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Assessing the skills of the sector

Annual research is vital to identifying how the industry can raise performance


The museum's customer-facing workers took part in the initiative

Customer training for IWM staff

Tutoring forms part of bid to boost visitor experience

By Tom Walker

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London has complet- ed a training initiative which saw all 200 customer-facing staff take part in customer service tutoring. The training is part of the

museum's strategy to improve its customer experience and included modules on major incident training, safeguarding children, disability awareness, diversity and retail operations. The training was delivered in

partnership with awarding body EDI, which offers

work-based learning qualifica- tions in the heritage sector IWM director general Diane

Lees said: "Our priority is to ensure that each and every visitor to the museum has a meaningful, involving and engaging experience. "By tailoring the training to

the needs of the business, we can offer a programme that is relevant and engaging, ensuring staff are as skilled and motivated as possible. "With accreditation, staff have

confidence the certificate will benefit them throughout their career in the cultural sector."

Gateshead apprentices secure jobs

Apprentices in Gateshead have been offered full-time positions at the council- owend leisure facilities after completing a local scheme. Gateshead Council revealed

that 12 young people have landed jobs as result of competing apprenticeships, with ten now working at the newly-refurbished Gateshead Leisure Centre. The remaining two have been offered positions at

© Cybertrek 2010

other facilities in the borough, with each candidate having received training and qualifications in a range of sport and leisure disciplines. Gateshead Leisure Centre

manager Brian Hewitson said: "I'm delighted to be working with young people who successfully completed an apprenticeship. I joined the council in a similar way and have been supported to forge a great career."

overnment agenda continues to emphasise skills as a key driver to raise performance in the

economy and our employers have a vital chance to contribute to this through our research we produce. Each year, we conduct research into

the sector to understand the latest barriers and limitations it faces and the skills needs of our employers. The results of these activities, together with data from government national statistics, are now published annually through a Sector Skills Assessment report which in turn, is used to inform skills policy and practice. This provides employers with a

STEPHEN STUDD is chief executive at SkillsActive.

unique forum to express the skills and productivity needs that are pertinent to their organisation and the sector, and gives employers a greater dialogue with government and devolved administration departments across the UK, a greater impact on policies affecting skills and productivity, increased influence with education and training partners and helps us to lobby for substantial public investment for qualifications, skills and training in the sector. We all know management skills are particularly a problem

within the sector; however through the Sector Skills Assessment research we add tangible evidence. The lack of management skills presents a barrier to improving the quality of jobs and business performance within the sector and it is vital that, through our specific programme of management and leadership, and working with employers and key partners, we address it. More evidence suggests that the work on the UK Coaching Certificate may be having a positive impact, as the level of qualified coaches appears to be improving although half remain unqualified in the sport they coach. The sector skills assessment provides an overview of the

sector and the workforce within it, explores the drivers and impact of the current economic climate, examines performance and the impact on skills and current sector solutions available. There is always an opportunity to contribute and through

the sector skills assessment, and as a result, sector employers have a direct route to government – that has committed to listening to employer demand through SSCs whatever party is in power. The sector skills assessment reports can be found on our

website now and you can contribute to our current Working in Fitness survey 2010 online at

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