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Learning at Work Day – what will you do?

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With Learning at Work Day just around the corner, we take a look at a few ideas for making an event of highlighting learning opportunities for staff.

2001 is the European Year of Languages - as good an excuse as any to promote language learning in your organisation. The Campaign for Learning suggest organising lunchtime language tasters with appropriate nibbles - try frankfurters for German, baguettes and cheese for French and tapas for Spanish? If it's a problem getting a trainer to run sessions, try arranging for a facilitator to work alongside people taking one of the free online courses in French, German, Italian or Spanish being offered by online training providers iLearn.To and Encarta Language Learning for the day.

Learning at Work Day is a good opportunity to encourage people to take time to find out how to handle their workloads better. With an estimated 70 per cent experiencing stress at work (according to the International Stress Management Association), some of which is unwanted stress, a lunchtime session on managing stress can be very worthwhile. Extra tips are available from www.stress.channel4.com.

Learning how to learn has become a hot research topic over the last few years - Honey and Mumford may have got the ball rolling, but the Talent Foundation and the Higher Education Funding Council are both supporting research into how individuals learning styles differ. For Learning at Work Day, consider encouraging people to complete learning diaries for the week, assess their learning styles or develop individual learning plans. Peter Honey himself has his own ideas for the day - he suggests focussing on the role of managers to help people to learn by holding coaching workshops, question and answer sessions about the organisation's future plans. He also suggests concentrating on little things - sharing experiences of
mistakes people have learned from, sharing successes and bringing together people in an organisation who don't normally meet.

The Campaign for Learning have plenty of other suggestions for activities, including computer skills, communication skills and financial skills activities - visit their website at www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/ to find out more, or log in to the TrainingZONE workshop to chat to Toby Greany on Tuesday 15 May for some last-minute tips!

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