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Seb Anthony

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Effective training for part-timers


They use workbooks, workshops and self-directed e-learning. As usual the Project Managers want the quickest/cheapest solution. This frequently sheep-dips everyone regardless of can training be designed/delivered to large target populations in a way that meets role needs? How do you train key-timers who need a full-timers knowledge-base/skillset?

David Walls

3 Responses

  1. Little and often!
    I had a similar experience with one site that was more than 70% part-time shift work. Our solution was to provide small, short workshops, often three times a day, to catch all the staff. The greater training input was given to the line managers, who were given the skills and responsibilities to ensure that the training was then tailored to individual teams’ needs – using the workshops as a focus and setting a common language and message for all. We covered, among three of us, several hundred staff in two weeks. We also used the intranet to advertise, inform, reinforce and remind. It generated enough interest for me to have 373 email queries one morning… Be warned of success!

  2. Consider CBT

    This is a true situation where CBT base technology should be able to contribute. It should be possible to provide some of the material through technology and the use of some profiling questions first to establish exactly what information is required.

    But I hear you say not everybody has access to a PC – I would therefore suggest a kiosk type environment where employees can go and sign on to get the training delivered to them as required. That approach would also allow for tracking who’s done what and how far through they are. Individuals can also take at their own pace andf managers can follow up if individuals are running slow or behind.


  3. Part time dilemma full time repercussions!
    Under the catchy title The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, amended in 2002 you have also to keep opportunity of training on a par with those opportunities your company provides for full time workers.

    The directive states

    Less favourable treatment of part-time workers
    5. – (1) A part-time worker has the right not to be treated by his employer less favourably than the employer treats a comparable full-time worker –

    (a) as regards the terms of his contract; or

    (b) by being subjected to any other detriment by any act, or deliberate failure to act, of his employer.

    (2) The right conferred by paragraph (1) applies only if –

    (a) the treatment is on the ground that the worker is a part-time worker, and

    (b) the treatment is not justified on objective grounds.

    (3) In determining whether a part-time worker has been treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker the pro rata principle shall be applied unless it is inappropriate.

    You will therefore need to make available in so far as an objective test can be applied the possibility of the same training to all workers or face potential legal consequences.

    Given the comment on the ‘sheep-dip’ this may not be an issue as all your workers may be exposed to the same training opportunity but all businesses should consider the availability of training to Part time workers as compared to their full time comparators.

    Flexible training alternatives such as e-learning or internet/CBT may be an option together with discussions with the staff as to whether an adjustment of time attendance for the period of training would be acceptable to them.

    If you want to chat it through we are happy to advise further on legal friendly options others use.
    0870 241 3998


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