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The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE – Issue 14



LearningWIRE - Issue 14
31 July 1998

A FREE electronic newsletter for net enabled people engaged in training, learning, coaching and staff development.

Copyright (C) 1998 Sift plc. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given.

In this issue:

  • Latest news stories
  • Internet Monitor
  • Review of 'Managing Absence' by Sarah Hargreaves, Christina Morton and Gill Taylor
  • 'Individual Learning News' - Issue 5 - published
This issue part sponsored by

Pavilion Publishing - leading publishers of training resources, journals and manuals - and organisers of major national conferences - for professionals in health and social care

'Toolkit for Trainers' - the international bestseller, now available in five foreign language editions. Order on-line quoting LW14 for 10% discount.

Sift - Building internet communities for professional groups. "We scour the net so you don't have to"


Recent News Stories

Basic skills training
The DfEE is looking for consultation responses to the Moser Group Working party looking at effective post school basic skills provision. You can get further information and respond on-line at

UK Web surfers doubled in last 12 months
A survey released recently suggests almost 6 million UK adults (13%) have now surfed the web. The survey (commissioned by Ziff- Davis, KPMG and Yahoo) suggests that this is double the rate who were using the web this time last year.

Internet Monitor

Further information has now been published about the World Open Learning for Business Conference and Exhibition being held at the NEC, Birmingham on 29/30 September. There is an extensive streamed conference programme, and a large exhibition featuring many suppliers of open learning products and services. The event is organised in collaboration with the British Association for Open Learning. For further information, keep an eye on

The large American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has recently redesigned its website to make it more interactive and promote dialogue between members and others on a wide range of topics. Unlike the Institute of Personnel and Development site in the UK, you don't have to be a member to access the ASTD webpages.

One of the biggest and most significant new computer launches ever is scheduled for 15 August when Apple release their ground- breaking iMac machine. Following Apple's erratic history of technological advances, this machine looks as though it will create a real storm. Targeted at the home, educational and small business user, the machine even looks radically different. The standard grey shell-case is replaced by translucent white and blue casings - you can actually see the computer working inside. Gone too are floppy disk drives, SCSI ports and big footprints. The machine includes both Ethernet and 56k flex modem, a 4GB hard drive, 24x CD, new standards USB connections, and a fast G3 processor. UK pricing is still to be announced but is expected to be around 845 fully inclusive to include processor, monitor, keyboard, modem and mouse.

An improved and searchable selection of training and personnel related jobs from 'People Management' magazine is now available at Click on the Jobs icon to be presented with the search menu.

Sage Training have recently up-rated the details available online of their training courses and centres. You can now also complete an online booking form.

Managing Absence
(Review of 'Managing Absence' by Sarah Hargreaves, Christina Morton and Gill Taylor. Russell House Publishing, 4 St George's House, The Business Park, Uplyme Road, Lyme Regis DT7 3LS. 14.95)

"I want to support her if she's not well - but it's really frustrating for the whole team when she goes sick like that. What am I supposed to do?"

It's a common dilemma for many managers, and one which generates anxiety and stress for both the manager and team members. All too often, the problem is ignored in the hope that it will 'go away', or tackled in an inappropriate manner which just exacerbates the underlying tensions.

For managers, supervisors and organisations seeking a practical and constructive way of managing staff absences, this new handbook is ideal. It's practical, comprehensive, relevant, accessible and fair. It's legally accurate (up to 31 December 1998) - and purchasers will be alerted to updated editions in future.

In just 108 pages, the authors manage to combine their respective legal, managerial and organisational experience to create a definitive handbook. Although the examples target organisations working in the public and not for-profit sectors, all the underlying principles and recommended practices are capable of wider application. The text is not restricted to just sickness and absenteeism. There are guidelines for dealing with the many other instances of staff absence such as paternity leave, carer's leave, jury service, imprisonment and sabbaticals.

Each section provides information on the legal or statutory framework, relevant examples, some template policies, guidelines and practice tips. An excellent final section directs readers to a wide range of resources offering specialist advice for particular sectors or circumstances.

TrainingZONE will shortly be posting downloadable extracts from the book for your use at

For the price, this handbook is an indispensable reference which is likely to be widely and gratefully used by thousands of managers across many organisations.

Individual Learning News - Issue 5 - published

The Individual Learning Division at the DfEE has just published the fifth issue of its Individual Learning News. The main contents page is at

Amongst the items to catch my attention are the following stories:

Synopsis of recent research findings from the DfEE relating to employers use of NVQs and SVQs, women in the labour market, and the impact of the growing care sector on employment (possibly 3 million new jobs in child care and elder care)

Advance details of the DfEE sponsored Lifelong Learning National Conference in London on 5/6 November 1998

Launch of Titus Alexander's report on 'Family Learning' and the designation of 10 September 1998 as 'Family Learning Day'

Further information following recent Budget announcements about claiming Vocational Tax Relief for people who self-fund their own professional development.

Conference report on the recent British EU Presidency conference on lifelong Learning in Manchester

Update on the success of the Learning Direct national helpline (0800 100 900) which has now been operating for four months and can handle 1,200 calls per day.

From the editor

We seem to have entered a quieter summer season for news but there are several website developments occurring around the world which we will report in the next few issues.

This issue of LearningWIRE has been delayed by staff holidays. I continue to be amazed at how the Internet is shrinking the world. Even three weeks in Madagascar watching endemic and endangered wildlife left me in easy electronic contact for sending holiday postcards. We'd recommend the small, local tour companies who are managing to attract business quite effectively over the Web. To get an idea of what's available try

Tim Pickles,
Editor, LearningWIRE and TrainingZONE


About Sift

Sift plc is a leading developer of online communities. Based in Bristol, Sift has developed AccountingWEB for professionals in the accountancy profession, and BusinessZONE. At the 1997 Online Information Exhibition at Olympia, Sift were voted European Information Product of the Year (and also runner up as Internet Product of 1997).

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Editor: Tim Pickles
Sift plc., 33 Corn Street, Bristol BS1 1HT
Tel:+44 (0)117 930 8881 Fax:+44 (0)117 930 8887
Tim Pickles ***** Designing professional toolkits ***** The learning community


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