Learning at Work day gives staff chance to broaden skills

Social care employers are holding a series of training
initiatives this week to coincide with Learning at Work day on 26
The Campaign for Learning, which is organising the week, says it is
a chance for employers to show their commitment to staff
development and give their workforce the opportunity to break from
routine and learn something new.

Campaign spokesperson Louise Dennis admits some professionals are
reluctant to be involved in case they are distracted from core

“Local authority employers and staff think this is a good idea but
they are worried the public and local communities will think it is
diverting them away from services,” she says.

The initiatives are intended to challenge scepticism about learning
at work. Richard Banks, head of workforce strategy at adult charity
Skills for Care, says: “A lot more could be done in the workplace,
such as e-learning. It is one way we can help all levels learn – we
should use it better.”

Charity Jewish Care will use the day to launch two initiatives for
its 1,200 staff and 2,500 volunteers. By trying to make computer
training fun it hopes the “Do IT at your desk” and “IT for the
terrified” programmes will help staff take more responsibility for
their learning and enhance e-learning’s accessibility.

Learning and development manager Myra Whiskar says the long
distances people need to travel to attend courses, the impact it
has on their workload and difficulty in finding staff cover deters
many people from traditional forms of training.

She says: “Travelling is often difficult and we hope to show that
being in a classroom isn’t the only way to learn. They can do it at
their leisure and be trusted to get on with it.”

The programme teaches staff about basic computer packages which,
Whiskar says, are skills employees must have if they want to rise
through the ranks.

The head office of Barnardo’s in Ilford, east London, is running
lunchtime workshops for staff to learn non-job-related skills.
Course administrator Dina Stanford says the children’s charity
wanted to find out what motivated staff and whether anything could
be learned about how formal training was provided.

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