Tuesday, 5 April 2016

independent training providers like edudo have again come out extremely well in the SFA’s annual FE Choices Employer Survey for 2014-15

Once again, independent training providers like edudo have again come out very well in the SFA’s annual FE Choices Employer Survey for 2014-15. In fact, of the different types of learning providers, independents scored the highest satisfaction ratings in all six key aspects of the survey. 82% of employers gave the highest available rating to independents in respect of the professionalism of provider staff delivering the training and/or assessment. 77% of employers would recommend their private learning provider to another business. Independents like edudo have seen incremental improvements in their key aspect ratings every year since the SFA’s first survey report was published for 2011-12. Providers are a positive attribute to an effective and efficient skills system, not an obstacle, as government-commissioned research has regularly shown and evidence-based policy making should duly reflect this!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

employers facing talent poverty as skills shortages rise 130% in four years!

New research shows that the modest economic growth of the past four years has been met by an unprecedented shortage of skills, leaving thousands of vacancies unfilled. Despite a surge in job openings, the number of positions left vacant because employers cannot find people with the skills or knowledge to fill them has risen by 130% since 2011.

The figures show so-called “skills shortage vacancies” now make up nearly a quarter of all job openings, leaping from 91,000 in 2011 to 209,000 in 2015.

Although most sectors are suffering from skills shortages, the situation is particularly acute for some. Over a third of vacancies in electricity, gas and water and construction are now due to skills shortages, with transport and manufacturing not far behind. Only in public administration are skills shortages below 10%.

Researchers interviewed over 90,000 establishments across the UK to produce the Employer Skills Survey from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Widely regarded as being one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of its kind in the world, the survey gathers data from employers on a wide range of issues - from skills gaps and shortages to investment in training and under-employment.

The report finds that
•the financial services sector has seen the sharpest rise in skills shortages, rising from 10% in 2013 to 21% in 2015.
•time management is a significant issue, with nearly 60% of establishments who reported a skills gap saying that their staff lacked the ability to manage their own time and prioritise tasks.
•across the UK, two million workers are under-utilised – that is, they have skills and experience which are not being used in their current job.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Advanced Learner Loans: the lowdown

Want to get promoted or change career direction... or maybe you want to get back to work?

What are 24+ Advanced Learner Loans?
24+ Advanced Learner Loans is a UK Government initiative set up to support people aged 24 or over who want to study courses at levels Three and Four at a college or training provider. At edudo, we believe everyone has a chance to improve their life chances through learning. 24+ Advanced Learner Loans allow people from all backgrounds to take this opportunity.

How do 24+ Advanced Learner Loans work?
24+ Advanced Learner Loans operate on the same basis as higher education loans, with no repayment until the learner has finished their course and is earning above £21,000.

Am I eligible?
Many people ARE eligible to apply for a 24+ Advanced Learner Loan. Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on your income and there are no credit checks.

It depends on your course, training provider, age, nationality or residency status.

Your course must be:
a Level 3 or 4 qualification (eg. A Levels)
delivered by edudo - who is approved to offer loans. 

You must be:
24 or older on the first day of your course

You must:
be living in the UK on the first day of your course
have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course
be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there’s no restrictions on how long you can stay)

To find out if you’re eligible, use the eligibility tool on the edudo website here.

How much will I get?
How much you get depends on the type of course, course fees, and the maximum loan available for your course. The minimum loan you can get is £300. You can pay for some of the course yourself so you don’t have to borrow the full cost of the course. The money is paid directly to edudo.

How can I apply?
Get in touch with the edudo team on 0330 20 20 20 3 to find out more about 24+ Advanced Learner Loans and how to apply.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

edudo: Working to support the success of the hospitality sector

In January, the British Hospitality Association in partnership with Department for Work and Pensions led an exciting national initiative throughout Jobcentre Plus. Hospitality Works encouraged employers in the industry to promote opportunities/vacancies to suitable jobseekers, enhance their knowledge to find the right people for their business, and link into locally available training to prepare future workers.

The hospitality industry in the UK is big business. After Business Services, Wholesale & Retail, and Healthcare, Hospitality is the 4th largest employing sector in the UK. 4.9 million people, which is 10% of the workforce, work across 180,000 businesses in the UK’s hospitality sector.

Key Facts about the Hospitality Sector:
  • The hospitality industry has been at the forefront of the economic recovery over the past five years, creating jobs in every region of the country for people of all ages and skill levels. It has contributed 17% of the UK’s net employment growth in that period.
  • 80% of new employees in the hospitality industry over the past 5 years are 18-24 year olds.
  • The sector provides the first taste of work for many young people, generating 1 in 6 of all new jobs among 18-24 year-olds.
  • Hospitality contributed 4% of UK GDP in 2014, around £57 Billion, whilst putting £14 Billion into the Exchequer.

edudo has the key to supporting the hospitality industry

The above statistics demonstrate how significant a sector hospitality is in value and in the job market. What if we could up-skill those employed in the sector or even help those who want to start working in hospitality?

Here at edudo we have two initiatives that will add value to employers and employees alike, and contribute to strengthening the industry in general.

In the first instance, edudo offers learning opportunities to those already employed within the hospitality sector so they can achieve industry recognised qualifications, and drive their careers forward. A huge bonus is that there is funding for eligible candidates for a selection of learning programmes so there is no cost to your organisation or employee.

The second opportunity gives those looking for work in hospitality the opportunity to gain skills and qualifications relevant to the sector. This is a massive benefit for potential employers as they recruit work-ready staff who already have Food Safety and Licensing Law knowledge.

Whether you’re an individual operator or a national brand, we’d love to talk to you about developing your talent. You could reap a number of benefits, such as gaining motivated staff who want to stay with your business. If you’re recruiting front of house via the Job Centre, we can add value to your selection by putting candidates through an Workskills qualification and ensuring they are qualified up to Level 2 in Food Safety and also HABC Award for Personal License Holders. You can find out more about our courses here and get in touch here for more information and advice.

By Nicholas French

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

fight against skill shortage vacancies in your business

In 2015, the UK Commission For Employment and Skills (UKCES) conducted the Employer Skills Survey (ESS); the definitive source of intelligence on the skills challenges employers across the UK are facing, and their response in terms of investment in skills and training. The ESS examined the experiences and practices of over 91,200 employers at a time the UK economy was leaving recession and experiencing sustained economic growth.

The good news? A rise in recruitment. The bad news? A rise in skills shortages.
At the time of the survey, there were around 928,000 job vacancies in the UK – a 42% increase on the number of vacancies found in the previous survey in 2013. However, whilst vacancies rose so did skills shortages, and almost a quarter of vacancies were deemed hard to fill. Skills shortage vacancies rose to 209,000 from 146,000 in 2013 – a 43% increase in just two years.

How could this impact your business?
Almost half of employers with skills shortages claim they lost business to competitors. Smallest businesses are hit the hardest, finding that 29% of their vacancies in 2015 were hard to fill due to lack of skills. These small firms, with 5 employees or less, make up half of all UK employers so it is a worrying statistic.
Financial services and the construction sector have seen the sharpest rises in skills shortages. Skills shortages have more than doubled in two years in financial services, halting productivity in this highly important industry to the UK economy. Whilst in construction, skills shortages are hurting business, with 55% of employers saying they have lost business as a result.

What skills are lacking?
Time management, task prioritisation, customer handling skills and team working have proved particularly difficult for employers to find in candidates. Analytical, problem solving and mathematical skills are also amongst the hardest to find. These skills are key in helping businesses adapt and innovate, so a lack of them can greatly hinder business productivity and the growth of the UK economy as a whole.

Skills gaps and under-utilisation
3 in 10 employers admit they have staff with skills and qualifications above the level for their role. This means that around 2 million employees in the UK have skills that are being under-utilised. Some employers don’t see this as a huge problem but if they made the most of their employees’ skills, productivity could greatly increase.
There is still a concern around skills gaps, however. Around 1.4 million employees in the UK lack the skills they need to fulfil their role. Skills gaps are leading to increased workload for other employees, higher operating costs, and difficulties in introducing new working practices.

Working to develop employee skills
Most employers do offer training for their staff, with 63% of all workers in 2015 receiving training. However, this has only risen by 1% since 2013, and the types of training the majority of employers offer simply reflect the rise in recruitment – health and safety, and induction training.
The survey has prompted questions about whether or not employers are utilising their employees’ talents. Are businesses tapping into and helping develop the right skills for the right employees? Surprisingly, managers are least likely to receive training, despite the fact they are instrumental in business decisions. This can be extremely damaging to business.

How can edudo help?
At edudo we think work based learning is any structured learning that is focused on the work role of individuals within a business or organisation.
We work in partnership with some of the best employers in the UK to deliver training programmes that help them improve employee motivation, increase operational efficiency and ensure their people perform their roles competently, safely and effectively at all times.

edudo offers its employer clients unique opportunities through its edu@work programmes to develop their staff work-related skills, abilities and competences through: apprenticeships, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ Diplomas), functional skills, management development and a vast selection of statutory-related learning programmes.

We’re dedicated to fighting against skills shortages in the UK – are you?
Want to find out more? Get in touch with the edu@work team today on 0330 20 20 20 3 or tweet us @edu_at_work

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

An edudo Learner Journey

At edudo, we’re all about improving life chances, and we love it when a learner shares their success story with us. We spoke to former edudo learner, Neil Figgett, about how edudo changed his life.

edudo: Why did you first enrol on an edudo course?

Neil: I first enrolled on an edudo course due to the fact that I had been unemployed for 4 months. My JCP advisor thought it would be a good idea for me to enrol on an edudo course.

edudo:  What course did you enrol on?

Neil: The course I enrolled on was Edexcel BTEC Level 1 Certificate (WORKSKILLS QCF).

edudo: What was your experience of the course like?

Neil: I found the course very good. I learnt new skills such as writing a cover letter, Rights and Responsibilities at Work, and some aspects of Health & Safety at work I wasn’t aware of. I found the ‘Team Working’ unit very enjoyable, and interview skills and preparation helped me brush up on the knowledge I already had. I enjoyed meeting learners from lots of different backgrounds, and found myself helping those who may have been struggling a bit.

edudo: What were your next steps after completing the course?

Neil: Once I had completed the course, I went back to my JCP advisor and told her that the tutors on the course had expressed I would make a good tutor. The qualification I required to become a tutor was a City and Guilds Level 3 Award in Education and Training. My advisor searched for somewhere that I could take this course, and I completed it at Grove Training in Hazel Grove, Stockport.

edudo: How did you become involved in working for edudo?

Neil: Once I had started the course, I contacted edudo and asked if there would be any chance of doing work experience with them. I worked 2 days a week for them whilst completing my 9-week course.

edudo: Briefly describe your current role at edudo

Neil: Once I had completed the course, which also included Level 2 Certificate in Employability and Personal Development, I was offered a position with edudo as a self-employed tutor in Employability/Work Skills. In this role, I tutor a group of learners that are receiving benefits, with the aim of giving them the skills to gain employment. This is a 5-day course of 9 units:
·      Self- assessment
·      Searching for a job
·      Using a CV and cover letter to apply for a job
·      Preparing for an interview
·      Interview skills
·      Rights and responsibilities at work
·      Health & Safety at work
·      Planning an enterprise activity
·      Working in a team

edudo: What advice would you give to anyone enrolling on an edudo course?

Neil: I always recommend the course to people and assure them that it’s not hard, and will hopefully give them the skills to gain employment. Some people worry it will be like being at school and get stressed, but there’s definitely no need to panic!

You could find success like Neil with an edudo course. Ask your JCP advisor or get in touch for more info.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

could you work in security?

Working within the security industry is a challenging yet rewarding job – is it a sector you could work in?

There are many different sectors in the security industry. Jobs include:

  • Door Supervisors
  • Security officers (guarding)
  • Security officers (key holding)
  • Cash and valuables in transit operatives
  • CCTV operators
  • Close protection operatives

Ask your Job Centre advisor about edudo’s available courses.

What qualities do you need to have to succeed in a career in security?

There are many qualities security staff need, including:

  • Professionalism
  • Honesty
  • Reliability
  • Fair-minded
  • Observance
  • Approachability
  • Tactfulness
  • Being effective problem solvers
  • Being good communicators

The SIA have their own Code of Behaviour with staff must work to, as well as following their own organisation’s values and standards. You can find out more about the SIA here.

Keywords and phrases you may hear in the security industry:

Civil laws – rules that help govern our daily lives
Breach of peace – any disorder or disruption to the peace in public or in private that results in violence, threat of violence, or provokes violence from another
Indictable offences – offences that can be tried in the Crown Court
Contact and cover – a system of working as a pair with another security operative
Exit strategy – a pre-planned reason or excuse given to someone to get you away from a dangerous situation
Switching – a method of swapping positions with a colleague during difficult situations

If security sounds like the career for you, ask your Job Centre advisor about a course with edudo to progress.