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Learning Industry News and Opinion

Why Employee Learning Week?

December 9, 2011 11:30 by Kristen Fyfe

ASTD's Employee Learning Week was created as an initiative to raise awareness about the value of employee learning and development and the important role L&D professionals play in organizations.

Today marks the last day of Employee Learning Week 2011, but we know it's not the last day of employee learning!

Employee learning is something that happens every day in big ways and small ways. It happens in formal settings and office hallways. It happens via desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. It happens whenever someone has a question that needs to be answered.

Employee learning and development helps create the highly skilled workforce that is critical to driving growth for organizations.

Tony Bingham, ASTD's President and CEO recently said this to a gathering of learning professionals in Brazil:

"It is our people who will create and implement innovative ideas, and form sustainable enterprises throughout the world. In today’s knowledge economy, people are the key differentiator. The best and most strategic leaders make sure they have the right people with the right skills in the right place. And they also make sure they have smart learning and development professionals on board aligning talent to meet the organization’s goals. These are challenging and exciting times for our profession!"

To all the learning professionals out there - Happy Employee Learning Week! And thank you for your commitment to creating a world that works better!


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Categories: ASTD in the News | Learning & Development

Study of Workplace Priorities Reveals Generation Gaps

November 2, 2011 11:23 by vstgerard

A new study reveals the career-related differences among the four generations of workers in today’s workplace: Matures (born in 1945 or earlier), Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1979), and Millennials (born in 1980 or later). More than 3,000 Canadians were surveyed to determine if there were significant inter-generational differences in their work priorities, career attitudes, career experiences, and career outcomes.

Among the findings, data provide evidence of generational differences in terms of work priorities. The youngest generation, the Millennials, placed more importance on work characteristics that lead to self-improvement, as well as social aspects of the workplace. In contrast, the values of Generation X employees emphasized the need to find a balance between work and personal facets of life. Both Boomers and Matures were concerned with staying relevant in an ever-changing work environment. However, these oldest two generations differed in that Boomers remained focused on advancement and achievement while Matures were striving to leave a lasting impression in their organizations.

Read more.

 


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Categories: Next-Gen Learning | Learning & Development | News | Research

New Research from ASTD: Learning is Critical to Innovation

October 4, 2011 16:27 by Kristen Fyfe

Organizations of any size and industry need to innovate to remain successful. Whether it’s an iPhone-like breakthrough or a new spin on a traditional idea, if companies want to foster innovation they must have systems and strategies in place to encourage, develop, and sustain new thinking in every role in the organization.

In a new research study Learning to Innovate: Exploring Learning’s Critical Role in Fostering Innovation ASTD and i4cp (the Institute for Corporate productivity) examine the importance of innovation in business success and the ways learning influences it. Companies cannot hope innovation will happen organically. The learning function can and should play a critical role in developing and sustaining the innovative culture that is the hallmark of successful organizations. This report includes a synopsis of interviews with learning leaders who have successfully fostered and sustained innovative practices at high performing companies.

The study contains recommendations on fostering innovation. They include

• Have the learning function take a prominent role in innovation. Make sure any functions dedicated to innovation are solidly integrated with learning. Learning departments can also develop programs that foster innovation.
• Incorporate innovation as a competency in the performance management process.
• Don’t punish a well-thought out failure. Learn from the positive steps in the process.
• Job rotations and stretch assignments can allow people to think innovatively.

ASTD members can download a free whitepaper on the study. The full report Learning to Innovate: Exploring Learning’s Critical Role in Fostering Innovation is available on the ASTD store.


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Categories: ASTD in the News | Research

UK skills providers eye India to train its young workforce

September 14, 2011 19:18 by jllorens

(From TimesofIndia.com) LONDON: A delegation of over 60 UK skills providers are exploring opportunities to strike partnerships in India, which is looking at converting its young population into trained workforce to sustain phenomenal economic growth.

The delegation, led by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), brings in a range of skills and education providers including, A4e, City of Westminster College, Tribal, Edexcel, City & Guilds and Hull College.

The delegates, including senior government officials and skills providers will participate in an interactive seminar, being jointly organised by UKIBC and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) along with the British Council, UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

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Categories: Learning & Development | International | News

UK: £275m a year 'wasted' on ineffectual training is 'the tip of the iceberg'

July 29, 2011 10:33 by jllorens

28-Jul-2011 » Training Press Releases » A government report exposing the £275m wasted on ineffectual training courses by the Civil Service has been described by a North East expert as 'the tip of the iceberg of Britain's culture of poorly-targeted staff development.' A newly-published report by the National Audit Office estimates that the Civil Service wastes hundreds of millions of pounds every year putting staff through expensive training courses that do not work. Under half of staff questioned felt the training they received in the past 12 months had helped them to do their job better, the report found.

Kevin Beales, Managing Director of North-East-based online assessment specialists The Test Factory said: "I'm sad to say that these figures don't surprise me at all, and if anything they're just the tip of the iceberg of Britain's culture of poorly-targeted staff development.

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Categories: Learning & Development | Human Capital | International | News

UK 'relatively skill poor', claims CEO of UK skills commission

July 27, 2011 16:01 by jllorens

Michael Davis, chief executive of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), has urged UK manufacturing businesses to fire up their ambition and invest in advanced, high-value strategies and skills to drive economic growth and job creation.

The UK is “relatively skill poor”, Davis told senior manufacturing leaders at a BAE Systems event this month. “We are not in the top 10 countries and not on track to be world class by 2020,” he said.

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Categories: International | News

Michigan: Roberts: DPS isn't training kids to be 'globally competitive'

July 20, 2011 12:24 by jllorens

(From The Detroit News) Detroit — Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts appeared before the City Council this morning and said his focus is eliminating the deficit and educating children.

"When I leave here, the thing I hope you remember is I'm here for one reason: that's to educate kids," said Roberts, 72, a former General Motors executive who was appointed to the post last month.

"You can take any measure you find of our performance, any one you want, and it will tell you we're not training our kids to be globally competitive. That's the only reason why I'm here, not to run for (a political) office or take any other job. I'm too old for that."

Roberts discussed some plans for the district, including his proposal for placing 34 low-achieving schools under the control of a new district. The new statewide district will be run by Roberts. The plan gives more autonomy to schools and seeks to puts 95 percent of funding in classrooms.

Other initiatives include upgrading technology to 57 schools with 40,000 laptops by the end of next school year, paid for with federal stimulus funds. The district also is in the middle of a project to renovate or rebuild 18 schools under the $500.5 million Proposal S bond issue, which voters passed in 2009.

"The same way we need to repopulate Detroit, we need to repopulate the Detroit Public Schools," said councilwoman JoAnn Watson, a longtime critic of a state takeover of the schools. "We need to have deliberate, strategic conversation among the leadership in the city to make sure all of us are working in the same alignment of achievement."

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Categories: Learning & Development | News

Gillibrand Pushes For Veterans' Job Training, Employment

July 11, 2011 13:06 by jllorens

(From NY1.com) Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is advocating a new law that will provide more jobs and better job training for America's recent veterans at a time when many of them are unemployed.

She spoke in Manhattan to a group of New York City veterans Sunday and announced a push for the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, which would provide job training skills to former soldiers.

The law would also try to make more job opportunities for veterans returning home, by providing training, personal assessments and workshops and easing federal hiring practices.

The Labor Department estimates that more than 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are currently unemployed.

In New York City, more than 13 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are unemployed.

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Categories: Learning & Development | News

You're Invited to Join in a Unique Learning Opportunity

June 24, 2011 16:12 by Kristen Fyfe

On June 29th, the ASTD Forum is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting a virtual panel discussion featuring industry veterans Ed Betof, Jeanette Harrison, and George Wolfe. The ASTD Forum is a consortium of senior practitioners and their vPanel discussions are usually closed to the general public.

This is your chance to hear from some of our profession’s most experienced leaders as they discuss what their experience has taught them about the learning field and what they think learning professionals ought to know.

 Use this link to register for the session: http://bit.ly/j8gI50


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Categories: ASTD in the News

Manufacturing Technology Suppliers Commend Skills Initiative

June 13, 2011 09:14 by jllorens

The Association For Manufacturing Technology President Douglas K. Woods reacted positively to the news that President Obama is endorsing a manufacturing skills credentialing system to boost manufacturing jobs growth as part of his Skills for America’s Future initiative launched last year. Skills for America’s Future is an effort to improve industry partnerships with community colleges to ensure that America’s community college students are gaining the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the workforce.

“I am encouraged by the President’s speech today that he understands the importance of training and credentialing to building a manufacturing ‘smartforce,’” Woods says. “The factory floor today is very different from what it used to be, and we need workers who are up to the job.

“For more than two years now, AMT has emphasized the crucial role of public-private collaboration between industry, government and schools in meeting the demands of the new manufacturing workplace. The Manufacturing Extension Partnerships should be an integral part of this collaboration as the ideal conduit between the stakeholders."

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