From education to employment

Recognition for West Country Training Provider Network for Cooperative Thinking

Although the word “network” may be one of the so ““ called buzz words that are often misused, sometimes a network produces the results that are needed. And, in Devon and Cornwall, a network is busy doing just that.

Developing out of the Plymouth Training Provider Network, the new network ““ conceived in 2004 and called the “Devon and Cornwall Training Providers Network” ““ has been praised for its work with Plympton-based Focus Training and nearby PSC Training and Development, which has seen the two companies work together to provide the best training provision possible for the area.

The recognition has come in the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) magazine “The Apprentice”, and cites the way that the two companies have been encouraged to work together rather than against each other, seeing each other as partners rather than competitors. The Network comprises 34 members and boasts a bi-monthly newsletter, a website and monthly meetings, with all staff training being run jointly.

Positive Proactive Provision Possible

Each training provider, as is the norm, has its speciality for a particular area of the work ““ place. Focus Training, for instance, specialises in qualifications within hospitality, retail and business administration, while PSC concentrates on engineering, construction, administration and retail. And the spokespeople for both of these independent companies expressed their pleasure at the network, and the positive impact their cooperative stance would have for learners in the area.

“We help each other out all the time,” said Beryl Bailey, operations manager at Focus Training. “Before the Training Providers Network was set up, a learner who came out of school or college would have to sit down with each training provider and do their two-hour assessment. Now that has all been standardised across the network so they only have to do it once.”

Debbie Rowan, quality manager at PSC, said: “I cant praise the network enough. Craig Marshall, the liaison manager, is the glue that holds it together and we all share our expertise. I know I can pick up the phone to Beryl or any of the other providers about anything – from problems with internal verification to assessment – and they will do their best to help.”

Beryl Bailey echoed this feeling of close cooperation for the learners” benefit when she said: “If I have a youngster looking for an apprenticeship within admin or retail and we havent got an employer with a vacancy, I dont let the youngster go. I speak to PSC and ask them if theyve got a vacancy to fill.”

Jethro Marsh

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