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A week in training: L&D industry steps up to the pot


newsA training company launches a £1m pot for organisations to dip into, stating that the government has done its bit, now it's up to the L&D industry to play its part, writes Claire Savage. Also this week, the CIPD warns that the UK's retirement age is leading to a loss of skills, an elearning specialist offers free Moodle webinars, learndirect gets set to celebrate its achievers plus more training news in our weekly round-up.

£1m IT and management training pot
IT and management training company Learning Tree International is putting £1million into a special Training Pot to support UK businesses during the downturn.

Companies need to register with Learning Tree to receive a £500 training credit, valid until 31st December 2009, which can be redeemed against a wide range of courses. There is no limit on the number of credits a company can apply for until the £1m training pot is exhausted.

“The companies that are going to survive and even thrive in the current environment are those that are operating to maximum efficiency,” said Richard Chappell, managing director of Learning Tree in the UK.

“Government has taken responsibility for helping companies and individuals survive the recession through initiatives such as Train to Gain. Training companies must now play their part.”

Call Learning Tree on 01372 226590 to register.

learndirect celebrates achievers
With just a few weeks left to nominate, learndirect needs help to celebrate the 241,041 exceptional people across the country who are developing their skills by taking learndirect courses.

The learndirect Achievement Awards, now in their third year, celebrate learners and businesses who are going that extra mile to learn new skills and improve their qualifications, as well as the people and centres supporting them. The awards recognise people from all walks of life, like learners who have overcome personal difficulties or have returned to learning after many years, and businesses working with learndirect to train their workforce.

To nominate a learner, business or learndirect centre for an Achievement Award, visit the website at Entries close on 27 March 2009.

Happy to be green
Happy Computers is the first training provider in the UK to announce it has become carbon neutral in its impact on the environment.

Becoming carbon neutral has two stages. First a company seeks to reduce its impact on the environment. Secondly, it measures the remaining effect and offsets the impact it has by funding projects that reduce carbon use.

Happy produces 2.45 tonnes of carbon per employee, compared to an average of 4-6 for all UK companies. Through Co2balance, a firm specialising in enabling companies to become Carbon neutral, Happy has funded projects to offset this.

The company's chief executive Henry Stewart said he would like to help other training companies become carbon neutral. "I know most of the people I talk to share our desire to reduce their impact on the environment, but don't know how to do it. And they imagine it is complex and expensive. It isn't. It's actually very simple and a lot cheaper than you might think. And remember: becoming more energy efficient saves your business money. I would really encourage anybody who is interested to get in touch. I'd be happy to help."

Transatlantic jobs cuts 'of similar magnitude'
The UK is experiencing its jobs downturn around one calendar quarter later than the US, a comparison of Labour Market Outlook surveys has found.

According to the comparison by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and in the US by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) recession-related job cuts are of a similar magnitude in both countries.

The SHRM LMO survey reported that one in three US employers cut jobs in the final quarter of 2008, similar to the proportion of UK employers planning job cuts in the first quarter of 2009 according to the CIPD.

Both LMO surveys show that the manufacturing sector is shedding staff at a higher rate than the rest of the economy, followed by private sector services. Both surveys also indicate that managers and professionals are being relatively hard hit.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD public policy adviser said: “In proportionate terms the 2.6 million jobs lost to the US economy in 2008 is in line with the CIPD’s expectation that the UK economy will shed at least 600,000 in 2009. And judging by the similarity of experience in both countries there is clearly some way to go before the jobs fallout from the recession comes to an end in either country.”

National Skills Academy for Materials, Production and Supply approved
The National Skills Academy for Materials, Production and Supply is the latest addition to the national network of employer-led centres of excellence.

The National Skills Academy estimates there will be a minimum requirement for 80,000 people over the next 10 years, which includes 30,000 skilled operatives, 15,000 managers and 15,000 technical staff.

Days of the default retirement age are numbered – says CIPD
Despite a European ruling, this week, upholding UK organisations' right to retire staff at 65, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development believes the days of the compulsory retirement age are numbered.

The European Court of Justice found that the Default Retirement Age (DFA) does not contravene the European Framework Directive on equal treatment. However the CIPD maintains that experienced and capable older workers are losing out by not having the choice of staying on in employment.

Mike Emmott, CIPD Employee Relations Adviser said: “Compulsory retirement ages can leave organisations blindly waving goodbye to valuable skills and experience. They do not just hit people at retirement age. They can lead to lazy management of workers for many years as older employees are filed by their managers under the ‘soon to retire’ category.”

A CIPD research report 'Future Demand for Working Among Older Workers' found that just under two-fifths (38%) of individuals intend to work beyond the age of 65, with most (68%) citing financial necessity as the main reason for staying on. A futher 31% of individuals would continue to work beyond retirement age if their employer allowed them to work flexibly.

Moodle webinars
Mark Aberdour and Steve Rayson of Kineo will be sharing their experience on how to get the best out of Moodle in free webinars later this month (March).

The webinars will run on March 11, March 18 and March 25 at 2.30pm GMT. Kineo Partner, Steve Rayson, will deliver the presentation while Kineo Open Source CEO, Mark Aberdour, will be available throughout in the chat room to answer any questions.

Email with your preferred date to receive the webinar login details.


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