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February 24, 2014

Going Outward Bound with the Thales Apprentices

In November 2013, 20 Thales Apprentices from across the UK, at all stages of their apprenticeship, participated in a hugely successful training programme in the Lake District. Launched in conjunction with The Outward Bound Trust and Thales Training & Consultancy, the purpose of this programme was to improve performance in the workplace by enhancing the apprentices’ personal and team skills, with specific focus on building a support network with peers.

Following the programme we interviewed four apprentices – Bradley, William,…

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February 10, 2014

Do you ever have a journey where you don’t remember how you got there?

The other night I arrived home, turned off the engine, sat in my car for a few seconds and realised I had driven home on auto-pilot. As an L&D consultant, my mind immediately connected my drive home to a programme I’m currently running, which includes the consideration of Unconscious Competence as a learning practice.

For those of you who may not be aware of this particular method of learning, it is defined as “a learning model, relating to the psychological…

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November 28, 2013

Project Management – it’s not just for the construction or IT industries

Over the last decade or so the project management profession has evolved as projects have become a more significant part of organisations in our complex and fast-changing business environments. Regardless of the industry sector, project management is a useful discipline to employ whenever an organisation needs to look at implementing, improving or developing a solution to identified needs.

Project management started to be used in the 1960’s as businesses began to recognise the benefits of planning work…

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November 12, 2013

How learning can inspire personal and professional change

As human beings we are learning our whole lives. From the cradle to the grave we are continually taking in new information on how to do things and how to improve the way we do things. In fact, it has been said that once you stop learning you, in effect, stop living. Not in the literal sense of course, but learning keeps our brains active, our confidence levels high as we master new things, and our emotions positive.

Learning is…

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November 11, 2013

Thales goes ‘outward bound’ with apprenticeship programme

Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly important, particularly with university tuition fees ballooning and declining applications. As a result, organisations like us need to look for alternative ways to discover and nurture future talent. With this in mind, we’ve launched an apprenticeship programme in conjunction with The Outward Bound Trust, which aims to take apprentices out of their comfort zone and into their stretch zone.

The first part of the programme will take place 11th–15th November at Outward Bound Eskdale in the…

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October 28, 2013

Absence rates increasing again

Absence rates have returned to levels last seen in 2010 and 2011 according to the annual CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence Management Survey.  Last year saw a small decrease but this latest survey puts the average absence per employee of 7.6 days a year. The highest levels of absence occur in the public sector with an average of 8.7 sick days per year being taken per employee. The lowest rates are in the production and manufacturing sector with 6 days per year…

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October 1, 2013

How experiential learning improves performance

It is common knowledge that you learn more by doing than you ever learn from reading about something or hearing about it. If we take the example of learning to play tennis, you can read all the technical books in the world but unless you actually pick up the racket and have a go you will never master the skill.

Experiential learning is just a widely used phrase for what is essentially the way human beings learn. We have practiced…

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August 28, 2013

Excel 2013 – Dumbing down or simply smarter?

With each new incarnation of Office we are introduced to new features. The change from 2003 to 2007 was one of the more dramatic changes, with a complete overhaul of the interface. The Ribbon is now the standard and continues through 2010 and again in the latest offering, 2013.

The whole Ribbon concept was supposed to make life easier for users and to be fair, I think that is true. Now that I have been using the Ribbon for a…

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August 6, 2013

Zero-hour contracts – Zero appeal?

The controversial topic of zero-hour contracts has been hitting the news in recent days, with an increasing number of organisations employing staff in this manner to keep their employment costs to a minimum.

These contractual agreements mean that employees agree to be available for work as and when required. There is no formal structure and they are expected to be on-call and receive compensation only for the hours that they have worked. They receive no sick pay, no holiday pay…

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July 31, 2013

How to deal with the heat wave at work

We Brits are a bit like Goldilocks when it comes to the weather. It is either too cold or too hot and rarely just right! The problem seems to be that we are just not used to extremes in temperature. Give us a grey, mild and drizzly day and we know where we stand, but when we get snow, or at the other end of the spectrum a heat wave, we are thrown out of kilter.

The other issue is…

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