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Posts Tagged ‘Training’

Nottinghamshire County Council engages adult learners with interactive quizzes

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Adult Learners Week: 9-15 May 2009
Inspiring adults from diverse backgrounds to give learning a go, the Adult and Community Learning Service (ACLS), part of Nottinghamshire County Council, is engaging adult learners through game-show style quizzes.

Adult learning providers across the county are using Qwizdom (www.qwizdom.co.uk), an interactive voting system, to encourage learners to participate anonymously with confidence, removing the embarrassment or fear of speaking in front of peers.

A major skills shortage is costing the UK economy up to £10 billion a year according to a recent estimate by The CBI (Confederation of British Industry). By improving adult learning through new technology, the ACLS aims to help adults regardless of their background to continue their education through numerous projects. It has trialled the voting system with three of its learning providers: Advocacy 2 Engagement (A2E), The Positive Action through Learning Support Project and The Personal Learning Consultancy. Due to huge demand, it has now rolled out the kit to numerous other learning providers in Nottinghamshire.

A2E, which delivers tailor-made courses for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, is using quizzes to improve their basic life skills. Questions such as: ‘Have I put a safe amount of water in this kettle?’ are posed to the class whilst the facilitator shows them a kettle filled with water exceeding the maximum limit. Learners press their keypads to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and responses are anonymously displayed on an interactive whiteboard, open for discussion. The system can also record achievement and progression by inputting the quiz results into a spreadsheet against each learner. This instantly shows how well learners are progressing, indicating which learners and topics need more attention.

Alan Clark, Service Development Manager at ACLS, commented: “Learners have been able to identify the link between using Qwizdom and popular television shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The feedback from learners and staff has been overwhelmingly positive because of the interactivity and healthy competition it brings to sessions. Sometimes adults’ perception of learning is a stereotypical one of being seated in rows and lectured, whereas voting technology is bringing learning to life for them.”

Comments from A2E learners include: “I liked seeing it on the screen so I know what I am doing”, “I liked it very much, it was easy” and “now I feel more independent.”

The Positive Action through Learning Support Project – a partnership between Nottingham Dyslexia Action and Nottinghamshire Probation Service – also uses Qwizdom for basic skills training. For example, when a probation officer identifies a literacy or numeracy weakness in one of their clients they can put them forward for a place on the programme. The Personal Learning Consultancy uses Qwizdom for family learning programmes to enable parents and carers to become more involved in their children’s education by understanding the literacy and numeracy curriculum whilst improving their own skills.

Gary Morrison, Director of Qwizdom, concluded: “The ACLS appreciates the benefits of using interactive technology to engage adult learners. If education providers are to successfully motivate adults to continue learning, it is vital that they implement innovative technology so that all learners feel confident to participate.”

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.

Hospitality Training Programs will help fill 1m vacancies

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

An extensive initiative is underway to prepare the hospitality industry for an upcoming one million vacancies.

The initiative, run by the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, will endorse hospitality training programmes that meet specific standards and criteria.

It is hoped training programmes that receive a stamp of approval from the Academy will stimulate and develop new skills needed in the hospitality industry.

The National Skills Academy for Hospitality, a not for profit organisation, said they are responding to a demand for skills in the industry that will escalate in the coming months. The hospitality sector, which has escaped from the economic downturn relatively unscathed, will continue to grow and recruit, according to the Academy’s Chairman Bob Cotton.

The increase in the demand for hospitality skills, they said, will be spurred by seasonal demand, people retiring and those leaving the industry. Despite the recession, the Academy has predicted around one million vacancies in the industry in the next 12 months.

The industry is already affected by skills shortages in management and leadership, customer service and chefs.

If a course is approved by the Academy, they will “reap the reward of being recognised as excellent,” according to the Academy’s chief executive, David McHattie.

He said the initiative would raise standards and increase the availability of training programmes.

Shining a light on the excellence found and increasing the availability of these programmes will not only raise the standards of training throughout the hospitality industry but enhance our reputation with the talent of the future,” said Mr McHattie.

Several programmes have been identified, approved and recognised so far.

They are a New Advanced Apprenticeship to provide students with skills to run a successful pub, restaurant or bar; Diplomas in Professional Cookery; Diplomas in Professional Cookery intended to set a new standard of delivery in chef qualifications; Chef Master Classes for those who want to develop their existing skills; and Junior Chefs Academies, a 10-week Saturday morning college programme that provides 14-16 year olds with basic cooking skills.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) will be working with the Academy and partners to establish several Junior Chefs Academies in the Northwest.

Douglas Gyte,tourism development manager at NWDA, said the programme will act as a vehicle for talented individuals who want to further a career as a chef.

This programme provides fantastic opportunities for our potential chefs to develop their interest in the profession and gain expertise. The programme aims to stimulate interest and encourage more talented young chefs to pursue a career in the industry,” said Mr Douglas.

He called the development of chefs important and integral to the overall success of the hospitality industry.

Computer Training Courses Can Improve Your Career Prospects in 2009

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Planning for progress in any career of your choice is compulsory if you intend to succeed in future. Part of planning for this progress will entail you studying hard and getting advanced qualifications that will place you ahead of you ahead of your peers in the quest to succeed in the job market. These qualifications that are required may vary but most of these courses usually have something or the other to do with computers. Learning a course that has some emphasis on computer based learning will give you the required edge to prevent you from veering into the road of extinction and failing to get the requirements for progress in your career. Different careers have started developing computer related components and by studying any computer training courses that are suited to the career which you’re in, you place yourself in a great position for career advancement.

Computer training establishments can be found in a number of areas around the country. If you’re lucky you might even get to attend a school that is close to where you work. If no schools or educational establishments are within a certain proximity to your office or your home, you can simply opt for another option and choose to study through online means instead. Before you enroll into any school that offers computer training courses you have to be aware of certain essential details which apply regardless of whether this school is online or not. These things will involve you taking the time out to find out about the current developments in your career and how these developments relate to the field of computer related courses. Getting this information can be as simple as reading about it in career related websites and magazines or simply by contacting different professionals who are knowledgeable about what is current in your career field. By opting for a program that has a large following and which is relatively high in demand increases the chances that you’ll get promoted or employed in an establishment that requires someone with your skills.

Computer training courses are suitable for a number of people and it doesn’t only apply to people whose sole source of education is computer based. Computer training courses are replete with people from different career backgrounds who require some form of education in order to familiarize themselves with current happenings in their particular field of industry. Success is becoming harder to attain in the model workplace and in order to achieve success in a competitive arena you have to think and prepare yourself by learning accordingly.  You can visit Learn Skills, Computer Skills and PC Applications for more information on computer training.

Kelly Hunter operates http://www.best-computer-training-courses.com and writes about Computer Training Courses.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kelly_Hunter

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

New Skills for New Jobs: Anticipating and matching labour market and skills needs in Europe

Friday, January 16th, 2009

What is ‘New Skills for New Jobs’?

As requested by the European Council, the Communication on New Skills for New Jobs presents a first assessment of the EU’s future skills and jobs requirements up to 2020. The unexpected nature of the current crisis clearly shows the limits of any economic forecasting exercise but forecasts can serve to indicate general trends.

The two objectives of this initiative are to help ensure a better match between skills and labour market needs and to improve the Member States’ capacity to assess and anticipate the skills needs of its citizens and companies.

What does it mean in practice?

The New Skills for New Jobs strategy is composed of four strands.

  • It will improve the monitoring of short-term trends on the European labour market and develop several tools and services to promote job guidance and mobility and to address skills mismatches.
  • It will also help to develop better information on skills needs in the EU in the medium and long-term, with regularly updated projections of future labour market trends and analysis of skills needs by sector, taking into account business needs and the employment impact of the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
  • It will improve our understanding of global challenges related to skills and jobs through cooperation with third countries (notably US, China, Canada, India) and international organisations (OECD and ILO).
  • It will help Member States, regions and others involved in skill upgrading and matching by mobilising existing Community policies (such as the strategic framework for cooperation in education and training) and European funds in line with these objectives.

Why is action needed at EU level?

Member States are mainly responsible for education and employment policies. However a Europe-wide perspective can provide a more complete assessment of the situation, and results which can be compared to better understand common trends. The EU can also raise awareness of the importance of skills and matching as long-term strategic objectives. Finally, well-established EU funds such as the European Social Fund are important instruments to support the objectives of the initiative at national and in particular regional level.

Why should skills upgrading and matching be a priority? Why launch this in an economic downturn?

Across Europe, technological change, globalisation, ageing populations, urbanisation and the evolution of social structures are accelerating changes in labour markets and in skills requirements. Upgrading skills is critically important for Europe’s future growth and productivity, its capacity to adapt to change, and for equity and social cohesion – the low skilled are more vulnerable in the labour market and can be hit first by the crisis. It is the also best way to exploit new opportunities for sustainable job creation, such as the shift to a low-carbon economy and the development of new technologies. But upgrading education and skills levels alone is not enough, as skills gaps and mismatches are a common concern in Member States: ensuring a better match between the supply of skills and labour market demand is as important.

As underlined in the European Economic Recovery Plan, improving the monitoring and matching of skills is necessary both in the short and the long-term:

  • To address the employment impact of the crisis, facilitate matching with existing vacancies and help people return to the labour market;
  • To make sure that European labour markets anticipate future needs, to improve the long-term job prospects of the EU workforce and to exploit opportunities for growth and jobs.

How many jobs will be created in the future and in which sectors?

19.6 million additional jobs are expected to be created between 2006 and 2020 in the EU-25 (according to projections from CEDEFOP), while 80 million jobs would become available as workers retire or leave the labour market.

The gradual shift in Europe away from the primary sector and traditional manufacturing industries towards services and the knowledge-intensive economy is likely to continue. According to recent studies, by the year 2020, almost three quarters of jobs in the EU-25 are likely to be in services.

A focus on net job creation by occupation shows that there will be many jobs created in high-skilled occupations, but also significant job creation in low-skilled jobs in the service sector. In the service sector, strong positive trends are expected in business services (such as IT, insurance or consultancy); health care and social work, distribution, personal services, hotels and catering, and to a lesser extent education.
Past and future trends in employment levels in the service sector, in millions[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]

In addition, efforts to tackle climate change and environmental degradation are expected to create a new ‘green economy’, with millions of new jobs across the world. The market for environmental products and services is projected to double by 2020. The shift to a low-carbon economy could benefit Europe, which already has a leading position in some of the technologies required for renewable energy. Environmental concerns also mean people will need to develop new competences in more traditional sectors (agriculture, transport, construction).

What sort of qualifications and skills will be needed?

In general, higher education levels will be required from the working population, as more and more jobs will require high and medium education levels.

First, there will be a need for higher and broader sets of skills across different levels of occupation. Across sectors, generic skills such as problem-solving and analytical skills, self-management and communication skills, ability to work in a team, linguistic skills and digital competences are more and more valued on the labour market. Second, a general rise in educational attainment levels implies that employers will adapt recruitment criteria and that a growing share of low-skilled jobs will be filled by workers with a medium level of qualification.

Why does the initiative focus so much on “skills”?

Skills refer to the ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems. They can be accumulated throughout working life, not only through formal education and training but also through informal training and work-related experience. Unlike traditional qualifications, the concept of skills focuses on learning outcomes (rather than years of studies, for example).

Evaluating employers’ needs in terms of overall levels of educational attainment of the workforce is not sufficient, as we can see from the problem of highly educated workers employed in low-skilled jobs coupled with wider shortages of skilled workers in the labour market. Every job requires a mix of knowledge, skills and abilities, including “generic” skills such as communication and problem-solving skills.

What about the role of social partners and business?

European social dialogue is a key instrument for mobilising social partners to invest in the right skills through education and lifelong learning. The Commission will invite social partners to develop joint initiatives to promote skills forecasting and upgrading, and to accompany short-term restructuring. The Commission will also consult with social partners at the sectoral level.

The Commission will discuss with stakeholders, notably the existing sectoral social dialogue committees, the possibility of establishing “sector councils on employment and skills” at EU level, which will enable representatives on both sides to organise collective discussions, where consensual positions can be reached.

It will also be vital for businesses to invest in human capital and improve their human resource management. Businesses are also best placed to assess their own skills needs, especially in a short-term perspective. Awareness and involvement of businesses in forecasting skills needs will be reinforced under the initiative, through a survey of employers and qualitative studies on the skills needs of businesses, notably SMEs. There will be a dialogue between business and universities to take into account employers’ expectations of university students and graduates.

What are the next steps of New Skills for New Jobs?

In 2009, the Commission will continue to work on common approaches, standards and methodologies and promote cooperation between Member States and other actors involved, in particular by setting up an expert group to support the initiative and activities with international organisations and third countries.

More detailed results will be also published next year. In particular, in 2009, CEDEFOP – the EU’s vocational education and training agency – will publish a complementary study providing projections of skill supply which help to identity skill mismatches and shortages. In May 2009, a comprehensive series of skills needs in 16 sectors will be presented at a series of conferences in Member States.

Better matching and anticipating labour market needs in Europe

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Proposals for better job matching and more effective ways to analyse and predict which skills will be needed in tomorrow’s labour market were presented by the European Commission on 16 December 2008.

New Skills for New Jobs proposes a series of actions to match skills with vacancies, to organise skills assessments on a permanent basis, to pool the efforts of Member States and other international organisations, and to develop better information on future needs.

The measures proposed in New Skills for New Jobs will help Europe address the short-term employment impact of the economic crisis and improve the long-term job prospects of the EU workforce. They are part of a package of measures for Growth and Jobs and complement the European Economic Recovery Plan, which was presented by the Commission on 26 November 2008.

The right skills for tomorrow’s jobs

Across Europe, technological change, globalisation, the shift to a low-carbon economy, ageing populations and the evolution of social structures all mean that both labour markets – and the skills people need – change ever faster. Therefore we must make sure to anticipate future needs and respond by enable people to develop the right skills.

The European Commission is proposing to improve the monitoring of short-term trends and to develop tools for better matching of skills and job vacancies on the European labour market. The Commission will also develop better information on needs in the EU in the medium and long-term, with regularly updated projections of future labour market trends and analysis of skills needs by sector. It will improve the EU’s understanding of global challenges related to skills and jobs through cooperation with third countries and international organisations. Moreover, the Commission will help Member States and regions and all actors involved in the upgrading and matching of skills by mobilising existing Community policies and funds, especially the European Social Fund.

Assessing labour markets up to 2020

With today’s proposals the Commission responds to a request by the European Council to provide an assessment of skills needs up to 2020. One of the preliminary findings is that Europe will see the creation of new jobs in the service sector: by the year 2020, almost three quarters of jobs in the EU-25 will be in services. Further, there will be many jobs created in high-skilled occupations, but also some job creation in “elementary jobs”. More and more jobs will require high and medium education levels from the working population. Across sectors, transversal and generic skills will be increasingly valued on the labour market: problem-solving and analytical skills, self-management and communication skills, the ability to work in a team, linguistic skills and digital competences.

Parents & teachers to receive practical support to get children learning online

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Teachers and parents across the country will be able to request support and training on how to help school aged children access the internet at home for learning, from a new foundation to be set up by Becta. The foundation will provide a vehicle for all interested organisations to demonstrate their commitment and support to this initiative.

Becta, the education technology agency, will work closely with industry and other interested parties to create an independent foundation, which will administer and distribute industry funds in support of the government’s Home Access programme. The idea was proposed by Microsoft in response to the government announcement made in September 2008 and the foundation is open to other organisations who wish to get involved.

The Home Access programme, which will be piloted in Oldham and Suffolk from February, will work to ensure every child has access to a home computer and the internet for their school or college work. The pilot aims to ensure every 7- to 18- year-old in full time state-maintained education has access to the internet at home.

The Home Access programme forms part of Becta’s Next Generation Learning campaign, which promotes the best use of technology in learning.

The new foundation is expected to be launched later this year, to coincide with the national rollout of the Home Access programme. It will be charged, on behalf of the government, with supporting local training of teachers and parents, including raising awareness of the importance of home access and how to overcome barriers in the community. The independent foundation will be overseen by Becta and other organisations are being encouraged to join Microsoft in providing support for the foundation.

Stephen Crowne, Chief Executive of Becta, said:
“We need to ensure that every learner has an equal chance to tap into the benefits of the internet to enhance their learning – and the Home Access programme seeks to do just that, by offering this opportunity to all learners.

“Getting parents and teachers on board is clearly vital to the success of the programme, so we are really excited about this opportunity to support them, in partnership with the industry. I welcome the leadership Microsoft has shown and am now calling for more leading companies to join us in the drive to support parents and teachers.”

Steve Beswick, Director of Education, Microsoft, commented:
“We believe that all children should have access to the learning tools they need in order to realise their full potential. As part of a global programme, we have created an investment fund to support activities that will help ensure the home access programme has maximum impact. Our goal is now to support Becta in setting up the foundation and encourage others across the industry to get involved.”

In early 2009 a pilot begins in two local authorities, focusing on learners aged 7-18. Low income families may be eligible for support towards the purchase of an approved package consisting of a device, connectivity and support.

Service Skills Australia Welcomes New Government- Industry Training Partnerships in Retail

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Service Skills Australia welcomes the Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, The Hon. Julia Gillard’s announcement that the Government will fund half the cost of training for existing workers of two of Australia’s largest retail organisations under the Productivity Places Program.
Service Skills Australia, the Industry Skills Council for the service industries, will work with Woolworths and Westfield to deliver training to existing workers under the program.  The announcement is particularly welcome for the retail trade, an industry in which nearly two  thirds of workers do not hold post-school qualifications and at a time of economic uncertainty.
“The retail industry is currently experiencing a skills shortage of suitably qualified staff who wish to
pursue a life-long career within the retail industry” CEO Jeanette Allen said.
“The Productivity Places Program will greatly assist both Westfield and Woolworths to retain their existing staff and allow them to move into future management roles”.
“This in turn creates new employment prospects for entry level positions, and will increase the
businesses productivity levels, and increase workforce participation”.
Westfield will have seventy-five employees trained in a Diploma of Retail Management and Woolworths will train a total of 103 employees at Certificate III in Retail and forty-two employees in a Certificate IV in Retail. The retail industry is the largest employing industry in Australia, with more than 1.5 million workers, 15% of the Australian workforce.
Background
Earlier this year, Service Skills Australia (SSA) was offered an opportunity to submit an expression of interest to Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations from interested employers that would be prepared to participate in a pilot program to train existing workers in skill shortages areas under the Productivity Places Program.
SSA in collaboration with their industry partners, made a number of submissions at this time and in late October, SSA received correspondence that confirmed the Commonwealth was prepared to match the employer contribution up to 50% of the cost of training. Formal applications were submitted last month from a range of service sector employers that were interested in training their existing workforce to improve workplace productivity and participation.

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