L&D Matters is written to help L&D professionals and trainers become even more effective. It discusses all things L&D related, with a particular emphasis on practical advice for those new to L&D or who wish to develop their practice further. It is written by Rachel Burnham.
Filling the Skills Gap: Singing
& Dancing All the Way!
Kiss Me Kate by Cole Porter is one of my
very favourite musicals.It retells the
story of Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’ and wins on so many levels- a musical number every few lines, memorable
tunes and comic gangsters singing ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ – what more could
you want?On Friday evening, I went to
see a wonderful performance of this show at the Royal Northern College of Music
by their Youth Peform group.All the
roles were taken by teenage students and pupils from local schools and colleges
and they were terrific.
You may be wondering what the link is with L&D.The RNCM Youth Peform group is part of the outreach
programme by the College and was originally funded by AimHigher, the programme
established to raise young people’s aspirations and to widen participation in higher education.Whilst many of the performers at the weekend
hope for careers in music and theatre, others plan to become doctors and police
It got me thinking about all the different ways that
L&D and our organisations can support young people in their transition to
work and at the same time develop the skilled people we need now and in the
future.Here are some ways we can be
well planned and structured work experience to school pupils.Many pupils find that the work experience
offered isn’t nearly as effective as it could be.This should be an opportunity to build
employer brand and communicate meaningfully what skills and knowledge your
business requires from education and from potential employees.
links with colleges and universities around courses supporting key skills and
qualification areas for your organisation.Where are your current or likely future skills gaps?
personal level, you could get involved in mentoring a young unemployed person
through CIPD’s Steps Ahead Mentoring Scheme.Current mentors meet face to face or via phone/Skype and report it to be
a very rewarding programme to be involved in.Information is available via CIPD or the dedicated Facebook page for the
as I write this article, I notice that a report by PwC indicates that almost
65% of UK business leaders say that skills shortages are ’hampering business growth’
(People Management 29 April 2013).What
are we waiting for?
Burnham L & D
Consultancy specialises in the development of L&D professionals, blended
learning and evaluation
L&D Programmes getting bigger or smaller?Or possibly both at the same time?
Remember the scene in which Alice, in quick succession,
drinks and then eats mysterious items that make her shrink and then grow
enormously.Modern L&D seems to show
similar Alice-like tendencies.
One trend is to ever shorter and more intense L&D
sessions, perhaps in the form of a ‘Lunch & Learn’, taster session or
webinar in which a subject is explored in a ‘bite-sized’ session.This sort of session might be from 30
minutes to a couple of hours in length and arises in response to the challenges
of getting learners away from busy operational roles for longer periods.
At the same time increasing sophistication in the use of
blended learning programmes is leading to L&D programmes that are longer
and made up of several elements spread over a period of time, perhaps
months.These programmes combine
several different learning methods and are usually undertaken alongside work.These blended learning programmes typically combine
off-the-job workshops, with self-study and on the job learning such as job
shadowing, coaching and experiential learning.Some blended learning programmes are designed to have a single learning
route; whilst others are created with a choice of pathways or with optional
elements.Many programmes designed in
this way create a single substantial learning programme from a mix of much
smaller learning activities – rather like a mosaic created from a myriad of tiny
What trends do you notice in your organisation?Are L&D programmes shrinking or
growing?Or like Alice are they doing
Burnham L & D Consultancy specialises in the development of L&D professionals, blended learning and evaluation