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Home > News > December 2006 > 21 December 2006

Develop your skills in 2007, says UK Skills

UK Skills is urging individuals and businesses to put developing new skills at the top of their New Year's resolutions list.

The organisation, which champions vocational skills and learning for work through awards and competitions, offers the following advice to help you achieve your learning goals in 2007:

1. Take a leaf out of the Leitch report. You may not have given much thought to developing your skills over the past year but this has occupied much of Lord Leitch's time since 2004. He's come up with a bunch of ideas around how the UK needs to develop its population's skills by 2020. Maybe you need to think about what skills you could acquire by this time next year.

2. Have a break. Put the kettle on and start jotting down what skills you think you should develop for your job - and what skills you'd like to develop in your life. Make a wish list. Think of everything you'd like to do. It took Lord Leitch two years to come up with his ideas for developing the skills for 60 million people so surely you can sort out your own in half an hour.

3. Just pick one. Trying to do everything on your list could be daunting and is probably impossible. Just pick one to focus on. This could be difficult if the New Year's party was particularly good so you might need another coffee first. What work-related skill would help you in your job? And is there a skill that you might like to learn for enjoyment?

4. Get into action! Deciding what you want to do is the easy part. Acquiring those skills takes time, money and effort. Seeing it through to the end can be as tricky has keeping a New Year's resolution. Check if your employer will give you time off for training or study. Do some research to see what courses are available through your local college or City & Guilds (www.cityandguilds.com). If you run a business, you might want to approach the Learning and Skills Council (www.lsc.gov.uk) and learndirect (www.learndirect.co.uk).

5. Invest wisely. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the training and find the best course, training provider or means to make sure you get a good return on your time and money. Will you or your staff get a nationally recognised qualification out of it? Is it good value for money?

6. Let others know of your success. If you have achieved something exceptional through training, why keep it to yourself? Consider entering for an award like the National Training Awards (www.nationaltrainingawards.com) which are open to any individual, business or organisation that's achieved exceptional results through training. The next awards close on 27 April 2007.

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