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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

eLearning Partnership announced with City of Galway VEC

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

City of Galway Vocational Education Committee, (CGVEC), has engaged with a global elearning provider Learn Skills in a strategic partnership to create and implement a strategy to develop and establish a lifelong learning culture in Galway City. Learn Skills will provide its significant technical and pedagogical assets, with the CGVEC leading the engagement of the local education community, encouraging the embracing of the lifelong learning programme offering through its own teaching network and via its various involvements through the wider community. Learn Skills is an innovative learning solutions provider, founded by an experienced group of on-line learning specialists, and driven by a mission to deliver the best technology-based solutions for learning. Learn Skills is headquartered in Ireland and is building on the experience and successes of the Irish e-learning industry to develop a commanding global presence.

It is a company founded on the belief that at the heart of any successful organization, you’ll find a unique combination of excellence, openness and innovation; and most importantly, people that are passionate about learning and delivering value to the end-user. At Learn Skills you will find dedicated and talented individuals that are steadfastly building a leading learning technology solutions provider.

Learn Skills was born out of the belief that in a Knowledge Society, organisational and individual effectiveness depends on the consistent application of learning and a committment to continuous personal development and lifelong learning. We believe our most valuable asset is our people and our goal is to help everyone learn better, faster and smarter through the use of technology enhanced learning tools and products.

The challenges presented by the Knowledge Society demand even greater collaboration between academia and industry. Consequently, Learn Skills is based at the National University of Ireland in Galway, at the heart of a technology innovation hub. There, the  company benefits from the research & development capacity of a leading international University and research institution.

Learn Skills expands into Retail and Hospitality training with Didasko partnership

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

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23/01/2009 – Ireland – Learn Skills is delighted to annouce it’s latest partnership with Didasko, the Australia innovative learning solutions provider of engaging interactive multimedia resources.  For 11 years, Didasko has been a leading developer of high quality Learner and Trainer resources for the vocational, education and training industry.
They specialise in the service sectors of Hospitality, Retail and Asset Maintenance and their comprehensive resources and systems for the training provider, teachers and students delivers superior learning, operational and marketing outcomes.  Didasko Learning Resources currently provides resources to leading international universities, domestic and international colleges, training organisations, hospitality and retail groups, corporate sector and secondary schools with vocational programs.

Learn Skills shall spearhead Didasko’s expansions plans into Europe focused on both Retails and Hospitality Unit.  This comprehensive range of courses shall be made available both on-line and also when required in CD-Rom format.  With over 100 on-line courses each supported by both a Learner Guide and Training Delivery Guide to deliver the first complete solution for Retail and Hospitality education and training in Europe. These comprehensive resources and systems for training providers, teachers and students deliver superior learning outcomes and improved operational and marketing effectiveness.

For Education and Training providers:
• The full package – from curriculum to delivery and assessment
• Tailored ordering and packaging for each student
• Low flat rate / unit
• Customised branding of the materials
• Distribution options – CD-ROM, PDF, USB, on-line
• Easy online ordering 24/7
• Just in Time delivery – all orders despatched within 48 hours

For Teachers and Trainers:

• Comprehensive tools support teacher compliance and learner
management :
(Training and Assessment plans, Learner contact logs, Competency
Assessment Matrix, Employability Self Assessment, Skills Demonstration
Training record)
• Use of multiple “adult learning” principles
• Greater focus on delivery and student centric

For Students:

• Tailored customised packaging of learner units
• Engaging interactive multimedia (text, graphics, animation, sound,
video and self assessments)
• Underpinning knowledge is gained
• Extensive glossaries and recipe files within the units
• Self evaluation worksheets
• Supports all student learning categories – ESL or learning difficulties

Irish Hardware Skillnet invites Learn Skills to attend the Hardware / DIY Home Garden Show

Friday, January 23rd, 2009
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Learn Skills is placed to announce that it will have a stand at this years Hardware / DIY Home Garden Show (www.irishhardwarefair.com) which takes place on Sunday 1st February (10am – 6pm) and Monday 2nd February 2009 (10am – 5pm) at the RDS Simmonscourt, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.  This biannual trade only show attracts Hardware DIY Garden Centre and Building Materials retailers and suppliers from the whole island of Ireland and the footfall is in the thousands each day.

Learn Skills will have its stand within the “Training Village”, on Sunday 1st February (10am – 6pm) where we will showcase our comprehensive range of web-based staff training materials, but also launch our newly acquire Retail Training Units which deliver training in all key skills associated with a productive retail employee.  Learn Skills has been invited by the Irish Hardware Skillnet who aims to facilitate Learn Skills:

  • meeting key people from our member companies on a one to one basis
  • discussing training options
  • providing information packs
  • networking with fellow trainers & companies in the network

As well as Hardware/DIT the show will feature a substantial number of top industry exhibitors from the Garden and Home Section.  Over 2,000 retailers from Ireland, North and South, are set to descend on the Show over the two days. The event gives them an opportunity to preview and forward order new season products.  The event is a major showcase for new products and items,like Learn Skills Retail Training and the Learn Skills platform,  which will most likely be seen in homes throughout the country over the next year or so.  It is the only Trade Show of its kind in Ireland, and will be the biggest event since the show started back in 1996.

Ms Catherine Shiels, President of the Irish Hardware & Building Materials Association, says “Retailers and exhibitors will make valuable contacts at the Show with outstanding potential for new profit opportunities. The Show will be the launch pad for numerous new products that will find their way into retailers to be enjoyed by householders across the country.”

Members of the Irish Hardware & Building Materials Association (IHBMA) Board, Steering Committee and HR / Training Managers from our Network member companies will be in attendance during both days. This presents a wonderful opportunity for Learn Skills to present their products & services to companies, build partnerships and generate business for 2009.

Sean Griffin, Co-Founding Director of Learn Skills, says “The Hardware / DIY Home Garden Show will provide us with the perfect showcase for our Retail Training Units and lead to an enhanced profile within the Irish market for the efficient and effective delivery of cost effective staff training.”

Hospitality and tourism training update from the UK

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

24th October, 2008 – UK – A short-life task group has been set up by Ministers to review qualifications within the hospitality and tourism sector and ensure these are relevant and responsive to the changing needs of the industry in these tough economic times.

The group will also examine a recommendation from the Parliament’s Economy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee that education, skills and training in these sectors should be rationalised, with resources prioritised to support an industry-backed system.

The group, which will include representatives from the industry, national education and skills bodies, and college and university sectors, will help inform Ministers on what action may be required. Its remit will be to:

* Identify what hospitality and tourism qualifications are available and advise Scottish Ministers on what is required to make them more relevant and responsive to employer needs during these uncertain times
* Establish how many and what type of hotel school developments are currently under consideration in Scotland and advise on how these can support the industry’s needs
* Summarise, for the industry, the roles of the respective public bodies in relation to qualifications development, validation and funding

Minister for Schools and Skills, Maureen Watt, said:

“Tourism is a key sector in Scotland and the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring the right conditions exist to enable it to flourish, particularly in these tough economic times.

“Ensuring that those within the industry and those seeking to join it in the future, have access to the right skills and training is an essential part of that – both for employees and employers.

“The task group will help us ensure that resources are targeted towards skills and training that best meets the industry’s requirements and that training is also sufficiently flexible to adapt to those changes needs.”

Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, Jim Mather, said:

“Scotland has a fantastic tourism product. From our wonderful scenery, to our compelling history, diverse culture, and friendly people, we have so much to offer the world.

“But if we are to continue to compete in one of the world’s most competitive markets, we need to ensure that we have a new generation of well trained young talent who can take Scotland’s reputation to the next level in years to come.

“It is their Scottish hospitality, their standards of service and their skills which will set our great country apart. This new group will ensure that those standards continue to rise, leading to a highly responsive Scottish tourism industry which will be the envy of countries across the world.”

The creation of the task group will help the industry ensure that people have access to the right skills and training to ensure it gets through these difficult economic times. It will also enable Ministers to respond to a recommendation from the Economy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee’s report – Growing Pains – can we achieve a 50 per cent growth in tourist revenue by 2015?

While the Scottish Government agreed with the majority of the recommendations, Ministers wanted to further investigate issues raised in recommendation 246, which said the Tourism Minister should work with his colleagues and key agencies to declutter and rationalise the provision of education, skills and training in the sector and reprioritise the resources towards a system that is demand-led and enjoys the support of the industry and which offers a smaller number of industry and government approved courses delivered by a limited number of centres with geographical spread.

Full membership of the group, which will meet twice and is expected to report by mid-December, includes:

* Iain Herbert, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Forum. Iain has also worked with several premier Scottish tourism agencies, including the Scottish Whisky Heritage Centre as general manager and as manager for the Royal Yacht Britannia. He is also a former head of visitor operations for the National Museums of Scotland.
* Peter Lederer CBE, Chairman of VisitScotland and Chairman of Gleneagles Hotel Limited. He is also a Trustee of the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland and the Tourism & Hospitality Education Trust.
* David Allen, People 1st. Prior to joining People 1st in September 2007, David spent more than 16 years in the hospitality and tourism industry, in the UK and in Europe. This included working for the Marriot Group and setting up and running a multi million pound conference centre in Fife. He is a member of the Institute of Hospitality and plays an active role in supporting industry led skills and education forums including the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) Skills forum.
* Mandy Exley, Principal, Perth College. Mandy moved to Scotland in 2000 and bought at small hotel on the shores of Loch Tay. In addition to her post in the college, she is a director of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, and the Scottish Tourism Forum.
* Mary Nasmyth, Scottish Training Federation
* Professor David Kirk, Vice Principal, Queen Margaret University
* John Kemp, Deputy Director of Strategic Development, Scottish Funding Council
* Chris Taylor, Highlands & Islands Enterprise
* Eddie Brogan, Tourism Director, Scottish Enterprise
* Joe Wilson, Head of New Ventures, Scottish Qualifications Authority
* Darah Zahran, Skills Development Scotland
* Eric Milligan, Skills Development Scotland

Source: Scottish Government News

The Wheel Launches 2008 Training Links Grant Programme

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Ireland – 16th September, 2008 – Training Links is an innovative support service developed by the Wheel to enhance the skills and employability of people working in the community and voluntary sector in Ireland.

Training Links offers funding opportunities to groups of organisations that chose to come together and work collaboratively to address their shared training needs as a Training Network. The current Training Links programme is running from September 2008 to mid 2010.

The Training Network is subsidised by The Wheel – with funding from the National Training Fund – over the period of the programme to develop and implement strategic, innovative and cost-effective training and development solutions for its members which they would be not be in a position to undertake as effectively on their own.

In addition to the provision of substantial financial subsidies to the Training Networks directed at training provision, this programme provides much-needed opportunities for sectoral co-operation and shared learning.

Applications are now welcomed for Training Links 2008-2010, an innovative grant programme developed by The Wheel to address the collective training needs of community and voluntary organisations in Ireland. Modelled on the approach developed by Skillnets Limited for the private sector Training Links encourages community and voluntary organisations to unite in “training networks” to identify shared training needs and to apply for a grant to address these needs. This approach offers participants significant cost efficiencies and other collective benefits.

Find Out More

Visit the Training Links site for further information:

http://www.wheel.ie/traininglinks

Productivity, Learn how to use a computer

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Did you ever wonder, why you should learn how to use Google? Do you use a book to keep track of you contacts? Or like Seth Godin puts it:

Can you imagine someone who works in a factory that processes metal not knowing how to use a blowtorch?

For many people, it is part of their job to use a computer, but how efficient are you? Do you want to increase your productivity?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend hunderts of dollars to buy your own Microsoft Office version and try everything out. Have a look at this Microsoft Office Word 2007 course? If you are already an expert, why don’t you try one of our Microsoft Office Specialist Courses, like Microsoft Access Specialist Training 2003.

You can also try most of the Microsoft Features in OpenOffice, which was recently released in the version 3.0. This software in many instances better then the Microsoft counterpart and it is free. Try it out if you don’t belive me, download the installation file, and run the install programm.

Staying Motivated: Choosing a life of purpose and passion!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

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Sometimes when I try to explain my dream to my family and friends, I get blank stares. My enthusiasm does not find an eager audience. Most of the times, I try and avoid this situation by just keeping quiet about my dreams, but there are times when I can’t contain my excitement. I do understand that everyone operates from their belief system, just as I do. But how come the belief systems are different in the very same family in which we grow up? What exactly determines our belief systems? Is it the cumulative experience and influence of one lifetime or infinite life times?

Since I am a past life regression therapist, I know that our past lives do affect our present belief systems, but for most people this fact is difficult to digest. Most of us believe that our beliefs come primarily from our childhood conditioning. If we are told as children that telepathy does not exist, we will grow up believing it to be our truth. However, it is only a belief and not a fact. Most of what we believe is not based on facts in any case. Now suppose that as a grown-up you come across someone who can demonstrate to you that telepathy does exist. What will you do now? Will you accept this new truth?

Generally even when a fact is offered with proof, skeptic minds would try and block it. They try and skip to another reality zone, just to avoid changing their beliefs. It is a sort of automatic defense mechanism of the ego. Sometimes, when you are trying your best to explain something new to someone, they get a glazed look in their eyes. Their attention drifts off. They stop paying attention to you. This is their mind’s way of blocking out information that does not tally with its belief system. Only an open mind can absorb new information and evaluate it on its own terms.

So, now I have decided to share my dreams only with those people who believe in me. I am not here to change anyone’s belief systems, I am here to have faith in my belief system and evaluate it from time to time. I am here to discard beliefs that do not work for me any more and form experiential beliefs that always work. I do not believe that successful people are just lucky. I know that one becomes successful by believing in one’s dreams.

My motivation comes from setting big goals. Big goals to me mean goals that seem fantastic, out of reach, slightly scary, and not commiserating with the current appearances of reality. Say, for example, I had set a goal of becoming a life skills coach, when I was just a homemaker. It took me two years and various small steps of being a communication skills teacher, verbal ability instructor for management entrance exams, a columnist, a healer, and finally a life skills coach. Wow! It seems like a dream run. Throughout this period I stayed motivated by writing my goal in great detail, letting go of it in care of the universe, and taking small inspired actions when needed.

Such miracles happen in my life all the time. Invariably I am led to the right people, right opportunities and right know-how to achieve my goals. After one goal is achieved, I set another big goal. Right now my big goal is to be conducting my empowering workshops throughout the world. It does seem impossible to some, but to me it is my reality, whether I can see it in my present environment or not.

I stay motivated by my complete faith in the universe and its infallible laws. My motivation also comes from imagining a bigger, brighter, and more colourful life than I currently lead. I put my emotions into this picture and live it in my mind. Eventually I am led to take decisive action. This action is always inspired, and I do it to the best of my ability with gay abundance.

I have written my new life story keeping all areas of my life, viz, career, money, health, friends, family, personal development, recreation, and personal environment in right perspective. I run this story through my mind at least twice a day. Each run builds up a new momentum, and I feel excited about taking actions to reach my goals. I know people who live the kind of life that I live, and I also know people whose lives are full of boredom, discontent, and mediocrity. I feel grateful to the universe because my eyes and mind are open. I have discovered my potential. I have chosen my life of purpose and passion. I feel ecstatic. Life sure is beautiful!

Source: Article by Chitra Jha, on Tickled by Life.

Three myths related to training and learning

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

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Myths have a way of perpetuating themselves. There are quite a few related to training and learning too. Everyone seems to believe in them. So much so that they have become sacrosanct and no one even bothers to question them.  When Shalu Wasu heard some for the first time, it was in the context of a training program that he was going through. His first reaction was: ‘Wow! That sounds incredible.’ In the enthusiasm of the collective wows that were generated, he, like all of us,  accepted the myths as truth.

He soon realized he was not comfortable believing in them. Intuitively, Shalu Wasu knew they could not be true.  Now all these myths seemed to be backed up by solid research though and he wondered if he was being his usual arrogant self by questioning these supposed universal ‘truths’.  But he  started his probe anyway and what he found really warmed my heart! These were myths for sure, very similar to urban legends that get popularized without any sound basis. Below are three of the most common.

MYTH ONE: You remember 10% of what you read, 20% of what you hear, 30% of what you see and 90% of what you do.

This is a widely repeated statement by trainers all over the world. Maybe you’ve been subjected to this statement at some time as well. I hope you have not made it though.  The round figures are easily remembered but completely wrong.  The findings can be traced to one D.G. Treichler, an employee of Mobil Oil Company, who put forth these figures in 1967.  However, the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science has laid claim to the figures, saying they are based on research in the early sixties and bizarrely adding that ‘we no longer have – nor can we find – the original research that supports the numbers’.  Though, there are many arguments against these figures, one that is most obvious is that all the percentages are perfectly round. What research into human behaviour ever resulted in four different round numbers?

MYTH TWO: In communication, only 7% of the meaning is conveyed through the speaker’s words, 55% through his facial expressions and the rest 38% through tone of voice.

I am sure you have come across this lulu too, especially if you have attended communication or NLP programs. In one sweeping statement, words are reduced to an insignificant role in the great game of communication.  Yet, when we think about this deeply, the fallacies start becoming obvious. Is it really possible that if I get lost in Shanghai and ask a passer-by for directions, I’ll have to work out the correct route mostly from their facial expressions and tone of voice, and not from the words they use?  The findings are attributed to research done by Mehrabian but, in reality, they are just a distorted version of what Mehrabian himself has to say on his website. He expresses the results of his research in the form of an equation: Total liking = 7% verbal liking + 38% vocal liking + 55% facial liking.  He explains that “this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e. like-dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable.”

MYTH THREE: We use 10% of our brain (or anywhere from 1% to 15% depending upon where you have read it).

This one is so popular, even Albert Einstein is usually roped in as one of the endorsers! The media too has played a role in orchestrating this myth. Many of us therefore look at it as given.  Scientists have tried for years to change this misconception. They have clearly stated that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that we use only 10% of our brains. In fact it is very hard to say what using just 10% of your brain means.  It could mean that I could cut 90% of my brain and be just fine or that I just use only one out of every ten nerve cells at any one time. Let’s attack this one with common sense.

First of all, it is obvious that the brain, like all other organs, has been shaped by natural selection. Brain tissue is metabolically expensive both to grow and to run.  It strains credulity to think that evolution would have permitted squandering of resources on a scale necessary to build and maintain such a massively underutilized organ.  Secondly, losing far less than 90 percent of the brain to accident or disease has catastrophic consequences. Various medical tests reveal that there does not seem to be any area of the brain that can be destroyed without leaving the patient with some kind of functional deficit.  Likewise, electrical stimulation of points in the brain during neurosurgery has failed so far to uncover any dormant areas where no percept, emotion or movement is elicited by applying these tiny currents.

Having dug hard and deep, I find no evidence at all to support this myth.  The most powerful lure of the myth is probably the idea that we might develop psychic abilities, or at least gain a leg up on the competition by improving our memory or concentration.  All this is available for the asking, the ads say, if we just tapped into our most incredible of organs, the brain. It is past time to put this myth to rest, although if it has survived at least a century so far, it will surely live on into the new millennium.  The next time you are subjected to this one, just ask the speaker politely “Oh? What part don’t you use?”

Source: Tickled by Life article by Shalu Wasu

Not Enough Hours, Time Management

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

After the post earlier about Getting Things Done, there is another Book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which works very well with our Time and Stress Management course.

Have a look at this overview to learn more about Covey’s Book, which gives you a good insight about the 4 Quadrant Eisenhower System (aka Eisenhower Matrix) which is also discussed by the RTÉ show “Not Enough Hours”.  This gives you a nice overview about prioritizing your task list on the RTÉ website. That program is presented by NLP Master Trainer Owen Fitzpatrick.

‘Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.’
Dwight D. Eisenhower

You could also use the following sketch video by Lodewijk to learn more in addition to our Time and Stress Management course :

If you cannot afford either time or money for a personal life skills course or NLP course or something like that, have a look at our time and stress management course, which will give you a great opportunity to enhance and improve your time management skills.

Here is a very informative lecture about time management.

Companies urged to address staff turnover

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Ireland – 22nd August, 2008 – Research and advisory firm Computer Economics has been conducting research into why IT staff stay in their jobs to give organisations a better idea on how to retain employees.

IT managers perceive staff turnover rates to be getting worse because of the slowing economy and some IT skills being in short supply, the firm said.

“The first question organisations need to answer is whether their turnover rates are outside the norm and need addressing,” said the Computer Economics report. “The typical organisation in today’s environment can view a five per cent [staff] turnover as a normal cost of doing business.”

The survey of 71 IT organisations found that those with stronger education and training programmes have lower than average turnover rates, and that staff prefer good training to increased pay.

“IT managers often worry that investments in training will be reaped by other organisations when IT workers shop their new skills around,” said John Longwell, director of research for Computer Economics. “But this study indicates that investing in training is actually the best way to retain employees.”

The factors commonly perceived as influencing staff turnover are:

  • Education and training opportunities
  • Flexible schedules
  • Work environment
  • Social environment
  • Pay
  • Insurance benefits
  • Employee recognition programmes
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement programmes
  • Telecommuting opportunities

“While offering competitive salaries and benefit packages may be important for recruitment, providing quality-of-life incentives and enhancing working environments are more important for retention,” Longwell concluded.

The report advised organisations to distinguish between programmes to recruit qualified employees and programmes to retain staff.

Source: TechCentral.ie