first_img Comments are closed. Employers could beheld responsible if their staff drive dangerously and crash their companyvehicles under proposals being studied by health and safety officials.A Government-appointed task forceis considering ways of using existing legislation to take directors to courtwhere they could be fined or even jailed.Independent research commissionedby the Health and Safety Executive for the task force showed that 25-33 percent of serious road accidents involve someone driving in the course of theirjob. The discussion period for the task force proposals, which were outlined ina document published last week, will last until 25 May.Colin Hague, head of personnel andtraining services for the Borough of Poole, welcomed the debate. He said, “Itis appropriate that employers take responsibility for seeking to ensure drivershave working conditions that protect the safety and lives of drivers and thepublic.”Richard Dykes, task group chairmanand managing director of Mail Services, which is part of the Post Office, said,“The estimate that up to 1,000 people die on the roads in incidents that areconnected to work is startling. “This discussion document is anessential way to gather views.” Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Directors face bad drivers rapOn 6 Mar 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_imgHonda’spurpose-built £2m training institute opened last week.TheHonda Institute will provide business and technical training for 9,000dealership staff.PaulineWiseman, head of the institute, which is based at Colnbrook, near Heathrow,said, “The centre is being opened to support expansion of our Hondabusiness in the UK. We plan to increase the number of dealership franchises andwill have more staff joining the Honda dealership.”Aswell as dealership staff, the institute will train staff of companiesassociated with Honda. It will also be a showcase to Honda customers, housingnew cars and motorbikes.Wisemansaid, “Companies talk of people as their greatest asset but at Honda weare more concerned with actions than words.”Honda’straining team plans a 20 per cent increase in training over the next year,equivalent to 15,000 days of training a year. Managers will be monitoring theeffectiveness of staff training.www.honda.com Previous Article Next Article Skills institute to help drive Honda growthOn 22 May 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. OH law put under the spotlightOn 1 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today The main employment law issues that are likely to affect occupational healthprofessionals in the near future were lucidly explained by well-knownemployment law consultant Joan Lewis. She reviewed the main changes that took place in 2000 including the HumanRights Act, the Data Protection Act and the Part Time Workers Regulations. Shealso looked at the proposed changes for 2001 including the Data ProtectionCommissioner’s Code of Practice which will have particular significance foroccupational health with reference to the keeping of records and provision ofmedical reports. Lewis also explained case law and best practice in a variety of areas. Theseincluded disability discrimination and maternity suspensions as well asvicarious liability, working time limitations and issues relating to homeworking. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

first_img Previous Article Next Article Havetraining professionals really grasped how to make the most of online teachingopportunities? Sue Weekes investigatesWhen the new wipes out the old, people get very twitchy. And understandablyso. New methods of doing things are usually untested, they turn infrastructuresand thinking upside down and breed insecurities among the custodians of the oldways. And so it was with e-learning, which as we all know now, promisedtrainers and learners the earth, but in many cases delivered the equivalent ofa small corner of the Isle of Wight. But then came blended learning – a less shocking and threatening propositionaltogether. It didn’t wipe out the old completely because it was a combinationof traditional and online learning methods. Vendors whose clients had sent thempacking after e-learning programmes had failed to deliver, had a moreacceptable term to bandy around, training professionals no longer feared theywould be replaced by a computer, and everyone in learner land was happy. Well,not quite. While blended does offer the potential to maximise the benefits ofthe whole gamut of learning methods, its execution and interpretation aresometimes wide of the mark. “Vendors are now punting products that are ‘blended’. People like itbecause it is a conveniently less confrontational model than puree-learning,” says David Wilson, managing director of Elearnity. “Butunderneath this thinking there is often a reality gap – ask most people whatblended is exactly and they’d struggle to tell you. What many don’t realise isthat an integrated learning model also breaks the classroom part into bits.Blended does not mean chopping off the first day of a classroom-based courseand adding a bit of CBT (computer-based training).” Back to basics If we go back to basics and dissect the component parts of a blendedsolution (traditional classroom environments, books and other support material,CD-Rom, online training, telephone training, telephone or video-conferencingand so on), we see most of them have been around for decades – centuries insome cases. Even online methods have been used in training circles for nearly10 years. Had they all been allowed to merge quite naturally, the term blendedmay never have arisen. What did happen is that e-learning just happened tooearly on the evolutionary scale for many people, with providers deliveringtempting bottom line benefits and plausible solutions that made it hard fortraining buyers to refuse. What the ‘blended movement’ gives us is the chanceto get our breath, re-assess, re-think and re-engineer training processes sothat the benefits of each method can be realised and maximised for tomorrow. Re-engineering the traditional part of the blend doesn’t have to involve aradical shift in how things are done. Often it will be a case of merelymodifying an approach to suit the situation. “Maybe you have to breakapart a four-to-five day block of classroom training into one and two-dayblocks,” says Wilson, while Jan Hagen, director of e-learning sales atcontent provider Wide Learning, suggests: “Perhaps instead of following-upan IT course with a classroom-based component, the blended version features asupervisor walking the floor to observe people using the new skills.” In many cases, achieving the right blend starts by questioning whattechnology-based training is good for and what it is not. On occasions, a puree-learning solution will be the most appropriate channel, such as in the caseof just-in-time learning where, for instance, a manager who is about to give anappraisal, can go online and access a 10-minute course on doing so. In the caseof soft skills, the learning generally benefits from a face-to-face component. “E-learning won’t teach you how to be a good interviewer – you need theface-to-face for that – but it will remind you how to do an interview,”says Paul McKelvie, director of learning at Scottish Power. Similarly, when it comes to more academic study, an online environmentcannot be expected to always do it alone. ‘More and more of our corporateeducation work as an ‘e’ element to it,” says Colin Carnall, professor atHenley Management College. “But we find we have to energise the group withsome conventional face-to-face methods for the e-learning to beeffective.” Carnall has been working on an e-learning MBA programme with750 IBM executives. McKelvie believes that all learning has been blended for years and says thetrick is simply to be clear on what technology-driven training can do and whatit can’t. “You need to look at all your options and all the channels and havea clarity about the purpose of the training. There are times we have usedtechnology and times we haven’t – sometimes a single channel is fine. “Where blended has worked best for us is in bespoke material,” hesays. “Health and safety is a good example of this. We used to do it in athree-day course. Then we wrapped some e-learning around it and reduced thetime required by half. Employees now have to sit a course on the intranet firstto ensure they have a certain level of competency before doing the classroompart.” Human interaction Not only does this approach play to technology’s strengths, but it canenhance the face-to-face interaction. It is also indicative of how we can bestuse technology in life and work in general, which is summed up by David Cannon,a research fellow in organisational behaviour at the London School of Business,in the book E-people: “If you use all the technological tools we have,such as answer phones and e-mail to prepare for the interaction and to find outwhat each needs to know, the human interaction is a much richerexperience.” So while it was feared that technology erodes human interaction, usedproperly – and indeed logically – it actually adds value to it. In a similar way, Helen Tiffany, managing director of people management andtraining consultancy Bec Development, believes an informal online channel hasenhanced the service she offers as a trainer. She e-mails an electronic coursefeedback form to students after the training for them to fill in and return. “Becausethey sit down to write a quick note to accompany the form, they often commenton the training in the message as well. In some cases, they are much more openin this and give much more feedback than they do on the form – and certainlymore than they would give if they were filling out the form in front of thetrainer,” she says. But she believes it is far more than just an efficientevaluation tool and, with some learners, the e-mail correspondence hasdeveloped into an ongoing dialogue. “Many report back on how they have applied what they have learned inthe workplace, such as how they are dealing with a difficult individual whothey might have mentioned in the training. Getting real examples like this thenhelps me prepare for the next training session. You didn’t get this level offeedback and continuous dialogue before e-mail.” What Tiffany is describing is a form of blended learning since an onlinechannel is supporting and adding value to the face-to-face training but itcould also develop into full-blown networked learning as the two sides exchangeproblems and solutions. Certainly it demonstrates the value of online forumsand discussion after classroom-based training has taken place. Even if training professionals are starting to get excited about thepotential of combining several channels for learning, the pressure to linkingpeople strategies to an organisation’s bottom line means that they will have tobe able to demonstrate some measure of blended learning’s success. Impact on performance In the bad old days of e-learning, it was easy to show how it could save anorganisation money, but assessing any learning strategy’s impact on employeeperformance and productivity is more difficult. In an attempt to define asuccessful blended e-learning model for both vendors and trainers, ThomsonLearning, parent company of e-learning provider NETg, has conducted a two-yearstudy of 128 employees at all levels and across a range of industries,including aerospace, retail and manufacturing. It found that “a structuredcurriculum” of blended learning would dramatically increase employeeproductivity over single-delivery options. It also found that accuracy orperformance increases 30 per cent and speed of performance by 41 per cent. The research, which began in 1999, focused on one product, Microsoft Excel,and compared the effects of traditional learning and blended approaches inthree different groups of employees. Group 1 received a blended learning coursein Excel, Group 2 received a pure online course in the software and Group 3acted as the control group to benchmark performance with Excel spreadsheets.The groups received post-assessments and conducted real-world tasks with thesoftware. The blended option featured scenario-based exercises aligned withlearning objects, hands-on use of the software by learners, online mentoringand other support materials (the research can be accessed at www.netg.com). Thomson has brought together three of its units – NETg, Wave Technology andCourse Technology – to form the single Thomson Learning business entity, whichit says will directly address corporate blended training needs. We can expectto see more and more companies offering ‘bundled’ blended learning solutions. Premier IT is launching exactly this for Microsoft certification training inthe shape of the MCSE FastClass, which it claims reduces typical training timesby 50 per cent. As well as combining classroom-based and e-learning, it offers the FastClassClub portal, which provides additional support through online tutors, webrecordings, mock exams, white papers and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Itsays that it reduces time spent out of the office from 30 days to 18. There isno doubt more blended approaches will be developed and offered but trainersshould still be aware that blended is still something of a bandwagon. David Wilson believes the push is still from the supply rather than thedemand side, with many companies still feeling bruised from their experienceswith e-learning the first time around. While healthy scepticism is good, itwould be wrong to go into denial over it because, in the long run, blended is acompelling proposition. “We are in for a 10-year transformation period,” says Wilson.”This may seem like a long time, but as has been shown, a gentle evolutionfrequently has the edge on full-blown revolution. Blended in action – in its manyguisesTechnology and training guru Elliot Masie shows there is moreto blended than a computer and a classroom”One of our e-learning consortium members, Michelin, askedif I would conduct a briefing on trends in learning for its senior team. Ichecked my calendar and saw that I was not only in another city that day, butthat I was going to be boarding the plane for a five-hour flight to New York,just as the meeting was to get underway. The answer was a blended model. First,an e-mail went to the participants and asked them to generate a list of issuesthat they would like me to address. Based on these answers, I videotaped a30-minute dialogue, responding to their questions and concerns. They started their meeting by viewing this tape, followed bybreaking into groups and surfacing additional clarifying questions for me. Assoon as I cleared security, I called the meeting room and we had a 35-minuteQ&A from these distilled issues. Following our chat, they proceeded intoother discussions, and are forwarding a list of follow-up questions, which Iwill respond to in a streamed video in the coming days. The result was a multi-method, multi-event blended learningexperience. It was simple and low-cost to produce and was totally flexible toboth of our calendars. And it worked.Reproduced by kind permission of theMasie Centre, www.masie.comDistance project is a successClerical Medical’s first blended learning programme included adetailed feedback process to truly assess the effectiveness of the approach.The programme was developed by Malmesbury-based Waterman’s Training anddelegates’ in-depth reactions to the first presentation skills course revealexactly how the end user rates blended learning.”The expectation at Clerical Medical has always previouslybeen that training is a face-to-face experience so we were pleased to find nonegative response to the distance learning aspect of the programme, or as oneof our attendees put it ‘the distance learning didn’t get in the way’,”says Peter Cornelius, learning resources manager at Clerical Medical. “One hundred per cent of the attendees were completelysatisfied with the course and would recommend it to others, and when wecompared results, we found that the achievement of learning outcomes wasequivalent to that achieved in traditional instructor-led training “We realise that not everyone will respond well todistance learning, it will not suit some people’s learning styles – one of ourdelegates admitted it did not suit his learning style because he found itdifficult to motivate himself to learn alone. But given the overall results, weare now very happy to use the approach in other appropriate areas. “Distance learning does work well in a blended approachand we will reap the benefits in terms of reduced cost and time out of theoffice.” All mixed up by blended learning?On 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_imgLocal government strike imminentOn 9 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Local government HR body Socpo is concerned about the sector’s future afterstaff voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over the annual pay risedispute. Six out of 10 of the sector’s one million employees involved in the ballotvoted to reject the employers’ 3 per cent pay offer and start a summer ofstrikes on 17 July. The unions are demanding a 6 per cent or £1,750 pay rise to bring theminimum wage in the sector to £11,017 a year. Socpo is concerned there is no obvious way to end the dispute. Socpopresident Francesca Okosi said: “I am disappointed but not surprised bythe result. My concern is I am not sure how this will be resolved. Theemployers have offered as much as they can – we are constrained by theresources available.” Okosi is concerned that the industrial action will affect how the sector isperceived. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. One in three of the UK’s top board directors say skills shortages are themost important problem facing their company. That statistic alone is enough toconvince us all that the Government should be applauded for its £20m investmentin promoting union learning representatives in the workplace. But as is often the case with the DTI, it is rushing into implementationlater this year without the practical guidance to support employers (see page1). Many firms are justifiably concerned about the role of union learning repsin relation to existing company training departments. What remit will they have and how broad will their influence be? Will theyconcentrate on improving basic writing and numeracy among workers or go furtherthan that? Can they commission training and who pays if they do? Any initiative aimed at motivating more adults to learn is a good one andtrade unions have a big role to play in making training a top priority. Butsuch schemes will duplicate effort and undermine employers if they are notintroduced properly. Partnership is an over-used term, but in this instance itreally is essential. The Government, employers and the unions should be pullingtogether to make this effective by setting up pilots to show what can be doneand sharing best practice. Improving skills is good for business and the workforce, but UKorganisations have a mountain to climb: one in five adults do not have theliteracy or numeracy skills of secondary school starters; French and Germanworkers are better educated; and the Government estimates that, by 2010, 70 percent of new jobs in the UK economy will need degree-level skills. Addressingthis with some urgency is crucial. Few employers have made any specific provision for union learningrepresentatives, yet the majority agree that the principle is a sound one. Withjust months to go before learning reps gain statutory powers, employers needstep-by-step guidance now – future prosperity depends on it. By Jane King is editor of Personnel Today Comments are closed. DTI needs to clarify of learning repsOn 25 Feb 2003 in Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

first_img Comments are closed. Self-rostering system helps NHS trust reduce stressOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today AnNHS trust has tackled stress in its ranks by introducing a self-rosteringsystem that enables staff to improve their work-life balance.GoodHope Hospital NHS Trust, in the West Midlands, developed an IT-basedself-rostering system to make it easier for nursing staff to work the hours andshifts they want.TrustHR director, Ken Hutchinson, said nurses can enter their preferred shiftpatterns into the computer system, and the hospital then balances this with thestaff that are needed.Hesaid the trust previously had a problem recruiting and retaining specialistnursing staff, but the new system – which has been running for 18 months – hasseen turnover drop from 14 per cent to 9 per cent, and sickness absence fallfrom 6 per cent to 5 per cent. “The new system is working well across fourwards,” said Hutchinson.Developedby technology company HMT, the system takes the burden of rostering away fromward managers and places control in the hands of staff.”Wewanted something new, something that could be used at other trusts,”Hutchinson added.Hesaid getting staff on board wasn’t easy, but the nurses now back the scheme.”Once people realise it benefits them, they accept change,” he said.Thesystem led to the trust winning the Improving Staff Morale Award at theAssociation of Healthcare Human Resource Management awards last month, and thetrust has been named a ‘Beacon of Excellence in Stress Prevention’ by theHealth and Safety Executive (HSE).TheHSE said the self-rostering system was an “excellent example of a primaryintervention… to allow staff to tackle the pressure of having to organisework life and home life”.www.goodhope.org.uk Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

first_img ConstructionDevelopmenthamptons-weeklylong islandsuffolk countytristate-weekly Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink This three-bedroom house is the first U.S. listing built with 3D printing technology. (Realtor) A Long Island home touted in a listing as “the world’s first 3D-printed home for sale” is on the market for $300,000, according to the New York Post.The 1,407-square-foot concrete home was designed by Manhattan-based firm H2M and built by Patchogue-based SQ4D, a firm that specializes in 3D printing construction.The firm uses large machines that function like a tabletop 3D printer, but pour concrete. The printer built the foundation, exterior walls, interior walls, and utility conduits. SQ4D said the walls of the home, in the hamlet of Calverton, just west of Riverhead in Suffolk County, were built over eight days with less than $6,000 in materials.Similar methods have been used for other projects around the globe. A firm in Texas developed similar technology and is using it for a supportive housing project outside Austin.Listing broker Stephen King of Realty Connect said the home is priced 50 percent below comparable new construction in the area. Long Island’s housing market has been especially hot since the coronavirus pandemic began. [NYP] — Dennis Lynch Share via Shortlink Tagslast_img read more

first_img(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)In the first week of February, 79.2 percent of renters in 11.6 million market-rate units paid all or some rent.That’s a slight uptick from last month, when 76.6 percent of renters made a payment by the first week of the month. It’s also an improvement from December, when landlords reported the lowest rent collection levels since the start of the pandemic.But compared to the same period last year, 216,479 fewer households paid rent — a 1.9 percentage point decrease.The National Multifamily Housing Council has published its findings each month since April 2020, providing a snapshot of the health of the multifamily market. The survey does not include student or military housing, subsidized affordable apartments, public housing or rent-regulated units.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreNew York lawmakers get some answers on rent reliefThe nitty gritty on federal rent relief Message* Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Share via Shortlink “As we approach almost a full year of navigating the pandemic and the resulting financial distress, we remain encouraged by the Covid relief package passed at the end of 2020 that included critical support for apartment residents and the nation’s rental housing industry such as $25 billion in rental assistance, extended unemployment benefits and direct payments,” said NMHC president Doug Bibby.The slight uptick from January comes after Congress passed a relief bill in December that included $600 payments to households and $25 billion in rent relief, which is distributed to states and large localities according to population.New York will receive $1.3 billion of that federal aid for rent relief despite having a disproportionately large share of the nation’s renters. And New York City will receive only 19 percent of that $1.3 billion, despite having 63 percent of the state’s renters, according to an analysis by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.Democrats, who now control both houses of Congress, have pledged to send additional direct payments to low-income households, in addition to providing federal funding for state-administered rent relief, as part of a $1.9 trillion relief package.Contact Georgia Kromrei Email Address* Multifamily Marketrental apartmentsRental Marketlast_img read more

first_imgCold-resistance studies of marine invertebrates have concentrated on intertidal sedentary organisms, which are often subjected to subzero air temperatures in winter. Mobile rock pool inhabitants have been rarely studied because such habitats are thought to buffer environmental variation. However, it is not uncommon for small upper-shore rock pools (∼2 by 1 cm) to become completely frozen. Such supralittoral habitats are subject to extreme physicochemical fluctuations especially in salinity (0 to 300‰) and temperature (−1 to +32°C) due to evaporation and dilution. The dominant invertebrate in such habitats is the harpacticoid copepodTigriopus brevicornis.Aspects of the cryobiology ofT. brevicorniswere investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Thermograms obtained from DSC allowed determinations of freeze-onset (supercooling point, SCP), melt-onset, and melt-peak (melting point, MP) temperatures, together with estimation of the proportion of water freezing in the samples. The effects of acclimation salinity, temperature, starvation, and reproductive state on these cryobiological parameters were investigated. Acclimation to increasing salinity depressed the SCP, with the highest salinity (70‰) producing the lowest SCP, melt-onset, and MP temperatures at −27.5, −15.2, and −9.5°C respectively. The highest acclimation temperature (20°C) produced the lowest SCP (−23.4°C). Starvation significantly increased the SCP, melt-onset, and MP temperatures in comparison to fed individuals acclimated to the same salinity. The presence of eggs or ovaries in individual copepods elevated the SCP compared to nongravid females and males. LT50studies showed that acclimation to high salinity improved the ability ofT. brevicornisto survive in frozen seawater. Seventy parts per thousand acclimated individuals had an LT50of 64.9 h compared with just 1.4 h for 5‰ acclimated individuals in frozen seawater at −5°C. The study shows that the cold-resistance capabilities ofT. brevicorniscan be affected by several different factors, and the link between the osmoconforming nature of this species and its cold resistance is discussed.last_img read more