From education to employment

CoVE College Offers Blended Learning Programmes In Business Skills To Assist Local Economy

North East Worcestershire College – a further education provider and a Centre of Vocational Excellence, for management and professional studies- is creating an additional revenue stream by offering a new range ofblended learning programmes, on key business skills, to local companies.

The programmes, developed by blended learning specialist BalanceLearning, cover issues such as leadership, customer service,presentations, coaching, influencing skills and performance management.

“We researched the needs of local businesses and found that the majority want to improve staff skills through training but they don”t want their employees to be away from the workplace for long periods,” saidDerek Street, who heads NEW Colleges Department for ProfessionalStudies. “These new blended learning programmes enable us to meet thedemand for short, flexible training.”

Each Balance Learning programme includes a comprehensive online learning course, a complementary ready-to-run classroom workshop and post-event workplace activities.

“The Balance resources are a bridge between qualifications andtraining,” said Derek Street. “Each one is a purpose-built blend ofhigh quality, ready-to-use training activities.”

N.E.W College is now actively marketing the programmes to seniormulti-tasking managers in small-medium sized companies in Hereford andWorcestershire, who need a greater understanding of business but lackthe time to study for a formal qualification.

“These programmes are an ideal solution because managers can access the online learning element over the Internet and work through it at theirdesktop, at their own time and pace,” said Derek Street. “BalanceLearning provides templates for follow-up workshops, which we will runat the college. These build on the online learning and give themanagers a chance to meet with others and to practise their skills.Balances approach provides the ultimate in flexibility and it means wecan meet the training needs of local companies faster and moreeffectively than we have ever been able to before.”

The college will offer Balance Learnings recommended post-trainingactivities to companies as an optional extra.

Derek Street adds that the college is also offering the Balanceprogrammes to its students and staff. For example, the teambuilding,communications and presentation skills programmes will be used as partof the new CIPD Certificate in Training Practices qualification. Thestudents will study the online elements in their own time and cometogether once or twice a week for the workshops.

“These programmes are like a restaurant menu that tutors can choose from to supplement their own courses,” he said. “I can also see all ourstudent advice and guidance staff going through customer service and ourprogramme managers going through team building and leadership. Thepresentation skills programme has very wide and obvious appeal. Anotherbenefit is that if a student is ill and misses a vital team leadershiplecture, he or she can catch up with the knowledge element quickly andeasily using the online course.”

Balance Learning was formed in 2002 by the original founders and coreteam members of Xebec, a training company which became a recognisedworldwide brand. Its programmes are widely used by large organisationsin the UK, the USA and Europe.

For more information about Balance Learning, please call on 0845 4560465 or e-mail [email protected]

Do you know of any other innovative projects that are successfully providing additional revenue, whilst helping local learners and companies? Discuss this in the FE Blog

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