Ready for Work initiative launched

Ready for Work initiative launched

The Training Foundation has launched a free national online learning programme for young people entering the workplace. The new employment-awareness programme focused on respect, enterprise and responsibility has been welcomed by leaders in education and industry, including Sir Richard Branson and Sir Digby Jones.

The Training Foundation has announced a national online learning initiative. The Ready for Work training programme is free to all young people in (or recently in) full-time education. Leading bodies across education (HTI, Heads, Teachers & Industry and learndirect) and industry (the Confederation of British Industry and the British Chambers of Commerce) have warmly welcomed the initiative.

Sir Richard Branson is passionate about developing the potential of young people and set up a Student Advisory Centre when just 17 years of age. He welcomed the Ready for Work programme; "My view is that both secondary and university education fail to foster entrepreneurial ambition. We need our young people, on which the Country's future prosperity depends, to be equipped with an appreciation of business, so that they can set out with a spirit of enterprise. I welcome the Ready for Work programme. Co-operation between employers and educators on initiatives like this can do nothing but good."

Sir Digby Jones, Director General of the CBI has welcomed the Ready for Work initiative. He said: "The CBI shares The Training Foundation's aim of raising skill levels to boost national competitiveness. The challenge is to deliver what business needs - there is often a mismatch between the needs of employers and the qualifications that young people take with them into the workplace.  We need more employable young people understanding the world of work, trained in the most relevant areas and able to add value to their employer. The Ready for Work programme will help to bridge this gap."

David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, also welcomed the Ready for Work initiative. He said: "The British Chambers of Commerce welcomes the Ready for Work initiative. Employers regularly report to us difficulties in recruiting staff with suitable skills and who are ready for work. We need initiatives such as Ready for Work, which can help to ensure that young people leaving full-time education and training are equipped with skills that are both relevant for the workplace and will help advance their careers."

Roger Opie, HTI Trust Director, also welcomed the programme: "HTI [Heads, Teachers and Industry] readily endorses Ready for Work. Since its start in 1986 HTI has been driven by business with a clear objective to raise awareness of employability issues amongst young people. An understanding of the skills and behaviours required in the workplace is a shared responsibility. This free programme provides both the content and motivation to complement existing initiatives."

With the debate about respect getting into full swing this week, Ready for Work could not have been launched at a better time," said John Brown, Development Director at learndirect. "Skills and training have a key role to play in breaking down divisions between the younger and the older generation and between the employed and the unemployed."

Aimed at preparing young entrants to the workplace to become responsible employees, Ready for Work comprises 12 online courses focused on building awareness of employment issues of major concern to today's employers. Subjects covered by this interactive and engaging programme include; showing respect at work, embracing diversity, being enterprising, managing workplace stress, health & safety, following drugs & alcohol policies, sensible email and Internet use, data protection and being a responsible employee.

Accessible over the Internet from The Training Foundation's online learning portal each self-study course ends with a short test to check the learner's understanding. Achieving an 80% or better grade on the Programme qualifies the student for an optional Ready for Work Certificate and Ready for Work Handbook (at an administration fee of £10). Certificates are awarded by ABC (Awarding Body Consortium), a leading UK awarding body with full QCA recognition.

Nigel Florence, ABC's Executive Director said; "ABC is delighted to be supporting the Ready for Work programme. ABC welcomes the impact that well-designed online learning can have and especially when used to assist the development of our young people.