A week in training: Free leadership training

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This week's run-down on the must-read news from the training sector includes details of no-cost leadership training, stress management resources, awards won and to enter, writes Claire Savage.

Free training for young leaders
Independent, leadership development organisation Common Purpose is offering over 100 free places on Frontrunner, its leadership development programme for the UK’s young adults. Participants are taken to a diverse range of organisations where they explore the problems they are facing, alongside the people who are tackling them. The residential course that will be held five times in 2009:
· 22-25 June 2009, in London
· 6-9 July 2009, in Glasgow
· 13-16 July 2009, in Leeds
· 2-5 September 2009, in Bristol
· 7-10 September 2009, in Belfast
Applications are open to people over the age of 18, who may be in full-time education or are in the very early stages of their career, and who have already shown evidence of leadership. The deadline for the Glasgow, Leeds and London Frontrunner programmes is 27 April. The deadline for the Bristol and Belfast programme is 27 July. The short application process can be found online at www.commonpurpose.org.uk/frontrunner or telephone 020 7608 8148 for further details.

Free leadership webinar with Ken Blanchard
Dr Ken Blanchard is offering a free webinar on 11 February looking at what leaders can do to keep their people focused, engaged, and productive.

Advice will include: how to resist the urge to 'close up' during uncertain times; maintain the right balance between a concern for results and a concern for people; and plan and prepare your organisation for better times ahead.
To register for the event, click on this link:
www.webex.com/web-seminars/enroll_event/663894866?sid=KBC021109.

IT training awards winners
Happy Computers and Cheshire NHS ICT Service both had a double reason to celebrate, last week after scooping two Gold Awards at the Institute of IT Training awards.

In front of a capacity crowd of 450, Happy won the blue riband award of Training Company of the Year and IT Trainer of the Year went to Ed Lepre as the Gold Award winner.

Cheshire NHS ICT Service's internal training team won Training Department of the Year (Public Sector) and the Internal Training Project of the Year.

The Colin Corder Award for an outstanding contribution to IT training went to Brian Sutton, while
Denise Hudson-Lawson, from the Houses of Parliament, Parliamentary ICT, won the prestigious Training Manager of the Year. Freelance Trainer of the Year, went to Julia Emelogu.

Other Gold Award winners were: FDM Group (Training Department), Verridian & Carphone Warehouse (External Training Project), Electronic Data Systems (Blended Learning Project), Etc Venues (Learning Facilities).

Stress-down day
Did you wear your slippers to work on Friday? The Samaritans asked workers to join in Stress Down Day on 6 February. To help it has a website is full of tools and advice including a downloadable pack, a quiz and tips on managing stress in the workplace

Learndirect awards open for entries
Learndirect is urging individuals and businesses from all over the country to nominate a local learner or training provider for a learndirect Achievement Award. The learndirect Achievement Awards, now in their third year, celebrate learners and businesses who are going that extra mile to develop their skills and up-skill their local area, as well as the people and centres supporting them. For more information on the awards click here

Star status for elearning provider
Elearning provider SkillSoft has achieved ‘Star Status’ accreditation from UK-based workplace engagement specialists, Best Companies. Best Companies – co-creator of the annual ‘Sunday Times Best Companies to work for in the UK’ survey – established Best Companies Accreditation eight years ago with the aim of identifying excellence in the workplace. Research revealed the key driver of a firm’s sustainable business performance to be ‘workplace engagement’ amongst its employees. More on this story here.

Development programme for council HR directors launch
A national job specification and development programme for HR directors of local councils is due be published next week. The Public Sector People Managers' Association (PPMA) and the Improvement Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA) plan to launch the 'national development programme for HR directors' on 13 February. The tool will allow HR practitioners to compare their skills with the 'ideal set' and decide what development they may need. Find out more at the IDeA website.

Landmark for Training Quality Standard
Milton Keynes College has become the 100th organisation to achieve the Training Quality Standard. The Training Quality Standard was created to recognise those colleges and training providers that put employers' needs at the heart of what they do. Other holders of the standard include BMW, British Gas, Rolls-Royce and the FA Premier League, all of which have been awarded the standard for their own in-house training. More information on the award is available at the Training Quality Standard website.

IT training company Happy to offer new award
Happy Computers is the first provider to be a fully qualified assessment centre for the Institute of IT Training (IITT). The IT training company has announced a programme of training and assessment for the new Trainer Performance Monitoring & Assessment (TPMA) training standard. Trainers will be able to choose from a half-day assessment, a three day train the trainer course or a two day conversion course.

Colin Steed, chief executive of the IITT said: "Happy (Computers) has a track record of training of the very highest quality and we look forward to working with Happy in further raising training standards in the industry."

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