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‘Key Work Skills’ by Rosie Bingham and Sue Drew


Key Work Skills.
Rosie Bingham and Sue Drew.
Gower, 1999. Paperback, 277 pages, £14.95 or A4 ringbinder, £150.
ISBN Paperback 0 566 08183 0; Ringbinder 0 566 08202 X.

This simple title hides what I see as one of the most important and valuable publications for some time for people who wish to develop themselves. It also doubles, in the ringbinder form, as a resource package with a set of photocopyable masters for trainers to integrate into session or course training. The book contains 20 sections that cover five of the six key skills developed by the QCA (formerly NCVQ) – Communication; Application of number; Working with others; Problem solving; and Improving own learning and performance (Information Technology is not covered). The target audience is wide and includes: qualified professionals in their first year of employment or students gaining work experience; junior managers; middle managers who wish to refresh or add to their skills base; trainers for use in management skills training programmes; people seeking Key Sills qualifications; and people wishing to self-develop – WOW! And I can see it reaching all these and more!

The 20 Sections have a standard format, each starting with a page headed ‘Why is this skill important?’ and making some comments on the skill, giving reasons why the reader should use the section, and stating the objectives for the section. These introductions are followed by a number of instruments, checklists, activities, and further comments on the skill, ending with a reference list and bibliography, all aimed at achievement of the objectives. One major advantage is that parts can be used, others omitted, or the whole used as a composite approach to the skills. The sections include the skills relating to: Planning and managing your workload; Report writing; and Using and presenting numerical data; through Ethics at work; Meetings; and Dealing with pressure; to Mentoring, appraisal and interviews; Professional development; and Professional exams.
I give an unqualified recommendation to anyone in employment to obtain this book – it’s worth much more than the £14.95 for the self-help version and for £150 gives trainers a library full of material to use in their training.

Leslie Rae
October 1999


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