Boost for work-based learning in the North East

    Topss North East, social work’s key training body, is expanding
    its new learning resource centre networks for social workers and
    students.

    The move will allow easier access to information about local
    training and career development.

    Following a similar initiative by Topss East Midlands, Topss
    North East is launching a one-stop shop network in January with
    £200,000 of funding. “We hope that this will pull all the
    information and advice on work-based learning into one hub in the
    North East,” said Bob Little, regional development officer for
    Topss North East. “Instead of having to track down 15 different
    people or organisations you now only have to go to one place to
    find out what you want.”

    Audrey Harmer, social services training and workforce
    development officer at Middlesbrough Council, has been appointed as
    the centre’s network manager. “The resource service will help the
    whole social work sector by providing support in workforce
    planning, together with practical assistance for work-based
    learning,” she said.

    Four employers’ alliances organised by regions in the North East
    have been created to provide information on recruitment and
    retention and work-based learning. Little hopes that ties between
    universities and employers will be strengthened by the scheme,
    which goes live on 4 January 2005.

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