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A week in training: Will cash strapped councils axe training?


The collapse of the Icelandic banking system may well have some unexpected effects with warnings that, in the short term, cash-strapped councils may have to suspend their training initiatives in order to pay staff wages.

Skills minister David Lammy left his post in the recent cabinet reshuffle warning employers they could still be hit by a 'skills tax'. He made the admission while being grilled by a government select committee about the commitment of UK employers to training. "That's the elephant in the room that has not yet been put on the table," said Lammy of the threatened levies.

His replacement, Lord Young had more positive news and announced a three-year agreement between the government and employers to deliver more skilled workers for 'jobs of the future' – housing, facilities management, fashion and textiles. The government has ear-marked £93m from its training budget with similar deals expected in the future as part of a radical shake-up of the skills and training system.

Meanwhile, a new national qualification was launched to assess trainer performance 'the true way' by the Institute of IT Training. "It is imperative that each trainer is assessed in a live environment on a regular basis," said chief executive Colin Steed.

The British Chamber of Commerce hosted an education and skills summit promising that Diplomas would sit alongside A-levels to ensure both students and employers would receive the skills they need in the future.

And so to 'The Coaching Conundrum 2009' from consulting firm BlessingWhite a report that reveals nearly half of UK managers find coaching too time-consuming with almost a third admitting they "didn't have all the answers". Over 60% of employees claim they have no management coaching at all.

Perhaps they wouldn't have found the time... a report from the IT Job Board claims that over three quarters of IT professionals don't feel guilty about carrying out their own personal tasks while at work. The survey discovered that people make personal phone calls and send non-work emails from the office - in the UK we lag behind Belgium and the Netherlands when it comes to face to face contact at work.


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