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The TrainingZone LearningWire – Issue 40


The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE - Issue 40
15 March 1999
The Learning Community
Copyright (C) 1999 Sift plc. All rights reserved.
This material is distributed free to trainers, learners, managers and coaches. It may be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given.

From the Editor
This week we're delighted to launch our new Topic Experts service. The response from users to join our panel of topic experts has been excellent and you can find out about the first six on

Between them, these experts can provide us with specialist advice on technology-based training, lifelong learning, learning organisations, coaching, stress management, small businesses, and team building.

If you think that one of our Topic Experts might be able to help you with problem, just put it on an email and send it in. Alternatively, if you would be interested in joining the panel, please let me know.

Tim Pickles,
Editor, LearningWIRE and TrainingZONE
mailto:[email protected]


The Institute of Continuing Professional Development

Have you considered the benefits of joining this
professional institute to support your own
commitment to CPD?

Sue Hall, Membership Secretary, 0171 730 7677


For informtion about promoting your news and message to our focused audience of people engaged in training, learning and development, see

Thought for the Week
==================== (Thanks to Graham Guest for this one)

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T S Eliot (1888-1965) Four Quartets: Little Gidding

UK Budget impacts Training and ICT
Amidst all the hype about a 10p starting rate of income tax, a reduction in corporation tax, and a penny off the standard rate, you could be forgiven for missing several important announcements about training and education.

A key passage in the Chancellor's statement affirmed the government's belief that information technology and entrepreneurship lay at the heart of the country's long-term economic policy. Gordon Brown announced a national network of 1,000 computer learning centres across the country in a 1.7 billion GBP initiative to provide access to information technology training for every community in Britain. Details about how this is to be achieved remain sketchy and nothing has yet appeared on the Department for Education and Employment website about it. My guess is that the plan will relate closely to the existing proposals for the National Grid for Learning.
The Chancellor emphasised that all 32,000 schools will be connected to the Internet within 3 years and that 370,000 teachers will be trained in classroom computer use. A 20 million GBP fund is being established to assist teachers to obtain computers for use at home, but again, no further details are yet available. I just wish someone would fund my computer purchases!

For employees, there was further help with computer skills. From 6 April 1999, employees will be encouraged to loan computers from their workplace to use at home and develop computer-literacy skills. Neither employer nor employee will be taxed on the provision of this additional benefit.

In a further move to boost training, the Budget created greater flexibility and additional tax breaks in the use of Individual Learning Accounts. These previously announced pots of money can be used by individual employees to fund vocational training at a 20% discount. If future, employers will be able to made tax deductable contributions into an employee's ILA. The present scheme of Vocational Tax Relief will be withdrawn when ILAs are fully operational.

You'll also find two feature article summaries of the Budget implications on the TrainingZone site provided by Topic Experts from our parallel accounting community. There is a detailed review of the changes to employee benefits at
and an economic commentary on the impact of the budget from Chantray Vellacott at

Topics for Discussion
In Issue 39, we reminded readers of the TrainingZone Discussion Forum and highlighted some of the current topics and questions under debate at.

On the request for feedback about people's experience of undertaking NVQ Level 3 in Training and Development, one reader has substantial experience having completed many of the units whilst also delivering aspects of it to trainees on Training for Work. Another reader comments that only 12.5% of those registered for Level 3 have actually completed it. He argues for the usefulness of clusters of units within the qualifications which can be attractive to groups of trainees and proposes the following clusters:

Team Mentor
A22 - Individual learning needs
C23 - Agree learning plans
D11 - Monitor and review progress

Training Presenter
C22 - Learning in groups
B22 - Design sessions
B33 - Prepare resources

Workplace Trainer
C24 - Demonstration and instruction
C25 - Coaching
D32 - Assess performance

The reader ends: "Unfortunately, the reluctance of TECs and other bodies to fund units and clusters undermined that very good original NVQ philosophy of establishing a 'gold standard'."

Resource Sites around the World
We know how popular and useful our search for Internet sites which provide directly useable resources and tools to browsers can be. Here is a further selection of sites which we've found and indexed recently.

Coaching resources
Another site offering a good selection of papers about coaching and resource materials on how to be an effective coach.

If you like practical activities for developing leadership and teamwork, have a look at the range of physical kits created and marketed by MTa International.

Resources for Trainers
This is an intesting site put together by Joan Vanden Hazel at the University of Toronto as part of a project to investigate approaches to adult instruction methods. There is a diverse selection of briefing papers and resources on such topics as role play, motivation, presentations, difficult group behaviour, and training tips.

The National Organisation for Adult Learning runs a good website at
As well as details of programmes and organisations, there are some useful publications and resources referenced through the site. One that caught my attention was a new short book on 'Lifelong Qualifications: Developing qualifications to support lifelong learning'.
A correspondent also tells me that NIACE are keen to receive articles and letters for inclusion in their monthly 'Adults Learning' magazine.

Learning Institute for Non-Profit Organisations
This is a US organisation designed to assist the long-term stability of non-profit organisations and the people they serve. Although the material is primarily American, there are some ideas on the site worth looking at. The Institute delivers various educational programmes via satellite, and there are a range of briefing papers available for public use on non-profit organisational management.

Selection of other news this week
We've got too much material posted to TrainingZone this week to report all of it in this digest. Here are summary headlines on just a few of the other postings.

University for Industry seeks suppliers of learning materials
As the UfI moves towards formal launch, it has issued an invitation to providers of learning materials to have both existing materials accredited by UfI and to be commissioned to write new materials. Expressions of interest by 12 April

Training and Enterprise Council review
David Blunkett is considering options for the local and national delivery of learning and skills to run alongside the development of the new Small Business Service

Training Standards Council tackles poor training
New guidelines have been published by the TSC showing how the large number of inspected organisations who have poor or unsatisfactory training provision wil be tackled.

Attitudes to CPD Virtual Conference
Now entering its third week, this online conference is really picking up speed, ideas and networking. The second discussion paper on 'Barriers and Drivers to Participation' by Nigel Hemmington is published online for responses.

Getting involved with TrainingZone
Just a reminder. Send in your queries to our Topic Experts, and consider joining our panel of experts if you would like to raise your own exposure!

About Sift
Sift plc is a leading developer of online communities. Based in Bristol, Sift has also developed AccountingWEB for the accounting sector, BusinessZONE (for the SME market), and TravelMole for the travel industry.
At the 1997 Online Information Exhibition at Olympia,
AccountingWEB was voted European Information Product of the
Year (and also runner up as Internet Product of 1997).

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Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630


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