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A week in training: Training budgets ‘stable’ for 2009


In the wake of the tragic case of Baby P, Lord Laming recommends a major overhaul of training for those working in social services, writes Claire Savage, meanwhile, a poll of training managers finds budgets are largely stable and a study starts into what makes a truly effective manager. Plus more training news in this week's round up.

Overhaul of social worker training
Training and professional development of social workers needs a major overhaul, Lord Laming has said in his review of child protection services in England.

The report comes in the wake of the tragic case of Baby P. It calls for an overhaul of child protection social work training, strengthened management accountability and a new National Safeguarding Delivery Unit to ensure his 58 recommendations are carried out within “challenging time-scales”.

Children's secretary Ed Balls accepted all of the recommendations on behalf of the government and said he would produce a full action plan in April.

Social work regulator the General Social Care Council (GSCC) also welcomed the proposals.

Rosie Varley, Chair of the General Social Care Council (GSCC), said: “We are currently reviewing whether we have the right system to ensure robust inspection of social work degree courses and will be working closely with the government on this. We also welcome the importance Lord Laming has placed on post-qualifying training. The initial degree is only the beginning of what should be a continuous process of learning throughout a social worker’s career.”

Training budgets stable despite downturn
A poll of 496 training managers with a collective buying power of £20 million per annum, has found that more than half (58%) of the participants’ expenditure in training fell in line with last year’s budget. A further 7% of the respondents claim they have seen an increase in their training budget for 2009 and 27% reported a decrease.

According to the research, by Wyboston Lakes Conference and Training Centres, of the 27% that have seen a reduction in their budgets:
72% are holding tough price negotiations to make savings
12% were reducing the duration of the training session
11% were organising in-house coaching
5% were opting for distance learning

Clive Bache, sales and marketing director for Wyboston Lakes said: “It is abundantly clear that organisations are still investing in their people, making sure they have the very best, fully trained, workforce in place to take the first-mover advantage when the market bounces back.”

Free numeracy and literacy training to help one million adults
The government has revealed plans to improve the numeracy and literacy skills of one million adults to help them to get and keep jobs.

The new strategy document sets out how the Skills for Life campaign to improve numeracy and literacy will be expanded through the Train to Gain service. It will be backed by more than £1bn-worth of funding in the coming year.

The government's long term ambition is for 95% of adults to have functional literacy and numeracy skills, up from 85% and 79% respectively in 2005.

The Skills for Life National Needs and Impact Survey of Literacy, Numeracy and IT skills, published in October 2003, estimated that in England, 5.2 million adults aged 16-65 have literacy levels below Level 1 (equivalent to an English GCSE at grades D-G), and 6.8 million have numeracy skills below Entry Level 3 (the level expected of 11 year-olds).

Sion Simon, Minister for Further Education, said: "Our Skills for Life strategy has helped nearly three million adults improve their skills, but the world has changed since we launched it in 2001... We are working with providers to make sure our numeracy and literacy courses are tailored to what people want and need in their lives, and I particularly want to tackle the culture which says that it's OK to be bad at maths.”

Call 0800 66 0800 or visit the Skills for Life website for more information.

Students want studies linked to employment
Nearly 70% of Year 11 students in England have said they would work harder if their studies were linked to future employment, according to a new survey from the Diploma Employer Champions’ Network (DECN).

Nearly 80% of those surveyed also believe that work experience or work-related study is a key factor in helping them land a job they like. 60% of respondents agreed that undertaking work experience had given them a better understanding of what future employers would expect of them. Three-fifths of Year 11 students in England (59%) are also confident they will be able to find a job they like after leaving full-time education, despite the current economic downturn.

The survey was conducted to mark the anniversary of the national launch of the Diploma Employer Champions’ Network.

Sir Alan Jones, of Toyota and Semta, lead Diploma Employer Champion said: “These research findings actually provide some good news for business leaders, amidst the current economic gloom. As an employer I’m heartened to see that students who may have traditionally struggled to see the link between what they are studying and a future career are now finding that learning has become relevant to them in a way it perhaps hasn’t been before.”

The Diploma is one of three main learning options open to 14-19 year olds, sitting alongside GCSEs / A levels and Apprenticeships. Young people can incorporate GCSEs or A levels into their Diploma study.

NHS finance graduates among the best in the world
Four graduates on the NHS Finance Management Training Scheme ranked among the highest in the world for their results in the CIMA examinations, the leading qualification for management accounting, the NHS Institute announced today.

The strength of Jonathan Smith and Sunil Thaker’s results also won them the CIMA NHS Student Excellence Award.

The finance training scheme is part of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme which aims to train future NHS managers.

What makes a manager effective?
Managers so often come under attack. It's one of those jobs – like footballer – that everyone feels qualified to criticise. But have you ever had a manager you could barely find fault with, and if so, what was it that made them so effective?

Belbin is conducting a survey into the behavioural traits which make for the most – and least - effective managers.

Go to to complete the tick list questionnaire.


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