others were run on issues such as bodylanguage, group dynamics and influencing styles. In small group and one-to-one sessions, you could talk about your specificwork scenario and get feedback to help you develop a strategy for handling thatsituation. The “problem” scenario could even be recreated, to helpyou understand how you came across. You could also opt for a one-to-one with atutor to explore issues raised on the programme in more depth. Changes Getting other people’s perceptions of how I came across, and the ability toshare some of the personal issues I’ve experienced over the years with thegroup and the tutors, had a profound effect on me. The last day of the programme focuses on bringing your learning together andplanning its transfer to the workplace. When I got back to work, my manager and my colleagues immediately noticed apositive difference in my behaviour. In January, after attending the programme, I changed jobs, moving to alarge, global company. The programme was not so much instrumental in making mewant to change, but it put me in a position to be able to do so. It gave me theconfidence that I needed to move on. Since then, I’ve maintained contact with the Roffey Park tutors and withother participants from the programme. I keep a photo of the group on my deskand whenever I feel the pressures of work getting on top of me, it acts as acomfort. It reminds me of the choices I made about how I would build betterrelationships at work. VerdictIT has changed meI found IRO quite fascinating and it certainly had a hugeimpact on me. Roffey Park’s grounds and facilities all contribute to creatinga relaxed environment for learning. The group was conducive – some participantshad reached a certain threshold and needed to change their behaviour toprogress. Others, like me, had come to resolve a particular problem or issue.All of us were there because we wanted to learn about ourselves and ourrelationships with others. The tutors facilitated very well and they integratedwith the group to become part of the whole experience.One possible reason for IRO’s effectiveness and consequentlongevity is that it touches people personally at a very deep level. It letsyou be yourself. There’s no rigidity, so the programme can adapt to providewhatever people want from it. You could run it with 10 different people everyweek and it would be different each time.It’s true to say that IRO changed me as a person. It made mesit up and realise that I needed to go back to work and do things differently.Overall rating * * * * * (key * =Disappointing * * * * * = excellent) Mirroring the real worldOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
Rentokil Initial and Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries are to startrecruiting using interactive digital TV after signing up with the Job Channel. W&DB aims to recruit staff for its 550 unbranded pubs and restaurantsand has launched a three-month trial with the Job Channel. The firm is looking to fill a range of positions through the interactivesystem, which will reach an audience of around 16 million. Potential candidates will be able to browse the vacancies and apply viatheir TV or through the company’s SMS text message service. Kristy Rowlett, group recruitment manager for the retail division atW&DB, said the firm hoped to use the scheme as part of its overallrecruitment strategy. “We’ve got a three-month trial and we’ve had an excellent response.We’re always looking at new ways of attracting people and the proof will be ifwe make any appointments because of this,” she said. Five Rentokil divisions have also signed up with the Job Channel, as part ofa 12-month campaign. The independent firms, responsible for around 1,000 staff,want to fill positions around the country. Divisional manager Mark Godfrey said, “To rely solely on traditionalrecruitment methods is inefficient and interactive television is an effectivesolution.” Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Companies tune in to interactive TV to find staffOn 8 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today
Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. By Quentin ReadeUnited Utilities has launched a company-wide flexible benefits scheme that allows staff to trade off their salaries against other work perks.The water and telecoms giant is rolling out the new scheme to its 4,000 staff in support of a culture change programme.Last year, the company re-branded as United Utilities, following the merger of North West Water and Norweb in 1996.HR manager Heather Lee explained that employees can choose extra benefits online – for a lowering of their salary – including more holidays, medical insurance or childcare vouchers.She said the scheme was a good motivation tool and would promote the decision-making skills of employees.The HR team pushed for all employees having access to the scheme when it was launched last month, but this involved training staff who had never used a computer before to use the online system.Employees who do not normally have access to a computer will be able to use dedicated kiosks placed in work areas. Staff were given two weeks to enrol, and there has been a 20 per cent take up for this year’s scheme.The programme will run for a year, and then the list of products and services will be reviewed. Staff who choose to take all the holiday benefits can ‘buy’ up to 33 days’ holiday.The most popular choices were extra holidays and a PC leasing scheme for home computers: “We had designed the scheme in partnership with employees so we knew it was going to be popular. It enables employees to choose for themselves what suits them best,” said Lee.Lee said United Utilities has also introduced a paperless system for employees to claim overtime, expenses and book time off. United Utility staff trade pay for further benefitsOn 30 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article
This week’s letters Avoiding the opt-out issue I was involved in the ‘hurried panic’ of organising an opt-out process for alarge international aerospace company when the Working Time Directive (WTD) waslaunched in 1998 (News, 26 November). The company did, and still does, rely on heavy amounts of overtime beingworked to achieve its output targets. The opt-out was, in HR circles withinthat company, referred to as the ‘get out’ clause. Instead of trying to change its old-fashioned attitudes towards work-lifebalance issues and basic employee welfare, the company continues to avoid theissue and is at the forefront of trying to maintain the opt-out. My present company gave the option to employees to sign an opt-out formwithout any pressure at all. A small number did sign, but the company alteredshift patterns and generally tried (and still tries) to man the business withworking hours at the forefront of its planning. This is what all UK companies should be striving to do instead of trying totake the easy way out and resisting change. I find it hypocritical of many HR managers who on the one hand decry andresist the WTD, and on the other advocate the relocation of their businessesabroad because of the UK’s reluctance to join the euro. This could only happenin HR. David Barry Senior HR officer, Legrand Electric Talented are bitter and disillusioned The roundtable discussion titled ‘Talent Magnet’ (Features, 12 November)seems to have missed the crux of the talent management problem. Working in career consultancy, many of my clients are precisely thosetalented people who large companies fail to retain. Most of them are totallydisillusioned, and some are bitter. The underlying reason, almost inevitably, is that something has gone awrywith the psychological contract they thought they had with their employer. Iforganisations wish to retain talent, they need to recognise that as the peoplewith talent grow and develop, their motivational needs change. Those changesneed to be factored into the psychological contract between employer andemployee. Tying that need into business requirements is one of the biggest challengesfacing those concerned with the development of people. Dorothy Wilson Nottingham Public sector pride of award-winning teams As I held my Personnel Today Awards trophy aloft – Oscar-like – at theGrosvenor Hotel in October, I wanted to say a few words. It was not to be – Iwas chaperoned off the stage before I could give my Gwyneth Paltrow-esquespeech. The Borough of Telford & Wrekin is extremely proud to receive theRebusHR Award for Best HR Strategy in line with Business. I was delighted thatour local government colleagues at the City of York and Merseyside Fire Servicewere also award winners. HR professionals in local government have known for a long time that ourprofessionalism and the contribution we make to our organisations matches thebest in the private sector. Awards such as this provide us with an idealshowcase for excellence, and we should make better use of them. Professional bodies, such as local government HR body Socpo, have animportant role in gaining recognition for what we achieve and sharing bestpractice – a role that they play increasingly well. It is said by some that the public sector is a ‘soft option’, that not beingprofit-driven, we have the luxury of being able to develop HR strategies andpolicies more concerned with up holding ‘political correctness’ than withdelivering business objectives. This has never been an accurate portrayal. There is, however, no place today for self-indulgence or navel gazing. Ifwhat we are doing as HR professionals is not making a significant contributionto our organisations’ key priorities then we should not be doing it. The improvement agenda in the public sector, driven by comprehensiveperformance assessment, puts effective people management centre stage, and ourprofession must be positioned to seize that opportunity. The success of local authority entries in the Personnel Today Awards againstimpressive competition is reassuring evidence that HR in local government iswell-placed to meet that challenge. Robert Cragg Head of personnel & development, Borough of Telford & Wrekin DIARY DATE – next year’s Personnel Today Awards will be held on 27 November2003 What do you think?Send your letters to Jane King, editor, by e-mail [email protected] or fax: 0208652 8805 or by post to Personnel Today, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton,Surrey, SM2 5AS LettersOn 10 Dec 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
Be a major player in bridging the skills gapOn 15 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Will our children be better prepared than we were for working life? TheGovernment is certainly hoping so with its raft of new initiatives, which addup to an ambitious new national skills strategy designed to help the nextgeneration into jobs and to lift productivity (see page 1). There’s a joined-up approach to linking business with schools. Two sectorskills councils have been created and the centrepiece is a scheme whichcompensates employers for giving time off for training. This Government is determined to improve competitiveness through a skillsimpetus and it is rightly expecting 110 per cent co-operation from you. Employers must be the trailblazers for much of this action. If you knownothing about the Sector Skills Councils, then it is time you found out howthey can help your organisation and what you can contribute at a national levelby getting involved. The councils exist to reduce skills gaps and increase thespeed of development in particular industries. They will have enormous cloutand should be employer-driven, so there is everything to gain and nothing tolose by participating and learning from them. Only a few months ago (25 Feb), Martin Temple, chief executive of theEngineering Employers’ Federation wrote passionately in this magazine on howlessons in productivity must be learnt in the classroom. His calls for actionhave been answered in the form of a pilot scheme to create enterprise adviserswho bring schools together with local companies to improve skills andvocational education. While this offers obvious long-term benefits, it is also a good example ofmaking corporate social responsibility real for the community in which youoperate. Even in its simplest form, many employers still appear to be dragging theirfeet in linking up with schools creatively. It would be good to see moreleadership and altruism in the workplace. How many of you offer quality workexperience to students? Raising young people’s aspirations by giving them ataste of different working environments has to be a positive step. Watch this space, as there will be more to come on skills when theGovernment’s White Paper is released in June. Comments are closed.