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Training Thoughts
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The employability sector is full of training experts. This 'Training Thoughts' blog lets you take advantage of this exclusive knowledge pool.


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Top tags: ESS  Networking  Qualifications  Tips  training 

Mental Health First Aid – What’s All the Fuss About?

Posted By Heather Ette, 21 April 2017

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week on 8th to 14th May, ERSA, the IEP and Future Path are delighted to fully fund 20 places on a half day “Mental Health First Aid Lite” course. For info, the two-day course is designed to help support people in mental health crisis.

Mental Health First Aid Lite
12 May 2017 | 11am - 3pm | Hosted by Clarion Housing Group

Did you know that:

  • One in four people will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year?
  • The estimated overall cost of mental health problems to UK businesses is now £30.3 billion a year – equivalent to £1206 per employee?
  • At the 3 month stage of unemployment, a person is 4-10 times more likely to suffer from anxiety and/or depression?
MHFA Lite is a four hour introductory mental health awareness course that will help equip you in this area. The aims and objectives of the course include enabling participants to:
  • Gain a wider understanding, for themselves and others, of some issues surrounding mental health
  • Gain a greater understanding of how and why positive and negative mental health affects business
  • Work more effectively with people experiencing mental health problems
By the end of the course participants will be able to
  • Identify the discrimination surrounding mental health problems
  • Define mental health & some mental health problems
  • Relate to people’s experiences
  • Help support people with mental health problems
  • Begin developing a business case for promoting positive mental health in the workplace and in delivery models
  • Look after their own mental health
The course also introduces ALGEE - a unique memory tool for conducting mental health first aid.

This workshop will be delivered by Kevin Moore, the Chief Executive of Future Path – a provider that specialises in supporting jobseekers experiencing poor mental health to find work. Kevin is also an Approved MHFA Instructor and a Fellow of the IEP. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance and manual.

There are only 20 places available, one per organisation, so don't delay - book your place online today. 
Book your place now
Copyright © 2017 , The Institute of Employability Professionals. 
All rights reserved.
Elizabeth House, York Road, London, SE1 7NQ Tel: 0203 757 9418

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Training Thoughts

Posted By The Digital College, 04 December 2016
Updated: 28 November 2016

Helping someone into the Construction Industry?

From the 1st July 2014, as a mandatory part of the application for a CSCS Green Card (the card needed to work on a UK Construction site), people who currently work, or want to work in construction must be able to provide a relevant certificate that provides evidence of their knowledge and understanding of health and safety in a construction environment. This includes those renewing their CSCS card.

The Digital College’s Level 1, Health and Safety in a Construction environment course is endorsed by the IEP and is acknowledged as one of the best ways of providing this evidence. Successful completion will enable applicants to move on to take the CITB health, safety and environment test, and then apply for the new Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) Green Card. This card allows access to construction sites in the UK as a non-skilled worker.

Until this online course was developed by The Digital College the only alternative to gain this NVQ was to take a classroom based course that took around 5 days to complete.

Using the Digital College’s online version this course can be completed in just one day.

This qualification has been accredited by Ofqual.

The Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment consists of the following:
• Know the principles of risk assessment for maintaining and improving health and safety at work
• Know the importance of safe manual handling in the workplace
• Know the importance of working safely at height in the workplace
• Know risks to health within a construction environment
• Know the importance of working around plant and equipment safely

Book the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment here

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Training Thoughts

Posted By Mark Ranahan, CALP, 20 November 2016
Updated: 14 November 2016

Career & Life Planning: Career Employability Specialist Programme

Our 4 Day “Career Employability Specialist” programme is developed in conjunction with the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and is the first and only programme in Ireland to be endorsed by the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) specifically for employability professions in coaching, training and placing the long-term unemployed.

We developed our Career Employability Specialist programme after recognising that there was a gap in the market for a comprehensive employability support programme. This programme is developed to ensure trainers and coaches are better equipped with the necessary skills and resources to coach, train and support the unemployed back to sustainable employment.

We know from experience that needs and requirements vary from one organisation to another. This 4 day programme can be customized and tailored to fit your organisations needs whether you deal with the long term unemployed, job seekers with specialist support, foreign nationals etc.

Our Career Employability Specialist Programme is:

  • The first Employability programme in Ireland to be endorsed by the Institute of Employability Professionals,
  • Recognised by the Institute of Leadership & Management
  • Completed by over 70 Professionals working in the Employability & activation Sector
  • Organisations including Department of Social Protection, ETB’s, ILDN, SICAP, TUS, National Learning Network have supported staff in becoming better qualified for this sector.

Duration of Training

1 Day per week over 4 weeks

No Assignments required for this programme


  • Day 1: Coaching Techniques for the the Unemployed
  • Day 2: Leaving Unemployment Program
  • Day 3: Adapting to Employment
  • Day 4: Creating demand for the jobseeker (2 parts to this module; identify people for your activation program & creating demand from local employers for placements)

Group rates available

Public courses and specific in house can be delivered also

Call us on 091 700 220 or email for more information or to sign up to one of the above programmes.

Programme Objectives

  • Focus on the jobseekers personal development, confidence building and practical strategies for gaining employment
  • Equip the learner with specific skills and techniques to work effectively with jobseekers
  • Employ the creative and innovative “5 Steps to Success” Methodology
  • Build positive relationships with unemployed and vulnerable clients
  • Understand the workings of the employability sector and identify sources of supports available
  • Apply core coaching principles and practices
  • Explain the importance of compliance legislation, ethical conduct, quality assurance and case management

Benefits of Career Employability Specialist Programme

  • Recognised by the Institute of Leadership & Management
  • ILM Membership for 12 months
  • Access to ILM Learning Portal
  • Specialist training for those working in the employability sector
  • Access to learning resources, development tools, articles, publications & courses
  • Qualified to employ unique and proven “5 Steps to Success” methodology
  • Networking with similarly qualified individuals
  • Credible recognition with employers and job seekers

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Training Thoughts

Posted By Carley Consult, 02 November 2016

The Imperative For Providers to Engage With Employers Has Never Been Greater

Carley Consult have developed and delivered a growing series of commercial events and training courses at locations across the UK to support employability and skills professionals. Over 2,000 delegates have attended our events to date, and this number continues to grow. We deliver regular training courses in disciplines including bid management and writing, employer engagement, performance improvement and commercial training.

We are very proud to have two of our training courses endorsed by the IEP. These are our Bid Writing and Engaging Employers courses.

Here at Carley Consult, we know that with an increasing emphasis on employer ownership that the imperative for providers to engage with employers has never been greater, but this is not always as easy as it sounds. By combining presentations, discussion and practical exercises through which core learning objectives are achieved, this course covers themes such as researching and qualifying employer leads, overcoming common employer objections, and understanding employer needs & behaviours. The course would ideally suit those who are relatively new to employer engagement, as well as the more experienced practitioners looking to refresh core skills and pick up new ideas. The course complements the learning themes of the Diploma in Employment Related Services (ERS) and is suitable for practitioners undertaking this qualification. We can also run this workshop as an in-house course for teams of up to twenty.

Although our upcoming Bid Writing Course is fully booked, we are currently developing our training courses for next year, and have plenty scheduled for February, March, May, June, September and October, not only in Bid Writing and Engaging Employers, but in Performance Improvement and Commercial Training too. Dates will be released soon. Following the success of the last two years, also watch this space for the launch of Work in Progress 2017, the one-day conference for managers and practitioners within the employment services and work based learning sectors. We are very grateful to the IEP for their ongoing support of Work in Progress and our training courses.

If you are interested in finding out more about our upcoming Growing Apprenticeships or Engaging Employers courses, please visit or email for further details about this month’s workshops, in house training and future events.


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Criminal records and the law

Posted By Christopher Stacey, Unlock, 23 October 2016
Updated: 18 October 2016

What are the laws regarding disclosure of criminal records?

by Christopher Stacey, Unlock

When you think of an “ex-offender”, you probably think of somebody that’s been to prison.

People leaving prison certainly struggle to find work. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of people are unemployed on release and 80% of people make at least one benefit claim within a year of release. Yet less than 10% of people that get a criminal record end up going to prison.

There are over 10.5 million people in the UK that have a criminal record and many face stigma and discrimination when applying for work, despite having put the past behind them. People with convictions make up a sizeable proportion of the unemployed population – 33% of Job Seekers Allowance claimants have received a criminal record in the last ten years. For many, it can be their main barrier to employment.

Crucially, there are laws that protect people from having to disclose in many situations, so it’s important that people understand if and how these apply to them. For example, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sets out when convictions become “spent”. Once an offence is spent, it no longer needs to be disclosed for most jobs, and the time it takes for many convictions to become spent was significantly changed in 2014 and it’s been reduced in many cases.

Unfortunately, there is a real lack of advice and support provided to people on how to understand and deal with their criminal record. We know that most employability professionals are not provided with any formal training. In a recent government report, only 29% of prison leavers received advice on dealing with their criminal record from the Work Programme.

Unlock is an independent charity for people with convictions. We assist people to move on positively with their lives by empowering them with information, advice and support to overcome the stigma of their previous convictions. For many years, one way we’ve gone about doing this is by working closely with employment support workers to help them as professionals to be better equipped with expert, accurate and up-to-date knowledge on criminal records and disclosure.

We do this by delivering training. Our one-day ‘Advising with Conviction’ course is endorsed by IEP and covers issues such as how individuals can find out about their criminal record, how to know whether a conviction is spent or not, and if they need to disclose, how best to go about it.

We regularly run these courses in London. The forthcoming dates are:

  • 22 February 2017
  • 19 April 2017
  • 21 June 2017
  • 4 October 2017

Places can be booked online by visiting We also run in-house training sessions for larger teams and this is often much more cost-effective. If you’re interested in organising an in-house training course, get in touch by emailing

For more information contact:

Christopher Stacey, Co-director
Unlock, for people with convictions


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What to do if a service user, becomes aggressive and threatening

Posted By Jim O'Dwyer, Aegis Protective Services, 04 October 2016

Would you know what to do if a service user, becomes aggressive and threatening?

by Jim O'Dwyer, Aegis Protective Services


For some people, the process of being ‘helped’ back to work (and off welfare benefits) can provoke strong emotions and feelings of intense anxiety and desperation which, in turn, can lead to them behaving aggressively and violently towards staff, other service users, property and even self-harming. For example, at 4:30pm on 9th September 2015, a man doused himself in petrol and threatened to set fire to himself at Ashton Jobcentre, Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

Government figures reveal a UK wide trend of escalating violence towards employability services staff.

In January 2014, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) reported that attacks on JobCentre staff had more than doubled with hundreds of incidents of either verbal or physical assaults happening every month.

The severity of the risk makes it essential that employability professionals take appropriate precautions.

Nowadays, most employability organisations will have developed a specific policy on ‘Violence at Work’ that both acknowledges the risks and declares a commitment to take ‘all reasonable and practicable steps’ to minimise them.

The policy document will usually set out how the organisation’s policy aims are to be achieved and describe the various ‘risk controls’ (e.g. a Reporting System and a requirement that staff report any safety concerns early – so that any problem can be addressed by management) and also detail the various safety procedures (e.g. for meeting ‘higher risk’ Service Users, handling cash/valuables, lone working, working in the community).

It’s essential employability professionals are familiar with their organisation’s policy and ensure that their conduct always complements their employer’s expectations.

A key component of any violence prevention initiative will be staff training.

It’s fundamental that employees are aware of the risks; understand how best to prevent violence; and know what to do and how to behave in the event that aggression surfaces.

Aggression Awareness & Prevention is an IEP endorsed training course designed specifically for ‘front-line’ employability professionals. The learning develops individual and team capability to proactively reduce risk, recognise warning signs and implement proven ‘talk down’ strategies to successfully de-escalate and resolve conflicts before they can develop into violence.

Delegates also practice and have fun learning a range of protective practical skills including how to reduce opportunity for physical assault to initiate during interactions and how to deflect blows and escape to safety if attacked.


If you would like more information about this course, please contact Jim O'Dwyer, AEGIS Protective Services

T: 01202 773736 E:  W:


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Equipping the sector to support people with mental health problems

Posted By Heather Ette, 22 September 2016


1 in 4 of us will suffer from poor mental health every year?

Those unemployed for 3 months or more are 4-10 times more likely to suffer mental ill health?

Over 48% of new ESA claimants have a primary condition that is classed as a “mental or behavioural disorder”?

But despite the above, how equipped is our sector to really support unemployed jobseekers who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar or schizophrenia?

To help the sector better serve these jobseekers, Future Path have developed three unique courses. Each contain a version of the international, highly successful Mental Health First Aid programme – plus bespoke content written by the sector, for the sector.Providers can choose from any of the following options:

1. Mental Health First Aid Standard. The world-renowned 2-day programme aimed at helping participants to better understand mental health, and to support people in crisis. This course has been recommended for all employers by both the Department of Health and Business in the Community.

2. Mental Health First Aid Lite. A half-day workshop aimed at helping managers and support staff to understand the relevance of MHFA, and to support their frontline staff in its usage.

3. Future Path’s “Enable” programme. A four-day course for frontline advisers, with MHFA Standard at the front end, followed by 2 days of bespoke learning aimed at helping ERS practitioners to better support unemployed people suffering from mental ill health.

4. Future Path’s “Embed” programme. A one-day course for support staff, managers and directors, with MHFA Lite in the morning. The afternoon is spent looking at how to better manage the mental wellbeing of frontline staff.

5. Future Path’s “Evolve” programme. A two-day course for business development staff and managers, with MHFA Lite at the front-end. The remainder of the course looks at how to create relevant delivery models, supply chains, partnerships and bids.

The bespoke elements of Enable, Embed and Evolve were authored by our Chief Executive, Kevin Moore – an IEP Fellow with 20 years’ experience in the sector (and a former mental health service user himself). Kevin also leads on the delivery of the courses.

Courses are available on a block booking basis, with 10 delegates required as a minimum (maximum 15). Discounts are offered to not-for-profit providers and those supplying an appropriate venue.

For further details, please contact: or see

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The best training for your employability staff

Posted By Liz Sewell MIEP, IEP Director, 17 July 2016
Updated: 13 July 2016

Get the best training for your employability staff through an Endorsed by IEP training programme

As the employability landscape changes, frontline staff need to be trained for their new roles. A programme that is Endorsed by IEP has been quality assured, which means it has a relevant, well-designed programme, delivered by experienced and skilled trainers from a specialist organisation.

Courses available include:

  • Aggression Awareness
  • Bid writing
  • Compliance
  • Employer Engagement
  • Effective Case management
  • Employer Engagement for people with mental health issues and disabilities
  • Health and Safety
  • Lone Parents into work
  • Over 50s into work
  • Support for people with convictions
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Proactive Client Marketing
  • Security

All Endorsed by IEP courses are eligible for IEP CPD points.

NEW! We now endorse and award CPD points for in-house training.

Organisations who have programmes endorsed by IEP include Aegis, Belina Consulting, Bellrock, CALP, Carley Consult, The Digital College, Duality, FuturePath ICBE, JCA, Reboot, Timewise Foundation and Unlock.

Full details on the programmes can be found here


Do you want your organisation's training to be Endorsed by IEP?

Contact Thisara David at:

Endorsed by IEP training



Dealing with Verbal Abuse, Threats and Assaults from Members of the Public

Helping people back to work can mean an increased risk of violence and aggression from service users (and their friends and relatives.)

Being unprepared facilitates mayhem.

Aggression Awareness & Prevention’ is an IEP endorsed training course designed specifically for ‘front-line’ employability professionals to develop their confidence, resilience and practical skills to be able to pro-actively reduce risk, recognise warning and danger signs and implement proven strategies to successfully defuse, de-escalate and successfully resolve conflicts before they can develop into violence.





New E-learning Programme from Sector Specialists

Duality Training - where in-depth ES sector knowledge, L&D expertise and technology converge. We help leading ES businesses to improve performance and enact change through competitively priced e-learning and courseware development, precisely aligned to your business objectives.

  • Customised, engaging, high quality e-learning
  • Blended learning courseware
  • Professional services and support





Supporting Jobseekers Suffering from Mental Ill Health

It has never been more important for ERS staff to be able to spot mental health crisis and know what to do to support someone. With the Work & Health Programme, as many as 88% of customers will have, or be at high risk of, a mental health disorder.

With this in mind, Future Path have developed three training programmes to help providers to succeed – each includes a version of Mental Health First Aid, and you can choose from courses aimed at frontline staff, BD teams and support staff/management.

See for details


How to Source and Recruit Jobs with Flexibility as a Solution to Under Employment

Under Universal Credit customers will be required to increase their income in order to move out of conditionality.  For many people increasing their income means increasing their hours. But what if working more hours is not a sustainable option?  This workshop will equip you with new skills to help you source and create jobs with a variety of working patterns for those who need it.

For more information on what we do visit:



Training the Trainers Group sessions are great for building confidence and motivation and engaging people into new programmes. Belina’s Training the Trainers programme has been used by major employability organisations like Remploy, Workplace Newham and Skillsmatch as well as London boroughs of Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Southwark and Westminster.

Employer Engagement: Christine Brown, IEP Fellow’s masterclass on employer engagement, with an emphasis on supporting people with disabilities and mental health issues. Clients include Seetec, Remploy and the Action for Blind Charity.





Coming to a venue near you very soon!

From September the IEP will be offering a “training the trainers” programme on its Endorsed by IEP project around the country. If you would like to host an event – and thereby get discounts on the training please get in touch at

Tags:  training 

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ESS Qualifications - who needs them?

Posted By Linda Hayworth FIEP, 22 May 2015

certWe all weigh up whether to put the time and effort into gaining an industry qualification.  After all, when you are performing well in a very busy role, why bother?

For most of us, the scale needs to be tipped so that the effort involved is truly outweighed by some genuine reasons to act. So let’s look at some of the reasons for the current increase in the numbers of Employment Advisers signing up to complete their industry qualification.

Remaining passive and simply looking to your employer to meet your development needs may not be the best strategy in a sector right now as important contracts come and go.

When large scale change is looming, it’s downright empowering to feel you have given yourself some control, not merely waiting to see how it all ‘pans out’.

Widen your career options

To have a long-term career in the sector, you need to be one of those people that employers seek to keep and attract.  An ESS qualification shouts that you are a person who takes their professional development seriously; takes action to keep improving their performance and holds sector-relevant credentials to prove your level of expertise.  Qualifications widen your career options.

As the ESS jobs become increasingly more complex and demanding, it’s a sound strategy to ratchet up your professional development, purely for your own sake and wellbeing, let alone the benefits that can flow to your clients.

The last shot is the good news that you can gain the Award in Employability Services Sector by completing just two units of competency and a Certificate by completing five units!  Not bad!

Interested in learning more?  Balance tipped?

Just click on CONTACT US at the top of the page, fill in a couple of details and the IEP will get back to you. 
Why wait – this is YOUR career we’re on about!

Tags:  ESS  Qualifications 

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Networking Tips

Posted By Stephanie Barlow MIEP, 18 May 2015

NetworkingAt the IEP networking events we are engaging more and more people who don’t often get a chance to network.  So for those leaving their comfort zone behind, these tips may help you get the most out of the IEP networking opportunities.

Most people aren’t comfortable about approaching strangers and starting a conversation.  If you feel this way, remember that virtually everyone else in the room feels the same.  Just take a deep breath, smile and introduce yourself to someone.  Talk about the location, the agenda, something in the news, and if you can’t think of anything else just ask where they are from and what they do … it’s easy!

Likewise, if you see someone standing alone doing a great impression of a wallflower, bring them into your conversation.  They’ll be grateful to you and you’ll have created a good first impression by being friendly and open.  Just ask if they want to join you, tell them what you were talking about, and off you go!

Be prepared

To give yourself a bit of confidence, develop a concise description of who you are and what you do so you are ready to introduce yourself to new people.  Most people don’t like talking about themselves so having a quick intro prepared can help you relax.  Think about your unique selling points and what people may be interested in knowing about you or your organisation.  Once you’ve used your intro a few times you can refine it until it rolls off your tongue like the networking pro you are!

Networking is about building new contacts, so don’t spend lots of time in the company of people you already know. By all means, have a quick chat with them to maintain the relationship, but spend the majority of your time getting to know new contacts. 

Networking is about building relationships, getting to know, like and trust others.  By all means talk about your organisation and its services but use the opportunity to understand more about the people in your network, where they are coming from, what’s important to them.  Learn that, and you learn who you can help, and who can help you.

Provide REAL value

Share your passion and enthusiasm with others and join in whole-heartedly with discussions, but also think of what else you can share with the people you connect with.  Do you have some useful web links or tools you can send them after the event? Do you have a useful connection you can introduce them too?  If you can’t personally help someone, do you have a contact that could?  Providing real value to other people will help them remember you and seek you out in the future. 

If you have something to say, don’t be shy! IEP members are there to help and support each other.  If you’re looking for information, need help with a problem, support with a project, or have a particular success or good practice you feel other members would benefit from, ask the event facilitator for a couple of minutes to address the audience.  IEP networking events are run by members for members so take control. Networking events are a great opportunity to get your voice heard.

Finally, above all else….

Enjoy Yourself - Networking isn’t meant to be hard work!

Top Networking Tips

  • Smile – most of us respond to a smile with a smile, and that’s all you need to start the ball rolling.
  • Small talk is good – networking is NOT selling. It’s about learning about people.  The more you learn about other people the more full and effective networks you will establish.
  • Listen actively – networking is a two way process.  Keep eye contact, nod, and ask questions that show your interest.
  • Remember names – the easiest trick is to use the person’s name as you talk to them.  Usually three uses in a conversation will embed their name in your memory eg ‘How do you do, John. That’s interesting, John. Nice to have met you, John.’
  • Exchange details – If you have business cards remember to bring them with you.  If you don’t have cards, bring a pen and paper so you can jot down your email address or telephone number for people you want to follow up with.
  • Keep your promises – if you’ve told someone you’ll email them, ring them or send them something, make sure you do.  Write a note of what you’ve agreed in your diary or on their business card so you don’t forget. 

Tags:  Networking  Tips 

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