With competition for new jobs growing fiercer every day, it’s important that applicants use every tool in their arsenal to increase their employability. In a fast moving and constantly changing jobs market with technologies and work procedures always updating, having accredited certificates can help job seekers stand out from the competition and take the first steps towards a successful long term career.
Training for new skills and competencies is not only beneficial to workers. Many companies are under ever greater pressure to deliver improved results and operational efficiencies in challenging market places. Research and studies have regularly shown that one proven way they can become more effective, efficient and competitive is by improving the skills of their existing staff.
This is a resource page for people who want to improve their employment prospects by gaining new work skills and obtaining nationally recognized qualifications. On this page you will find;
Expert advice, guidance and tips on key points to do with training.
Links to free professionally written and designed training courses.
A directory of reputable training providers.
To ensure job seekers make the best informed career choice we have compiled relevant information, facts and advice on a wide range of training courses and associated subjects. All of this material will be useful to working people, the unemployed, under-employed, or those looking for a career change.
STARTING OFF - BEFORE YOU CHOOSE A TRAINING COURSE, THINK ABOUT THE FOLLOWING POINTS
Analyse your long term and short term career objectives, this will help you to more accurately identify your training needs.
Identify the essential qualifications and certification that employers are looking for in your chosen career or industry.
Ask yourself if a particular training course will directly benefit your career.
Where can you obtain detailed information on the various training providers who run the course that you are interested in.
Direct them to reputable accredited colleges, trainings schools and learning providers.
What is the length of the course.
Is it full time, part time, evenings or weekends.
What are the study methods used i.e. coursework, assessments or examinations.
Find out how much time you will have to commit to it, then ask yourself if you can put that much effort into it.
What are the costs involved.
Are you eligible for any funding or grants that might be available.
Assess the practical usefulness of the training course to your work duties and skill sets.
The benefits of training courses and certificates on a job seekers career prospects:
They can improve your eligibility for jobs by ensuring you meet a employers requirements.
In the recruitment process they can help you stand out from other job seekers.
Give you an edge over other candidates by helping you to develop intellectually and personally.
Many recruiters look for specific qualifications in applications, if you have them you increase your chances of being invited to a interview.
It can demonstrate to prospective employers that you are proactive, have a willingness to learn and are determined.
Help you retrain for a career change.
They can add to your credentials and subsequently boost the strength of your CV.
Develop their personal, interpersonal and professional skills.
The psychological benefits to employees of training courses
They can help to keep employees motivated.
Help to reduce boredom in the workplace.
New skills and knowledge can help to create positive attitudes amongst staff.
Being sent on courses can help workers feel valued by their employers, leading to worker loyalty and higher staff retention.
Less stress at work as employees are more confident and capable in their roles. This in turn can lead to less stress related sickness absence.
THE BENEFITS TO EMPLOYERS OF STAFF TRAINING It make good commercial sense to build your business from the inside by training up your existing staff and expanding their skill sets. Why go through effort and expense of having to employ new experienced staff when you already have assets (your current employees) who can be trained up to your required level.
Depending on the subject training courses can be held in house or if that’s not possible at a external facility run by a private training provider.
Another advantage for employers if that quiet a few courses can be subsidized by government grants or may be entirely free.
Improves staff morale
Employees who have daily tasks and responsibilities that they are not fully trained up for or skilled to do, can quickly become demoralised. Even worse they can feel under valued and may interpret an employer’s unwillingness to invest in their training as sign that their professional development is not required or wanted.
Improves staff motivation
Employers who encourage and assist in the development of their employees capabilities and skills will also at the same time be increasing their workers motivation to work and their loyalty to the company. There are a number of reasons for this, the principal one being that if you keep employees engaged in the development of the business, you will et them involved, interested and motivated as well. Here are some reasons why training can keep staff motivated:
People feel more valued when they see that they employer has spent time and money to train them up.
Training can make a person feel that they ‘owe’ their employer something, and can lead them to ‘pay it back’ by working harder.
If you give employees a choice and allow them to be trained in fields or subjects of their choice then this can also go down very well, as it makes employees feel that the management listen to their concerns.
A trained up person can feel they have more of a stake and responsibilities within a company, this can help to ‘bond’ them more to their employers and give them a stronger feeling of belonging.
More training can lead to more goals that need o be achieved, this again can keep staff motivated by giving them targets to aim at.
Having new skills can also help to reduce boredom and thereby keep people motivated.
Having a image of being a generous, responsible and charitable organisation who cares about the training needs and requirements of its staff will do wonders for staff motivation levels.
Helps with recruitment by attracting quality staff
Having a reputation for being a employer who takes the training of its staff seriously can go along way to helping attract capable and talented candidates. Along with providing promotional opportunities and a good salary it is one of the key attractions for many job applicants. What all companies want is their workers telling everyone they know what a great place your company is to work at.
Less mistakes made by staff
Investing in your staff will make them more capable, effective, efficient and less accident prone, all of which is good news for your companies bottom line.
Higher staff retention rates
Retaining experienced key staff can be vital to the success of any business. If they leave not only to they take away their skills but they can also unsettle other staff and also leave you having to search for and find replacements. Once way to people with you is to offer them a chance to update their skills and gain new qualifications by paying for their training.
Workforce becomes more flexible and versatile
Your workforce is a asset, by cross training them in fields outside of their main tasks you can make them more productive, proficient and responsive. The benefits are obvious, if one employee is off sick or on holiday another one can easily perform their role. Cross training can also give employees a better understanding of their role in the company, which in itself can encourage better cooperation and teamwork.
This is given to new employees as a initial preparation when they take up a new position. It’s aim is to give them an introduction to the essential skills that they will need to perform their job properly and do what is expected of them.
It can last anything from a few hours to a few weeks and it is not just focused on the practical aspects of a duties. It also helps new employees to settle into a working environment by introducing them to their future work colleagues and showing them around their work premises.
Apart from helping newcomers to adjust to their new surroundings its other core aim should be to present an immediate favourable impression of the company. This can be done by having a professional and well organisedprogramme that involves a tour of the company building, training manuals and written information.
What does induction training include
Explaining the layout of the offices or factory, showing the canteen, toilets, rest areas etc.
Going over and reiterating the terms of employment.
Health and safety measures.
Showing them where the smoking and rest room areas are.
Introduction to the business and management structure.
Explaining the promotion, disciplinary and training policies.
Introduction to key staff and work colleagues.
The work performance that is expected of new staff.
On the job training
This is training that takes place within the workplace and is provided whilst the employee is actually working. Typically it involves a experienced member of staff mentoring, observing, shadowing and coaching the employee.
For it to be effective OJT (as it is also known) should be planned, organised and conducted at the employees exact work environment. It is a quick, productive and affordable way for employers to broaden their employees skill sets and knowledge. It is an ideal way to develop talents and techniques specific to a particular role, especially if the duties are not complex and do not require exams or qualifications.
The other main advantage is that newcomers can train in a real life practical scenario along side future work colleagues. The potential disadvantages are that bad habits maybe passed on and as the ‘trainers’ are not professional teachers, the quality of the teaching may not be that high. The most common methods for on the job training are:
This is where a trainee is moved onto a different role, so as to gain experience of the daily duties and activities involved in a separate position.
Demonstration and instruction
The most basic of training where a instructor stays with the trainee and instructs them in tasks.
Where an experienced member of staff stays with a new employee for a few days or weeks. Teaching them tasks, mentoring them and monitoring their performance.
Off the job training
This is carried out away from the employees place of work, and is usually conducted by qualified and experienced trainers from a third party training company.
Off the job training can be distance learning, self study, evening classes or day releases courses which are held at training school. Unlike 'on the job training' it can lead to qualifications and certificates being issued to students. Their main advantage is that they are taught by specialist and experts in their particular field and can lead to accredited qualifications. Their main disadvantages are their cost and time in terms payment for the course, travelling expenses and lost man hours for employees who have to take time off work to be trained.