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‘Eat the danish, go to the show, laugh out loud,’ woman says in viral obituary

first_imgCourtesy of Jeff OliverBy KATIE KINDELAN, GMA(CHICAGO) — “Stop worrying about your weight, go live, be, do. Smile, people don’t get to feel them enough. Enjoy the moment, it might not come again. If you want to do it, give something a try, try it, taste it, go there. Take it from me, I’m dead. Eat the danish, go to the show, laugh out loud. Love one another and you’ll never know what you’ll find.”Those are the inspiring life lessons left behind by Stacy Lois Oliver, who wrote her own obituary before passing away on Oct. 4, 2020, at the age of 52.Oliver, a lifelong Chicagoan, was diagnosed two years ago with multiple system atrophy – cerebellar type, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that would ultimately leave her without the ability to walk or talk or write, according to her husband of nearly 21 years, Jeff Oliver.When Stacy Oliver received the diagnosis and was told by doctors there was no cure and that her condition would quickly worsen, one of the first things she did was write her obituary.“She knew the disease was going to start taking more and more of her away,” said Jeff Oliver. “While she had it, she decided to get her thoughts out quickly.”Stacy Oliver had a journalism degree and worked at Northwestern University for 21 years, where she did some event planning.Using those two skills, she planned out the rest of her life, according to her husband.“She had a folder for me, she said, ‘Here it is. Here is what I want,’” Jeff Oliver recalled. “She had it all done within days.”Jeff Oliver said he can hear his wife’s voice and feel her exuberance for life when he reads her obituary.“When she says ‘eat the danish,’ it is to enjoy something, but it’s also live life. Do something,” he said. “She was always like that. If you want to try something, go try something. If you want to do something, do it.”“She was the kind of person where you thought she has the energy of three people, almost like a kid, but focused,” Jeff Oliver added. “Her mom raised her to have a lot of confidence in herself, not cockiness, just confidence, and she could do that for others, when others couldn’t see it in themselves.”In addition to her work at Northwestern, Stacy Oliver was also an actress, singer and improv comedy perform who loved to hula dance, belly dance, make jewelry, sew and bake, according to her obituary.When she was diagnosed with another neurological condition several years earlier, Jeff Oliver, who was in his 50s at the time, went to college for the first time and got his nursing degree so he could care for her.Even after she had lost the ability to talk, Stacy Oliver would use her computer to jokingly tell her husband that he was being fired, he recalled.“As she started slowing down, she said the sloth was her spirit animal,” said Jeff Oliver, remembering her humor. “We got sloth everything for her.”Jeff Oliver, who describes his wife as like rays of “sunshine warming you up,” said he’s finding comfort now that the words she left behind are inspiring others.“Even though now is a tough time, I still see how she is affecting people and it brings me comfort,” he said. “I was lucky to be in that sunshine for that long so I’m a pretty lucky guy.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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1-year-old boy shot dead in ‘heinous crime,’ reward offered for information: DC mayor

first_imgD.C. Metropolitan Police Dept.By EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Police and the mayor of Washington, D.C., are pleading with the public to help find the suspect who gunned down a 1-year-old boy in a “heinous crime.”Around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Carmelo Duncan was in a car when he was shot multiple times, the Metropolitan Police Department said.Carmelo was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.Police Chief Peter Newsham said officers were looking for a dark gray SUV with dark tinted windows which seen driving quickly in the area. It was unclear if that car was involved, he said.“This is a well-traveled artery here in the city,” Newsham said. “If anyone was out here … if they saw something … please give us a call.”“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to bring some justice to this little boy and his family,” the chief said. This 1-year-old prince was gunned down last night in DC. I am tired and protested out! pic.twitter.com/NXxqJjgYbt— Commissioner Darrell Gaston (@DarrellGastonDC) December 3, 2020The police department is offering a reward up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the culprit’s arrest and conviction. The Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is also offering $25,000, and the FBI Washington Field Office offered $10,000, bringing the total reward amount to $60,000.D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the angel we lost, his loved ones, and those who know the agony of this terrible loss. Anyone with information about this heinous crime should reach out to MPD [the Metropolitan Police Department] by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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US Air Force investigating intruder at Joint Base Andrews, home to Air Force One

first_imgMark Wilson/Getty ImagesBy MATT SEYLER and MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Air Force is investigating an incident of an intruder at Joint Base Andrews, a military facility in Maryland’s Prince George’s County that houses Air Force One, the aircraft that carries the president.“An unauthorized individual gained access to Joint Base Andrews. The incident is under investigation,” a Joint Base Andrews spokesperson told ABC News in a statement late Thursday. “The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) is lead on this investigation. Any requests for information related to the incident can be referred to OSI.”The OSI did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment and additional details.It’s unclear when the incident occurred or whether the individual was able to reach any aircraft on the flight line.Joint Base Andrews is located about 14 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to depart Joint Base Andrews on Friday evening en route to Wilmington, Delaware, according to a schedule released by the White House on Thursday night.“Technically, ‘Air Force One’ is used to designate any Air Force aircraft carrying the President, but it is now standard practice to use the term to refer to specific planes that are equipped to transport the Commander-in-Chief,” the White House states on its website. “Today, this name refers to one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, which carry the tail codes 28000 and 29000. The Air Force designation for the aircraft is VC-25A.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Cyberattack that shut down US pipeline is ransomware, company says

first_imgdusanpetkovic/iStock(NEW YORK) — A cyberattack has forced the shutdown of a major gas pipeline in the U.S. that supplies 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.The cyberattack against Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston to Linden, New Jersey, began 7 p.m. on Friday night, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency report reviewed by ABC News.“We proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems,” the company said in a statement.Colonial Pipeline said in an update Saturday the attack involved ransomware.Colonial’s network supplies fuel from U.S. refiners on the Gulf Coast to the eastern and southern U.S. and transports 2.5 million barrels a day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other products through 5,500 miles of pipelines, the company said.It’s not clear how long the pipelines would be shut down. The shutdown will affect other pipeline operations such as the Buckeye and Twin Oaks Pipeline which runs through the NYC-Long Island area and Maine, FEMA said.The company, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, said it hired an outside cybersecurity firm to investigate the nature and scope of the attack and has also contacted law enforcement and federal agencies.“Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve this issue. At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers and those who rely on Colonial Pipeline,” the company said.The FBI has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment on the matter.Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke about the dangers of ransomware earlier this week given the recent spate of ransomware attacks, including the hack of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Luke Barr contributed to this reportCopyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Calling all cyber-censors

first_imgAt a recent conference for HR professionals a survey of delegates showedthat a massive 86 per cent work for a company which provides Internet access toits staff. Of those companies, 63 per cent have an Internet policy in place andof those, two-thirds have disciplined or dismissed someone for breaching it.The figures back up what many HR professionals already know, thatcontrolling Internet and e-mail use is fast becoming a priority and is openingup a hornets’ nest of problems and challenges.”I know from my own experience and from talking to people here todaythat it is a serious issue and it is being dumped on HR professionals to dealwith,” said Cliff Powell, HR director at software house Trend Micro and adelegate at the Meeting the Challenge of the Internet Age conference held bylaw firm Eversheds in Leeds. Prime concernsSo what are the problems that the Internet and e-mail systems pose? And whatdo HR professionals need to do to protect their organisation and staff from therisks?By far the most common problem encountered by those at the conference wasdownloading of pornography. In an audience survey, conducted using electronicvoting devices, seven out of 10 people said it is the most common breach oftheir company’s Internet policy. Another quarter said excessive personal use isthe biggest problem.Apart from the obvious waste of company time these and other abuses cause,they can also have serious legal implications for employers, delegates weretold. They can lead to allegations of harassment and defamation, the leaking ofcompany secrets and potential prosecution under the Obscene Publications Actand Data Protection Act. Companies also risk damage to their reputation bydisgruntled employees posting rants about their employer on Internet noticeboards – known as “cyber-venting” – and with sabotage of companycomputer systems.Risk reductionAccording to solicitor Vanessa Chamberlain, the key to dealing withcyber-harassment is recognising that e-mails and the Internet are just anotherform of communication. So employers need to ensure that current harassmentpolicies are extended to cover offensive material circulated or disseminated inthat way. She warned that employers are liable for harassment from a third party undertheir control. That means employers can be liable for an image on an employee’sscreen that another employee finds offensive. In one case, an employee won aclaim for sexual harassment after walking past a VDU with a pornographic imageon it, Chamberlain said.”It should be made absolutely clear in a policy that downloadingpornography is an offence that will lead to dismissal,” she said.”Employers have to be able to show that they have taken reasonablepractical steps to protect staff from harassment. Without a policy stating whatcan and can not be done, it would be difficult to prove that reasonable stepshave been taken.”Failing to spell out that pornographic sites are strictly off limits couldalso put employers at risk under the Obscene Publications Act, which makes it acriminal offence to store, disseminate or publish obscene material, she said.Having an Internet and e-mail policy in place that spells out what isacceptable and what is not will also protect employers in other circumstances.Since e-mail has come into common use at work the risk of employers being heldresponsible for a libellous remark made in a message by an employee and sent toanother person has become a reality for the first time. Libel protectionBut employers have a defence if they have taken reasonable care to preventthe defamation occurring – that is, they have stated in their policy thate-mails should not be used to make critical comments about people. The samedefence can be called on in cases of breach of confidentiality.If employers are worried about their staff sending out company secrets oroffensive material they can go a step further by monitoring e-mails, saidsolicitor Debbie Jones. But she warned, “Employment tribunals take a dimview of monitoring but if you are open about it and you tell your employees inadvance that you are doing it, then it is acceptable.”Open cultureKeeping staff informed is also crucial to making sure policies work. In somecompanies, e-mail and Internet abuse have become so endemic that it is impossibleto discipline everyone. In these cases, the whole company needs to be reminded of the company’sstance, said Jones. The best way to do that is to reintroduce the policy bysending everyone an e-mail letting them know the policy exists and what itsays.Net statistics86% work in a company which gives Internet access to staff77% work in a company which has its own intranet44% are in a company which uses Web-based training91% would consider using Web-based training54% advertise vacancies on the company web site63% have an Internet policy66% have dismissed or disciplined someone for breaching it71% said downloading offensive material is the most common breach26% said excessive personal use is the most common breachSource: Meeting the Challenge of The Internet Age delegate survey Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Calling all cyber-censorsOn 2 May 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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21st century women turn away from their old roles

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. The demographics of sectors are set to change as traditionally male arenas attract new female talent. Philip Whiteley reportsA comprehensive survey of the world of work, released this month records sharp rises in women entering finance, IT and the sciences. In three years there has been a 61 per cent jump in women entering finance professions, 44 per cent in life sciences and 30 per cent in IT (News, 19 September).The Women into Science and Engineering group (Wise) welcomed the findings in the Department for Education and Employment report, Employment Now, which tallies with its own records. Since its inception in 1984 it has charted an increase in women science and engineering undergraduates from 7 per cent of all students to 15 per cent.‘Female’ sector drainThe figures raise interesting questions for employers. The growing number of women going into technological professions – as well as finance – may have contributed to the brain drain from the public sector. There have been serious recruiting difficulties in traditional “female” roles, such as nursing and social work. In social services in particular, there is a serious skills shortage as the supply of graduates dries up. Some local authorities report vacancy levels at about 30 per cent.And what do these developments mean for personnel as a profession? Its ranks tended to be dominated by women, particularly at junior grades. But it is too early to say whether chartered status and a push for a more strategic role in business will give it a more masculine edge. “We have a different pattern of representation between men and women at different levels,” says Dinah Worman, equal opportunities adviser at the CIPD. “But that is more or less what happens in other professions. At more senior levels there is less representation from women.“There are a lot of women coming into the profession at ground level but often women’s attention in life is diverted to other things.”She argues that all professions benefit from a good balance. “In nursing, for example, the perception is that they are all women, but the profession wants to attract men as well.”Dilys Winn, head of HR at Worcestershire County Council, agrees there is a reduction in people training for social work but adds that there is a drain away from large employers in all sectors. “Bigger corporations are not getting the talent either. Graduates are going for the bright new, small innovative companies where they feel culturally at home.”Worman adds, “You have to think about which industries have had the most growth. There has been a huge growth in IT and in the development of financial services. Most jobs that arise now are more suited to women; they are in the services sector.”This is borne out in the report, which chronicles the continued decline in manual professions. Farm workers, painters and decorators and welders have fallen sharply; on the other hand, some traditional female occupations such as secretaries have also been affected.Technologically aware“We are finding that girls and women are more interested in technological subjects, possibly because young women now were born with computers – they are entirely natural to them,” says Marie-Noëlle Barton, national manager of Wise.The activities of Wise itself will have also had an impact. It has worked intensively in schools – including primary schools – as it argues that the stereotyping of genders sets in early.Motivation for going into engineering is often different among women than among men, Barton reports. “On the positive side they tend to mention that it is well paid; there are opportunities to work abroad and it is rewarding. They also see the human aspect, which perhaps men do not see so much. I do not want to stereotype but they are more likely to talk about helping people by building a car or a microwave or a baby incubator.”Skills gap pullCertain factors are pushing the employment of more women. Simple demographics is forcing recruiters to attract mature women, as unemployment falls and skills shortages increase. Construction, for example – which probably has the most male image of all – has made a concerted push for women to join up in recent years.Diversity also affects the method of recruiting, the CIPD points out. Worman says employers must not stick rigidly to the conventional career path. Many people – especially women but not exclusively so – may have taken career breaks for caring responsibilities or other reasons, but this should not count against them.Moreover, there is the legislative push from the raft of recent law extending maternity leave, introducing Parental Leave and shortening the working week. Workplaces will become more friendly for women – whether the employer wants it or not.Moves to offer more family-friendly arrangements have begun to appear in engineering, reports Barton of Wise. “Far more employers are getting into the 20th century – if not quite the 21st,” she says. “The benefits are great, because if you train someone and they stay with you, then you get all that investment back.”Case study: Claire Grisaffi works as an engineer’s assistant for TrackForce, which is responsible for installing and maintaining the London Underground track infrastructure. She is one of only nine women in a company with 350 staff. Of these nine, only two work in technical areas. She became interested in engineering after doing work experience in a clinical engineering department which supplied communication systems to children with cerebral palsy.Her job is divided between time spent on site writing a log of the shift, and in the office, booking resources and updating the mobilisation programme. She has a place to read engineering at Cambridge. After university she hopes to work in civil engineering, helping to build the infrastructure in developing countries. Source: Women into Science and Engineeringwww.engc.org.uk/wise , www.witec.org.uk Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. 21st century women turn away from their old rolesOn 26 Sep 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Guidelines will tackle violence

first_imgGuidelines will tackle violenceOn 10 Oct 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. The Government is stepping up its zero tolerance campaign to curb violence against front-line health workers. Health authorities and trusts are expected to use new guidance on tackling violence from the Department of Health. This includes advice on staff risk assessment and on providing adequate protection to employees working in the community. NHS organisations will also have to look at introducing crime prevention and safety appliances such as panic buttons, closed-circuit TV and two-way communications systems. According to the guidelines, employers should provide training for staff to help them pacify potentially violent situations or restrain violent patients. And they should provide support for staff who are victims of violence. Under current rules all violent incidents have to be reported, but the guidelines provide managers with advice on how to do this as well as information on how the criminal justice system works should they want to prosecute.Under the zero tolerance campaign the NHS has pledged to reduce violence against its staff by 30 per cent between 1999 and 2003.www.doh.gov.uklast_img read more

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Age-old problems

first_imgThemix of cultures throughout the region, combined with the lack of technologicalinfrastructure make Africa and the Middle East difficult markets to enter, saysAlan HoskingBecauseemerging countries are generally lagging behind with regard to globalisationtrends and practices, most of them present their own unique set of HRchallenges. Generally accepted practices and thinking cannot be taken forgranted, and in order for companies to avoid serious financial loss or legalaction, it is important for them to familiarise themselves thoroughly withlocal legislation, customs and conditions in countries they propose entering.However,this has not hindered numerous multinationals such as Sweden’s Volvo or Korea’sHyundai from developing a presence in such regions. Two other multinationalsdominate their sectors on the African continent. McCann-Erickson has thelargest marketing communications network on the continent, with full serviceagencies in 23 African countries, where they are building over 30 internationalbrands such as Motorola and Coca Cola. The Ernst & Young Africa Group has anetwork of 27 offices covering 51 African countries, offering what they call an”on-the-ground” service. Their offices are staffed by 11,000professionals across the continent, over 400 of whom are based outside SouthAfrica.SouthAfrica is referred to as the economic powerhouse of Africa for good reason. Itsbusiness infrastructure is of a first-world standard, which has resulted inmost multinationals having a very strong presence in the country. South Africais, in many cases, used as an “African headquarters”. Since thedemise of apartheid legislation, more and more multinationals are appearing inthe South African market place. Ford has returned to the country after years ofabsence, and this trend continues.Labourlaws in developed countries are very different from those in Middle Eastern andAfrican countries. In the United Arab Emirates, no unions or strikes arepermitted, and foreign nationals risk deportation should they attempt to engagein any union activity or organise strikes. Workers are also forbidden by lawfrom collective bargaining. Saudi Arabian regulations also forbid unionactivities.Researchby international management consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals that HRmanagers in the Middle East have been very slow to embrace new technology ande-business, and they have been reluctant to use modern IT and Internettechniques to improve operational efficiency.Inaddition, findings indicate that HR managers play a far less significant rolein their companies than their European counterparts, with administrativeactivities accounting for about 50% of their time. Local HR skills thereforetend to be more administrative than strategic and business-driven. However, thegap is narrowing.HRpeople in the Middle East are generally not regarded as having sufficientskills to fulfil the four key roles required in the region, namely that ofstrategic partner, administrative expert, employee champion and change agent.ADeloitte & Touche Middle East survey highlights employee retention as achallenge in Middle Eastern countries. The survey points out that to try andretain staff, HR managers have to take into account conditions in the externalmarket and in the workplace. It recommends that once a company has identifiedits most valuable people, proactive strategies should be put in place to retainthese resources. Other factors to emerge from the survey were shortages in thelabour market, which contributed to high turnover, uncertainties in theworkplace and organisational turmoil.Localcustoms can also affect the way businesses are able to operate. In Oman, forexample, non-Muslim workers are required to respect daytime fasting in themonth of Ramadan by not eating or drinking in public. Despite suchrequirements, however, Oman is considered very attractive to foreign workers asit has generally good living conditions.Africancountries present their own challenges for HR professionals. All have verydifferent labour laws and while some countries are attempting to becomeinvestor-friendly, others are making it more difficult for themselves toattract foreign investment due to restrictive labour and other laws, and badmismanagement at very senior levels.SouthAfrica has five legislative Acts that regulate employers. These are the BasicConditions of Employment Act, the Labour Relations Act, the Skills DevelopmentAct, the Skills Development Levies Act and the Employment Equity Act. Theyapply to all business activities operating in the country, whether foreign orlocal, and carry penalties for non-compliance.Onthe other hand, technological infrastructures in the business centres of SouthAfrica are generally world class, and HR has embraced the Internet as a meansof doing business, with some very active on-line recruitment firms such asCareerJunction and Jobfood gaining high prominence. More and more HR servicesare Web-based and HR practices are, in some cases, on a par with first-worldstandards and in certain specific disciplines quite possibly ahead.Immediatepast president of the Institute of People Management (IPM) in South Africa,Tiisetso Tsukudu, says there is an increasing pool of highly skilled people inAfrica who have received excellent training in the US, UK, Europe andelsewhere. They have brought their skills back with them on returning to theirhome countries and are now in top-paying jobs in the fields of telecoms,finance and mining, among others.Tsukudusays that ethics in business, on the other hand, is a huge challenge facing HRin Africa. In some countries, corruption has become so endemic that it isalmost an accepted way of doing business. In Nigeria, where years of lootinggovernment coffers has resulted in a lack of funds to pay workers, people inthe workplace are severely demoralised because they are owed salary arrears formany months. This general demotivation has permeated all levels of theworkplace, resulting in productivity problems.Anotherchallenge in the workplace in African countries concerns the impact of AIDS.Durban-based MD of Vizual Business Tools in South Africa, Dawid Swart, saysthat discussions with Malawian HR managers have revealed that a major portionof their working time is taken up arranging and attending the funerals ofemployees who have died of AIDS. Tsukudu agrees that HIV/AIDS is affectingpeople’s roles at work, pointing to a new phenomenon in the workplace known as”funeral fatigue”.AIDSis no longer affecting only the unskilled and the uninformed in central andnorthern Africa. Despite better education and training, many professionals inthese countries have also contracted HIV because of longstanding superstitionsand cultural beliefs. In South Africa, there is a high level of awareness ofthe impact of AIDS in the workplace and numerous consultancies with qualifiedmedical doctors provide specialised support for companies in the management ofAIDS among their workers. Risk managers and actuaries also provide financialplanning and projections to enable companies to plan strategically and minimisethe effect on the company.Diversitymanagement is also a challenge in Africa. With so many different cultures andcreeds, and with xenophobia being a very real problem in African countries, HRdirectors have to ensure that culture integration and the integration ofexpatriates is handled by experienced experts. A case in point is the workbeing done by UK-based Dr John Wenburg, president of Pecos River Aon Consultingfor British Airways in Africa. Wenburg says that BA has moved away from usingexpatriate managers to appointing managers from the country they are operatingin, and this has resulted in their having to deal with major diversity issues.Whileall people issues are complex, Middle Eastern and African countries presentadded complexities because of the dynamics that have been in existence therefor centuries. The challenge for HR therefore is not to attempt to eliminatethese complexities, but to manage them within certain parameters.Who’sgoing where?Africais fast-gaining interest from Western investors. For example:–Korea’s Huyundai and Sweden’s Volvo both operate from Botswana–Canadian-owned marine minerals corporation Afri-Can has a strong presence inNamibia–McCann-Erickson has agencies in 23 African countries–Ernst& Young Africa Group  has 27offices covering 51 African countriesFurtherinformationProbablythe most comprehensive Web site for business and other information on Africa isSouth Africa-based www.mbendi.co.za, which features a unique one-stopinformation, intelligence, research and advisory service called AfricanResource Network for companies and business people wanting to do business inAfrica. Otheruseful Web sites:PricewaterhouseCoopers:www.pwcglobal.comDeloitte& Touche: www.dttus.com Age-old problemsOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Employers still fail at key skills

first_img Comments are closed. Employers who train their own staff do a better job overall than othertraining providers, according to the final report from the Training StandardsCouncil. Forty-six per cent of grades awarded to employers were “good” or”outstanding” and only 11 per cent were less than satisfactory. Thefigures compare with averages of 34 per cent and 18 per cent for other types ofprovider. Training and assessment in key skills, however, comes in for criticismacross the board. Evidence suggests that their neglect is a major factor inpoor completion rates of Modern Apprenticeship programmes. “Modern Apprenticeships will not fulfil their potential until keyskills become an integral part of the vocational learning process,” saidKeith Marshall, director of inspection (planning) for the TSC’s successor theAdult Learning Inspectorate. “Key skills cannot be taught effectively away from the workplace andout of context. All of the naturally occurring opportunities for extending andassessing them are lost. Distinct key skills assessment and record-keepingafter an NVQ level 3 is complete becomes a chore for everyone,” he said. Marshall points out that it is the job of Ali inspectors to highlightevidence that failure to integrate key skills is not serving the needs oflearners or employers. He added, “Many providers have successfully builtkey skills into the Modern Apprenticeship framework and there is much to belearnt from examples of good practice.” Nissan has done a lot of work matching up key skills to what apprentices do.But it is not always easy, said trainer Ian Green. “One of the difficulties is the language used in key skills. You haveto interpret it for your own industry and ask yourself, ‘How do we actually dothat?’ You must treat key skills as substantive so they aren’t just seen assomething apprentices have to do to get a tick in the box.” Key skills also have to be up to date with changes in the workplace and stayrelevant to employers’ needs, yet those setting the standards are oftendivorced from industry, Green said. According to Stuart Smith, apprentice training manager at engineering firmTRW, key skills should be scrapped as a requirement for craft apprentices. Hesaid, “It makes not a jot of difference to trainees’ ability to carry outthe skills we’re teaching them. We have a lad who’s struggling with key skillsat level 2. He’ll make a superb fitter, but he won’t get a certificate underthis system. It’s fine if you can integrate key skills, but if you can’t, youhave to teach them separately, which isolates them. And if they’re inherent inthe job, then why assess them?” By Elaine Essery Previous Article Next Article Employers still fail at key skillsOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Rospa calls on employers to keep staff safe on roads

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Rospa calls on employers to keep staff safe on roadsOn 4 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has urged the Governmentto give its full support to plans to reduce work-related road accidents. The Work-Related Road Safety Taskforce recommends that the Health and SafetyExecutive publish guidance for employers on their duty to manage the safety oftheir employees, whether as company car or van drivers, motorcyclists orpedestrians (News, 27 November). Rospa’s occupational safety adviser Roger Bibbings said the Government wouldneed to play a key role ensuring that the police, the HSE and other road safetyenforcers work more closely together to apply health and safety law on theroad. “Rospa wants to see the Government working in partnership with a widerange of bodies, such as insurers, the fleet sector, employers’ organisations,trade unions, safety organisations and local authorities, to develop aco-ordinated national action programme to deal with Britain’s biggestoccupational safety issue,” Bibbings said. Under the proposals, the HSE will investigate whether traffic accidentsinvolving employees – which account for up to 1,000 deaths a year – are causedby employers setting their drivers unrealistic schedules, requiring them todrive while fatigued. “Employers who choose to ignore road safety will be on notice to changetheir ways or they could end up in court,” said Bibbings. www.rospa.co.uklast_img read more