A week in training: News round-up

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This week, just as TrainingZone.co.uk publishes its definitive guide to training qualifications, there's a new kid on the block, courtesy of the Institute of IT Training. Meanwhile, a third of pharmacy staff are judged 'poorly trained' by Which? and a global survey finds that seven in ten workers feel under-trained.

IITT offers trainer assessment and monitoring
The Institute of IT Training (IITT) has launched a new qualification and assessment programme. The IITT Trainer Performance Monitoring & Assessment (TPMA) marks itself out from other qualifications in that it offers to assess, monitor and benchmark the performance of trainers within the live work environment. IITT is aiming the programme at trainers across the board – not just those in the IT field. Those taking part can get the IITT Certified Trainer, a joint award from the IITT & BCS, and the Level 3 award – Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS), awarded by Oxford Cambridge & RSA Examinations (OCR). IITT has also drawn up National IT Training Standards, against which trainers can be assessed. IITT chief executive Colin Steed said that the programme had been 12 months in development. He said: “This monitoring and assessment service, which is authorised, governed and monitored by both the IITT and leading Awarding Body Oxford Cambridge & RSA Examinations (OCR), is a record of the training professional’s quality of performance in a live environment aligned to National Standards – a real quality benchmark of trainers.”

Pharmacy staff 'poorly-trained'
A survey by Which? has found that poorly-trained pharmacy staff have been giving customers potentially dangerous medical advice. Undercover representatives from the magazine visited more than 100 pharmacies to ask about problems, ranging from emergency contraception to traveller's diarrhoea. Which? said it received 'bad advice' from a third of the pharmacies visited. Neil Fowler, editor of Which? magazine, said: "People are increasingly turning to pharmacies for the sort of advice they might have gone to their GP for in the past, but we're concerned that in some cases they're getting advice that is unsuitable and potentially unsafe. With plans to expand the remit of pharmacists further, even allowing them to leave sales assistants in charge for periods of time, it's vital that training improves and that meaningful action is taken against those that fail to deliver."

Under-training crosses continents
A global survey this week suggests that around seven out of 10 workers have been asked to accomplish tasks without receiving proper training beforehand. The survey, for SkillSoft, found the problem most acute in IT, where 78% of professionals working in the US and 74% in the UK and Europe claimed to have been asked to perform tasks for which they were not previously trained. In the UK the top five roles in need of more training were: spervisors; line manager/IT team; senior managers; sales team; and customer service team. A total of 6,100 employees participated in the survey - 2,000 from the US, 2,000 from the UK and 2,100 from the rest of Europe. The full 37-page report 'Essential Learning - the employee perspective' can be downloaded here.

Training providers accreditation launch
The National Skills Academy Process Industries is calling for training providers to come forward for a new accreditation process. Neil Smith, network development manager for the skills academy said: “This nationally agreed accreditation process will give providers the chance to see their services formally assessed and endorsed. It will also give employers the confidence that they are investing in training that will benefit their business and help it meet current and future commercial challenges.”
The process industries include the chemicals, polymers and pharmaceutical sectors. Expressions of Interest should be emailed to Gemma Osula, project manager, at [email protected]

Business school top ten
Swiss business school IMD has been ranked the first in the world in the Economist Intelligence Unit's latest survey of full-time MBA programmes. IMD took the number one slot from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, which drops to third, while Spanish school IESE claims second place. Two UK schools made the top ten: Judge Business School, Cambridge (7) and the London Business School (9). Cranfield School of Management dropped two places to come in 13th place.

Time off to take part proposals
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears wants to modernise the list of activities that entitle people to time off from work to widen the pool of volunteers' skills, expertise and experience available. Magistrates, school governors and members of health bodies or police authorities already have time off entitlements. But Blears wants to take a fresh look at whether this should be extended to other roles to better reflect modern life and the needs of local communities. The plan is under consultation, go to www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/timeoffconsultation for more information.

Supermarket sells skills to long-term unemployed
A new Tesco store, due to open next month, is to focus on providing training and employment opportunities for people who have been out of work for more than six months. The Tesco Regeneration Partnership project brings together a number of key organisations including New East Manchester, Work Solutions, Jobcentre Plus, The Manchester College, Manchester City Council, the Learning and Skills Council and SureStart. The partnership put 130 staff through an intensive eight-week training course to prepare them for entering into the world of work. The training, delivered by Work Solutions, included team working and confidence building and life skills. Tesco’s flagship store is set to open its doors in the new Gorton District Shopping Centre on Monday, October 27.

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