A good fit for shoefayre

first_imgA good fit for shoefayreOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Ian Trennan, HR manager at Shoefayre, describes how a bespoke approach tostaff training is delivering good results for the national footwear retailerVocational trainingDesigned and delivered by: The Lexicon Group, Suite 3, TudorHouse, Coychurch Road, Bridgend CF35 5NSPhone: 01656 645008Fax: 01656 646152e-mail: [email protected] bespoke vocational training programme developed over the past 18 months byShoefayre, in partnership with training provider, the Lexicon Group, is bearingfruit. The broad aims of this scheme are to improve our overall skills level, whileincreasing staff job satisfaction and morale. High staff turnover is endemic in the retail sector, and the introduction ofthis bespoke training programme is seen as a very clear way of signalling thatwe care for our employees. Earlier this year, the new scheme saw its first results, with the award ofNVQ and National Traineeship (NT) certificates – since replaced by theFoundation Modern Apprenticeship – to three employees who had successfullycompleted their training. This was seen as a major step in the roll-out of theprogramme and was a major source of satisfaction to all involved in itsdevelopment. Shoefayre is a Co-operative Society, established in 1961. It operates 365outlets throughout England, Scotland and Wales. With a workforce of about3,000, the company has around 10 per cent of employees in formalised trainingat any one time, mostly undertaking NVQ Levels 2 and 3. In the past few years, our approach to training has been revised as part ofa company-wide programme of updating and culture change. Under the new regime, Shoefayre’s training policy – previously largelyorganised regionally – is now being brought under central control, withmultiple providers replaced by a single training and development organisation,the Lexicon Group. This was necessary to bring consistency and equalopportunities to staff across the organisation, as training had previously beenprovided by up to 50 NVQ providers. Simplified We also entered into a contract with the National Contracting Service (NCS).This gave us a single point of contact for all NVQ funding and support in linewith government requirements, greatly simplifying our national training operation.Basically, we felt our employees were not benefiting as they should andShoefayre was not getting the results it needed. It was also the case that training was seen to be delivering qualificationsthat were not wanted and at levels not required. Now we have a tight portfolioof qualifications agreed with Lexicon and any variation to this has to beagreed in advance. Company values promote fair treatment of staff; an approach that we hopewill set us apart from other mainstream retailers. We wanted to create anapproach to training that enabled our people to get something out of theprocess, rather than just a vocational programme that would satisfy the needsof the business. To achieve this, we built up a close working relationship with Lexicon injointly developing vocational training courses that satisfy the internal needsof the company – customer service, stocktaking and so forth – while givingemployees access to nationally-recognised qualifications. This relationship started in summer 2001. At that time, all formal trainingwas on hold and the plan was to concentrate on internal training only. However,despite our apprehension, Lexicon came up with a proposal that convinced us torevisit the NVQ route. Branded programmeWhen we were considering our training requirements, we didn’t want to takean ‘off-the-shelf’ solution. We are working towards a Shoefayre-branded accreditation programme, andLexicon is one of the few providers prepared to put in the time and resourcesto develop a tailored scheme such as this. Lexicon’s corporate development director, Helena Williams, agrees:”What we have developed is not a fixed scheme, it is a flexible approachto training that can be tailored to satisfy both individual and companyneeds.” We spent four months developing the initial courses and launched a pilot inour outlets in South Wales in October 2001. Following the success of thispilot, we went for a national launch in May 2002. Under current arrangements, we offer Foundation and Advanced ModernApprenticeship training in retailing for the 16 to 24 age group, plus NVQ atLevels 2 and 3 for staff over 24. We see the programme as a stepladder that should enable everyone to gain thequalifications to suit their job level. Initially, the take-up was slow (see graph below), mainly because we had toovercome some deep-grained preconceptions about training, which meant peoplewere reluctant to sign up. Due to bad experiences in the past, vocationaltraining was seen as an employer’s way of getting cheap labour. But this is anoutdated view and we set about changing these preconceived ideas. As a key part of this process, we undertook a formal launch to all areamanagers to ensure their buy-in. This then cascaded through the company. “It is critical to develop the relationship between the Lexicon adviserand the branch manager,” said Williams. “Training is tailored to theneeds of each branch and the individuals in that branch. It is important thateveryone appreciates the value and benefits of this approach.” Early results from the retail training programme have been encouraging andthe NVQ partnership programme is now being expanded through the organisation’sLeicester headquarters, and into its warehousing and logistics operations. We have met the initial requirements of changing people’s perceptions abouttheir personal access to training. According to a recent survey, staff membersnow believe that opportunities for development have improved dramatically overthe past few years. They are realising that meaningful training is not just forthe privileged few. We now have 380 people in training. This includes shopworkers aged 16 to 64,and a national training co-ordinator who has just started a Level 4 NVQprogramme. The target for 2003/4 is to increase the numbers participating by200 to 250 people. During the first year, there has been some negative feedback, which isinevitable, but this has been taken on board and fed back into the programme,which continually evolves. Branded programmeWe are still in the early stages, but the next phase in the development ofthe training programme will be to establish means of measuring its impact onthe bottom line of the business in terms of productivity, staff retention andease of recruitment. Recent innovations include a fast-track internal development programme,which enables talented managers to complete training that might normally takethree years in just six to 12 months. We are now looking at ways of integrating fast-track workshops into the NVQprogrammes to allow staff with potential to accelerate their training in asimilar way. We at Shoefayre are very pleased with progress to date. The bespoke trainingwe are now providing has had a major impact on the attitude, morale andconfidence of individuals, really helping to bring them on. Our aim is tomaintain this quality and see a similar transformation with all our teammembers in the future. Training has a real impact on staffThe impact on those who have gonethrough the training has been dramatic. One of the three recent achievers, EmmaTucker, has seen a marked increase in confidence in her personal worth and inher ability to do the job. By targeting the skills and support she needed, shehas now achieved the position of branch manager and she plans to take a NVQLevel 3 in advanced supervisory management.Tucker, who has been with Shoefayre for six years, isenthusiastic about the programmes and the support provided by Lexicon.”The way the courses are structured means they don’t disrupt the workingday, so you can carry on with your job while you study. I think it is a realbonus that you can gain nationally-recognised qualifications while you work,rather than having to make time to go to college.”VerdictMaking a difference for our customersHigh staff turnover is endemic in theretail sector, not a problem faced by Shoefayre alone. However, by offering ourstaff a vocational training structure that is genuinely tailored to individualneeds and that leads to nationally-recognised awards, we feel we have donesomething to signal that we care for our employees and that sets us apart fromother employers in the sector.The main benefit of this approach is that Shoefayre caninfluence how training is delivered through our close relationship withLexicon. Obviously, no training programme is going to be perfect, but whenissues arise, they are quickly recognised and addressed jointly. This is a constantlydeveloping partnership.Ability to meet business needs * * **Buy-in by staff  * * *Flexibility in delivery * * * *Value for money * * * *Overall rating * * * *Key: * = Disappointing  * * * * * = Excellent Comments are closed. last_img read more

HMS Richmond Pays Visit to Goa, India

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today HMS Richmond Pays Visit to Goa, India View post tag: India Authorities View post tag: Goa HMS Richmond Pays Visit to Goa, India View post tag: asiacenter_img September 29, 2015 View post tag: HMS Richmond Share this article In an effort to strengthen ties between UK and India, HMS Richmond, Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate, is visiting Goa from September 27 to October 01. Currently moored at Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust, HMS Richmond has been operating in the Arabian Sea to counter heroin smuggling; these smugglers aim to reach the western shores by passing through the African countries.HMS Richmond has been on deployment for the last nine months. After it departs Goa, Richmond will be undertaking Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations during its transit back to England.[mappress mapid=”17036″]Image: Royal Navylast_img read more

Wexners give $3M to HKS’s Center for Public Leadership

first_imgLeslie and Abigail Wexner, founding and sustaining donors of the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard’s Kennedy School, announced today an additional gift of $3 million to the center. Their gift, an extension of the couple’s longtime commitment to inspiring, preparing, and connecting tomorrow’s global leaders, brings the Wexners’ total commitment to the center and HKS to more than $42 million.Les Wexner built Limited Brands and now serves as chairman and CEO. He and his wife, Abigail, an attorney, are among the nation’s leading philanthropists. Les Wexner’s alma mater, The Ohio State University, recently named its entire medical complex in his honor. Both Wexners are deeply engaged in numerous community activities in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. In addition, they serve as cochairs of The Wexner Foundation, which promotes the vitality of Jewish communities throughout North America and is highly supportive of Israel.The Wexners’ engagement with the Kennedy School began in 1989, when the foundation established the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program. This initiative has enabled more than 200 Israeli public leaders to come to the Kennedy School in pursuit of a midcareer master’s degree.In August 2000, a gift from the Wexners launched the Center for Public Leadership, reflecting a longtime interest in leadership and history by Les Wexner. Since then, their ongoing counsel and generosity, underwriting core operating expenses, have enabled the center to become recognized as one of the top university-based leadership institutes in North America. CPL serves a growing number of young, aspiring leaders at the Kennedy School and beyond through scholarships, workshops, field trips, and conversations with visiting leaders. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Irabor Calls for Urgent Reorganisation of Nigeria Sports

first_imgPioneer Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) and one-time Chairman of the Federal House of Representatives Committee on Communications, Hon Nduka Irabor, has called for urgent action for the revival of Nigeria sports.Speaking on the topic “Nigeria Sports: Strategies for Revival and Growth”, at a seminar organised by the Lagos chapter of the Sports Writers Association Nigeria (SWAN) as part of activities to mark their Merrybet-Lagos SWAN Week, Irabor outlined a number of measures that should be taken to stem the ugly tide and build capacity to enable the realisation of the full capacity of the sports sector. He also decried the prevailing situation where the Nigeria business community has developed a penchant for association and sponsorship of foreign sports bodies to the negligence of such bodies in the country.Irabor pointed out that while all the football leagues in Nigeria received only $10m in sponsorship in one year, the Nigeria corporate community paid out about N150billion to foreign football leagues and clubs, an attitude which he stressed seriously injures and negates efforts at nation building.Principal among the solutions proffered by Hon Irabor is that the government should properly re-articulate its policy for sports, taking into consideration the fact that sports has become a serious global economic and business factor.Also, the former lawmaker said the government should as a matter of imperative develop new creative ways for the funding of sports.He called for the involvement of businesses, communities, the public and individuals to contribute in tackling the critical deficit in sports facilities, equipment and trainers nationwide.While pointing out that the sports trust and lottery system has been developed and applied for the funding of both grassroots and elite sports in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, he regretted that the Nigeria version of the same set up has remained only so in name. He insisted that Nigerians do not know how much is raked in and where and how the income is applied.Irabor also advised that the nation’s sports governing establishment should be re-invented to give way for competent professionals in various sports administration, management and technical disciplines to be engaged in the implementation of planned programmes as against the present civil service driven system which is further worsened by constantly changing political appointees.He advised that no investment is too much in sports considering its social, economic and health benefits, noting that it behooves the government and people to realise their faults and seek to make amends in policies, institutions and practices if they are truly desirous of achieving global competitiveness in the sector.The two discussants at the seminar, Dr Kweku Tandoh, former Director of Sport at the Lagos State Sports Council and current Chairman of the Nigeria Sports Award Panel, and Mr Mitchel Obi, President of AIPS Africa, strengthened Irabor’s position.Obi warned that the Nigeria sports was now in a ‘crisis situation’ while Tandoh called out for the ‘political will’ for action.The seminar which held on Wednesday, August 16, at the Lagos SWAN Secretariat, National Stadium, Lagos was chaired by the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Mr Tunde Popoola, with the Lagos Liaison Officer of the Federal Ministry of Sports, Dr Segun Akinlotan, and Nigeria’s first and only individual Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa present at the event.Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode, Director of Sports Development at the Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr Moses Kolawole, and representatives of Merrybet, sponsors of the Lagos SWAN Week, were also in attendance.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more