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It’s all about your team...

Andy Robinson    There is no doubt that what is often called the ‘war for talent’ is becoming harder in the outdoor learning sector. With changing business models, a general push towards healthy lifestyles, expanding initiatives such as the National Citizen Service and a number of other factors I suggest that ensuring you are able to deliver the right outdoor learning services at the right time is becoming more challenging. It is certainly worth considering the way you engage with potential new members of your team.

Whilst the Institute continues to provide the hugely popular jobs pages on its website, this is of course only a part of the story. What does the journey look like for someone considering joining you and your organisation? How well informed are they about the content of the roles you want to fill? Are they aware of where they are in the recruitment process, at any given time? Do they get supportive constructive feedback if they are unsuccessful? How are they made to feel over the first few days and weeks as a new joiner? ....and how do they engage with you in the first place?

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Self defeating education and learning systems?

Andy Robinson    I recently spent a very stimulating morning at a gathering in Westminster organised by the Education Select Committee as part of that committee's review of the purpose and quality of education in England. I have to confess I was anticipating a fairly dry revisit of many of the old chestnuts about what good education looks like.... I was pleasantly surprised and motivated by the actual debate.

The Institute had responded to an earlier consultation by the committee informing them of the findings of the Blagrave Trust funded work looking at the evidence base for outdoor learning. Others from the outdoor learning community had also submitted comments and this recent morning's conference contained a session on outdoor learning, a sign of a growing recognition of the contribution good outdoor learning practice can make to education. I expect to see further work by the education committee examining the approach to use of outdoor learning in English schools.
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Apprenticeships and professional standards

Andy Robinson image    You may have picked up that IOL are working in partnership with a group of employers to develop new apprenticeships for the outdoors.  This involves identifying sufficiently generic job roles in outdoor learning provision and what we would need a competent person to be able to do in that role, as well as deciding how to assess they are competent.  As the relatively recent call from Westminster to develop such ‘trailblazer apprenticeships’ coincides with the need for IOL’s professional accreditations to go through a review, the employer’s group and IOL have decided to ensure the two pieces of work inform each other.  The employer’s group has recently received the go ahead from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to start work on the first of the apprenticeship levels.
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Categories: Apprenticeships


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