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New website launched by DfEE, but haven’t we seen it before?


More web fun and games from the DfEE....a new website has been launched with the aim of giving "instant online access to 800,000 job and training opportunities across Britain", but all is not what it seems.
What looks like a brand-new service is in fact a reworking of a fair amount of information currently available on the government's LearnDirect website. Worktrain apparently has access to over 300,000 jobs, 500,000 training courses and over 500 occupation profiles. Job vacancies are fed to the site from the Employment Service Job Bank - a national database of all vacancies placed in job centres. The courses search facility (which comes courtesy of LearnDirect) is a little disappointing - we spent a few minutes searching for a number of different courses, and had several unsuccessful searches (granted we didn't have time to check out all the categories). The training search facility aside, this site actually contains a fair amount of useful information for those looking to find out more about a particular career. You can also search for a job vacancy and find out about qualifications and assistance.

What's curious about this new site is that the courses and job profile areas already exist on the government site LearnDirect - only the jobs facility appears to be unique to the new site. Apparently what makes worktrain different from other sites is that it's 'not just a job site'. What baffles TrainingZONE is that the DfEE felt the need to launch two very similar sites aimed presumably at a similar market, when adding job vacancies to LearnDirect itself would have produced the same effect.

Anyway, it seems the people over at LearnDirect are keen to see whether they're hitting their targets. Having rung the hotline last August (see the saga of the Individual Learning Accounts), Your editor received a 'phone call last night from a market researcher keen to establish whether the helpline had changed her life in any way. Sorry to disappoint, but not really, although the details of evening class your editor eventually settled on did indeed come from the LearnDirect helpline, so it was slightly beneficial. Some of the more inane questions asked: "How important do you think training is when looking for a new job or career on a scale of one to five?" and "how important do you think training is?". Your editor suspects she is the only one when asked whether and why she has visited the LearnDirect website, responds "it's part of my job!". All those who've rung LearnDirect beware - David Blunkett needs you for his statistics!


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