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The TrainingZone LearningWire – Special Issue 47


The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE - Special Issue 47
3 May 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 give,

From the Editor
This week sees important elections to the new Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. LearningWire is written each week in Scotland, so it seems appropriate to herald the return of an elected forum in Scotland for the first time in 300 years. No matter where you live, did you realise that all education, economic development and welfare decisions and budgets will in future be determined in Holyrood, not Westminster? Many of these systems have always been different in Scotland; in future, they may become even more responsive to the Scottish context. Read on for some key Scottish training and development websites which are relevant if you work in Scotland, or your work seeks to influence practice in Scotland.

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



FastTrack Associates

We provide a wide range of candidate and centre support
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We are pleased to announce new subjects include a revision
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packs are also currently under review to incorporate the 'professional discussion' method of assessment.
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LearningWire currently reaches 1,380 organisations every week.
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Thought for the Week

"Education is the best economic policy we have."
- Tony Blair.

Scottish Training and Development

Election Day for the news Parliament is 6 May. The new Parliament will meet in Edinburgh for the first time on 1 July. The main website for devolution issues can be found at
Whilst the policies of the main UK political parties are relatively well known, fewer people will be familiar with the plans of the Scottish National Party in relation to business, education, training and learning. The SNP could be a sizeable influence in the new parliament, particularly as there is some likelihood of a coalition government. To catch up on SNP policies, check our their manifesto at

The present Scottish Office runs a reasonably efficient website at
although most users will need to use the site search engine to find what they are looking for as navigation from the Index page is less obvious.

The Scottish Office published a policy paper on lifelong learning in September 1998. Entitled 'Opportunity Scotland' this is essential reading for anyone working in Scotland. You can read and download all the chapters from the Scottish Office website or via

As part of the encouragement of lifelong learning in Scotland, and in the run up to the election, Scottish Office minister Sam Galbraith announced the 'Return to Learn' programme developed by Unison within the Scottish Health Service. The focus of this new initiative is on NHS staff who have few professional qualifications.

As in other parts of the UK, much of the responsibility for promoting training and development lies with the enterprise network. In Scotland, there are two main umbrella bodies, Scottish Enterprise - covering southern and central Scotland
and Highlands and Islands Enterprise covering northern, north-western and island areas.
Both these bodies oversee a network of Local Enterprise Companies (LECS) responsible for area-based programmes and initiatives. There are indexes to assist you in finding the geographic coverage of each LEC at

Many of the LECS are very active in promoting lifelong learning. Responsibility for Learning at Work week in Scotland is undertaken by the Scottish Community Education Council who have not yet established much of a significant web presence. However, some details of their activities for this week were posted at

Specific activities in relation to Learning at Work week are being undertaken around the country. The Glasgow Learning Alliance is promoting Glasgow as a 'learning city'
and BrainPool are running another open Learning Cafe in Glasgow from 12 - 15 May with support from Glasgow Development Agency and as part of the Glasgow Learning Festival. Workshop sessions at the Learning
Cafe include Creativity, Self Development, Networking and much more.

A couple of Scottish-based training and development resource sites are well worth mentioning again even though they have been featured before. Changing Times is an organisation in Alloa whose website provides resources, a training magazine, and a discussion forum as well as delivering training around issues including management and stress.
Roger Greenaway has been very active for several years in using the Internet to network with other people around his key interests of adventure education, experiential education and reviewing activities. As well as regularly publishing two ezines, his main website is a mine of information about development resources and well worth visiting.

I am particularly impressed with the Connect Training internet service which aims to assist training providers and those looking for training to meet. The service has been focused on North-East Scotland but is now expanding to include a connecting / matching facility throughout the UK. Details and examples from

As you would expect, many of the training, consultancy and development organisations have established a web presence. A few which have come to our attention, or which have managed to establish a prominent position in search engine results are:

The Abernethy Trust, who run four centres throughout Scotland offering tailored outdoor management development programmes

The Randall Consultancy, an established management training organisation based in Fife

People-Positive, a training and development organisation specialising in people and organisational development and based in Fort William


Internet Monitor
A selection of relevant Internet sites and postings from the past week.

From collusion to dialogue
A paper by Patricia Bryans and other on the development of continuous professional development practices in universities, and some of the problems in making CPD work.

Collaborative Learning Experiment
The third collaborative learning experiment has now opened and you are welcome to join on the website. Seven mini-courses are offered over the next few weeks. The aims of the experiment are to test and develop techniques for online learning, and to create an environment for collaborative learning. One new mini-course relates to the 'Trainer as Educator'

Training and Development ListServ Discussion groups
For a relatively comprehensive directory of Listserv discussion groups covering the training and development field, you can search through the information at

Critical assessment of IPD professional standards
An open letter/article by Garry Platt examining several issues around the present criteria for IPD professional standards and suggesting some ways forward. Garry is interested in receiving feedback and ideas from others.

Team-building and training activities
A small selection of team-building activities are available on the site maintained by Glen Parker and several can be downloaded for free. Also on the site are additional activities related to icebreakers as well as group assessment tools. Further links from

The Training Directory
A new site which claims to list 30,000 training providers and more than 100,000 products and services. Its a difficult claim to believe and the evidence available on the site at present certainly doesn't justify it - although the site still claims to be 'under construction'. However, the site is probably accurate in suggesting that the future of training is likely to be connected to the Internet in several ways.

Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles Questionnaire
The well-known Learning Styles questionnaire developed by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford is now available in electronic form. You can purchase it in CD form, and you can complete a copy online for an instant result.


Getting Involved
Last week we reported on several questions which had been sent in to LearningWire and/or posted on our Discussion Area. This elicited several responses, particularly to the question on "what would you say about learning in a short address to an audience of small and medium-sized businesses".

You can follow some of the discussions, and post your own questions in any of our active online conferences at


News Stories

Green learning for the twenty-first century
John Prescott has encouraged organisations involved in natural history and the environment to engage in 'education for sustainable development. He proposes a ten year action programme for green learning.

Update on Learning at Work Day
Scheduled for 20 May, Learning at Work day is your opportunity to promote learning throughout your organisation. Thousands of companies have already planned activities to promote active learning amongst staff, partners and volunteers. A selection of idea - and some further encourgaement at the Campaign for Learning website.

EU fails to ban unsolicited email
Internet users were dismayed as news broke that the European
Parliament had voted against banning unsolicited email, or
"spam". The Legal Affairs Committee has approved an opt-out
scheme whereby users will have to inform emailers that they do
not wish to receive junk email! ISPs had hoped that the
authorisation of such emails would have to be initiated by the
senders. Their hopes are now pinned on the final vote by the full
European Parliament in May. Direct marketing organisations are,
of course, more than happy with the proposals as they stand.

Next steps on Local Information, Advice and Guidance Centres
Following earlier consultations, the DfEE has announced a planning framework for the delivery of services in 1999-2000 for the proposed new network of IAGs.

New Deal extended to the partners of unemployed people
The New Deal programme is being extended to provide opportunities for advice, guidance, jobsearch skills and training to the partners of people unemployed for six months or more. The extended service will be provided by Employment Service Personal Advisers.


From the PressZone
Would you like your press releases to reach our extensive and informed audience? We can provide you with a facility to post your own unlimited press releases direct to the website at any time.

A match made in 'IT'
Infosource Designer and Uxbridge College form a new IT learning partnership.

Learn to touch type in 20 minutes
The Almeda method has proved highly effective over 20 years in teaching people to touch-type, both in the UK and the US


About Sift
Sift plc is the award-winning UK developer of online communities. Based in Bristol, Sift has also developed AccountingWEB for the accounting sector, BusinessZONE (for the SME market), TravelMole for the travel industry and LawZONE for the legal profession.

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Editor: Tim Pickles mailto:[email protected]
Sift plc., The Mill House, Redcliff Backs, Bristol BS1 6LY
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630


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