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Innovative Approaches to Training


We have a 4 week programme developed for unemployed clients who are looking to enter the labour market, in particular the customer service / retail sectors. I'm looking for ideas about different, innovative and non mainstream activities that we could incorporate to this programme to make it a bit different. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks
Jane Morrison

7 Responses

  1. Entering a CC
    I would say Comms Skills all the way! The soft skills is vital – I worked with long term unemployed for a long time and their ability to work under pressure, remain calm and realise themselves as a valuable member of any team was vital

  2. Jobseekers
    I know a brilliant trainer who combines your topics with many others linked to staff care

    Will send you details if you need them



    [email protected]

  3. Make it real
    Hi Jane

    You may be doing this already but rather than just teaching skills, throughout the training, build a plan of how its going to impact in the real world

    E.g. have your group source the recruitment companies they will contact for work when the programme is over

    What jobs they will specifically be going for and why

    SWOT analysis on themselves to become more self aware and how it relates to what jobs they can get.

    Build all of this into an action plan that they will put into progress when the programme is over

    Make it as real and immediately practically applicable as you can, there should be a higher success rate then.

    You could arrange work placement/experience with local companies.

    And of course not forgetting the soft skills (interview skills, comms skills etc. as already mentioned!)

    Hope this helps


  4. innovation for training in the real world
    What about building relationships with local retailers and have the participants purchase goods & then take them back for exchange – get some rewal life exposure/

    Another option is to telephone call the sales depts of several co’s and ask for info – ask participants to make notes & feedback to the group.

    The more real the task the better – just make sure you build relationships with potential organisations first


  5. Relevant and fun
    Preparing the long term unemployed is a thoroughly enjoyable challenge and very satisfying.

    I believe that the training needs to be generic in terms of soft skills but relevant to their chosen industry. I have found that the more practical activities to support learning the better. Self-confidence, self awareness and awareness of others are key areas for development. I often run an activity that relates to self-marketting but also enables participants to cross match their skills with the skill requirement of the job. Individuals have a set time period to design and produce an advertising stand that promotes themselves (bit like sales stands at promo event).

    As Mike suggested, real time experience and contact is invaluable. If this is hard, why not give the candidates a task of visiting a few retail outlets during a busy time and observing the behaviour of staff, then reporting back commenting on key areas. This looks at it from customer perspective as well as the service provider.

  6. Training ideas for people who are unemployed
    Hi. Not sure how long the candidates have been unemployed so, confidence building and activities to to identify skills and strengths for jobs in retail and customer services.

    Would suggest some goal setting and coaching related activities focusing on what work and getting a job would mean to them and involve them in their future vision of their working life.

    Also explore the career progression available in Retail and Customer Services and help them to devise a career plan.

    I was responsible for setting up one of the strands of New Deal for young people in my area and apart from the job specific skills we dealt with a host of wider issues to ensure they were work ready. These included time management, commitment, attitude, confidence and motivation.

  7. Customer care from the customer perspective
    Although I am known for my positive attitude, I would start the training with a whinging session. Get them to tell you what really annoys them when they go shopping, or are disturbed by phone sales. This brings forward strength of feeling about what not to do, and leads into a good basis for treating their future customers in the right manner. You can go through, techniques for handling complaints (using their experiences) and get group discussions on how to handle it better. All good lead ins to introducing why training is necessary. I also find that the initial tension and apprehension lifts in a group that often suffers low self esteem and the group quickly gels from the shared experiences. Regards Steven


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