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A week in training: News round-up


newsThis week's stories include a survey to find the barriers of learning retention, a free presentation by Nigel Paine, a new trainer network and news of an innovative management job swap between McDonalds and John Lewis.

Management buy-in key to learning
Lack of line management buy-in is the key barrier to learning retention, according to 40% of people who responded to a World of Learning on-line poll. The survey also revealed that 37% of the 300 respondents believed that the lack of follow-up further hindered the success of learning retention. Another 25% felt that lack of coaching/mentoring negatively affected the effectiveness of learning and development opportunities. A similar proportion – 24% - felt that lack of learner buy-in was a major issue.

Bureaucracy and prejudice hindering UK management
According to data from the Chartered Management Institute, many senior executives believe that organisational culture or prejudice is hindering their career progress. The data, from a series of research projects conducted by the Chartered Management Institute, shows that the most widely experienced management styles in UK organisations are bureaucratic (40 %), reactive (37%) and authoritarian (30%). All three have become increasingly common; the top two have increased by 6% since 2004, with authoritarian leadership also rising 5%. Looking at prejudice in the workplace, the figures also show that 1 in 3 Asian managers and 20% of black managers indicate 'racial discrimination as a barrier' to career progression. The Chartered Management Institute National Convention takes place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, 9-10 October 2008.

Paine talks talent
Former BBC head of People Development, speaker on HR and development Nigel Paine is giving a presentation on inspiring staff and realising their potential in London next month. Paine – a Agenda writer - will argue how increased employee autonomy and consultation, flexible working, and better development opportunities can help businesses hold onto their greatest assets. “In tough times, the winners are those who can retain, inspire and leverage their people,” he said, “and the losers are those who feel that the talent pipeline is endless and for everyone who leaves, someone better comes through the door.” The presentation is a free event hosted by public relations agency Energy PR. Anybody interested in attending should phone Louise Findlay-Wilson on 01993 823011 or email

Skills councils move to boost competitiveness in manufacturing sector
Four Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) have announced they are joining forces to secure the future of the recession-struck manufacturing and engineering sectors through the Productivity and Competitiveness (PAC) programme. The PAC Programme has been formed by leading engineers who have pooled their core techniques in lean process and manufacturing to create a new and different approach specifically designed to help smaller companies. Companies interested in finding out more about PAC should email or visit

New trainer's network
Showing little fear of the promises of recession, entrepreneurs Fiona Hudson-Kelly and Steve Green have launched - an online network where companies find trainers and trainers get connected to new clients. Among the first to register were IT Trainers from the Institute of IT Training.

Management job swap
John Lewis Department Stores has teamed up with McDonald UK’s distribution company, Keystone Distribution UK, to implement an innovative job swap scheme. Managers from John Lewis and Keystone Distribution UK will take part in the programme that has been designed as part of both businesses’ talent management programmes and as a means to share best practice. The job swap entails Keystone middle managers spending a week working with a counterpart in a similar role at John Lewis, and vice versa. Every manager who completes the scheme will be required to develop a 10-point action plan to improve operations by implementing ideas from the job swap.

White lies, whoppers and career dreams gone bad
Over a third of people have sleepless nights before an interview worrying about the lies they have told on their CV. This is according to a poll by interview skills training website, which found that for 35%, their biggest nightmare would be getting caught out. “Lee McQueen from BBC1's The Apprentice was a prime example of what a nightmare it can be when an interviewer exposes any discrepancies on a CV,” said Joe McDermott, CEO of “He was made into a scapegoat for the thousands of other candidates who are doing it.” Read McDermott's tips for avoiding CV-induced sleepless nights here.

Fancy a holiday?
With the summer – such as it was – a fading memory and Christmas still too far away to get excited about, eight-out-of-ten workers say they would like a bank holiday this month. A survey of 4255 people by employment law firm Peninsula found that 92% of employees think that there should be at least one new Bank Holiday, and 79% believe it should fall in October. So, employees want more time off - no surprises there - but who are the nearly one in ten who don't?


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