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Elderly carer sitting with two of her patients in the care home. They are enjoying some cake and tea.

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Health and Social Care

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 4 – 8 March and is a time to celebrate the legacy of apprenticeships, while also taking the opportunity to inform young people and businesses about the positive impacts apprenticeships could have for them.

Our team of educators and writers believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning and apprenticeships. This is why we work hard to create the best possible online learning resources for colleges and training providers to use as part of their blended teaching and learning approach for their learners.

Why choose an apprenticeship in Health and Social Care?

The health and social care workforce is integral to our society. Whether it’s taking care of the elderly in their homes, working in a care home, or supporting people with additional needs; health and social care practitioners make an incredible difference to the lives of so many people and their loved ones.

As with childcare, working in the health and social care sector is an incredibly rewarding career path, and once again it’s also a lot of work! However, your commitment can mean bringing a smile to a person’s face and giving them the support and confidence they need to enjoy their day.

You might consider starting an apprenticeship in health and social care if you want to provide care to those who need it and are passionate about improving the standards of care to ensure all those who need support receive the very best individualised care to meet their varying needs.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE CACHE Level 2 Diploma in Care, though our learning resources are relevant to the standards for a wide variety of awarding organisations.

Throughout your apprenticeship, your on the job learning will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively provide individualised care to service users. Your learning will cover a wide variety of areas including dementia awareness, mental health and well-being, supporting individuals with their physical and emotional care, daily living needs and healthcare procedures.

How will you learn?

As an apprentice you learn ‘on the job’ which means you gain hands-on experience from day one. This gives you the advantage of gaining invaluable experience from colleagues and managers in a real work environment. It also means you earn a salary while working towards achieving your qualification, and in most cases your apprenticeship costs are covered by Government funding.

To achieve your qualification you will need to produce work to show you are competent in each of the qualification criteria, which means you will successfully pass each unit. You will also need to show you are competent in your work environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are asked to produced a written piece of work for each of the criteria as there are many different ways to collect evidence for your portfolio. You may also take part in a professional discussion with your trainer, produce reflective accounts, take part in group discussions, produce videos to show your competence, and be assessed via observation in the workplace.

If you are completing a qualification with a training provider or college who use our Laser e-portfolio and/or Laser Lessons resources, you will be supported by a trainer who will guide you through your qualification, set your workplans, and mark your work. They are the person you can contact whenever you have a question about your coursework or need advice about your learning journey.

Your trainer will conduct teaching sessions with you and you can then use the Laser Lessons resources to continue your study during your allocated learning time.

Here’s an example of a Think and Challenge section of a Laser Lessons resource created specifically for this qualification.

CASE STUDY

Rebecca and Irina are best friends and both work at Sunnyside Rest home looking after elderly residents, many of whom have symptoms of Dementia.

One day, Rebecca is late back from lunch and is told off by her line manager. Rebecca is then very annoyed at Irina for not helping her to complete her tasks or covering for her until she was back from lunch.

The girls are quite obviously upset with each other and many of the individuals they care for are starting to show signs of distress.

1. If you were Rebecca and Irina’s manager, how would you encourage them to sort out this problem?

2. What would you say to Rebecca and Irina about how their argument is affecting the people they look after?

3. How will you encourage Rebecca and Irina to develop a good professional relationship?

As our resources are online you can access them with an internet connection anywhere and at any time. If you are using the Laser e-portfolio you can also upload work, read feedback comments, and email your trainer at any time.

What roles can you go on to work in?

You can go on to work as an adult care worker, healthcare assistant or support worker, or personal assistant within a variety of environments in either the private or public sectors.

There are also higher levels of qualification you can achieve at levels 4, 5, and 6 which can aid you to move into manager positions or to further specialise your knowledge and skills to provide support and care to specific groups of people; this may be vulnerable adults, vulnerable children, or adults and children who are living with specific needs.

More about our Laser Lessons resources

Laser Lessons resources are written by subject specialists with vocational experience in their chosen area. Each lesson follows our unique Laser format, giving each learner:

  • A filmed tutorial with a professional presenter and accompanying text for those with hearing difficulties
  • Selected reading available in PDF format and also from trusted websites
  • A presentation to give further explanation of a specific topic
  • Good practice example videos, including videos scripted by Laser Systems for Canal Wharf Studios to cover specific criteria
  • An interactive quiz to test knowledge gained
  • Evidence opportunities which allow the learner to produce work towards their course
  • Extended learning materials for those who want to develop their skills and knowledge even further
  • A think and challenge activity which asks the learner to put the knowledge they have gained towards a real-life scenario

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship, look for local apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

If you are a training provider, college, or business who would like to more about using the Laser e-portfolio and Laser Lessons resources to deliver apprenticeship teaching and learning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 Laser Learning Business Administration

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Business and Administration

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 4 – 8 March and is a time to celebrate the legacy of apprenticeships, while also taking the opportunity to inform young people and businesses about the positive impacts apprenticeships could have for them.

Our team of educators and writers believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning and apprenticeships. This is why we work hard to create the best possible online learning resources for colleges and training providers to use as part of their blended teaching and learning approach for their learners.

Why choose an apprenticeship in Business and Administration?

The skills and knowledge you gain as part of a business and administration apprenticeship are versatile and transferable for those who want to move into a wide variety of roles. If you’re interested in how a business works, and how each of the business elements come together to ensure success, then choosing a business and administration apprenticeship will prepare you for a future in the professional business world.

Building a portfolio of transferable skills is a great way to begin your professional work experience. Understanding etiquette in the business environment, how to communicate with colleagues, and how to complete office administration tasks will be of value to you in a number of roles.

You might consider starting an apprenticeship in business and administration if you are passionate about the business world and enjoy the office environment. It’s also a great first step for those who want to go on to start their own business or work at a high level in a specific business environment.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Business and Administration, though our learning resources are relevant to the standards for a wide variety of awarding organisations.

Throughout your apprenticeship, your on the job learning will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively communicate in the work environment, complete business and administration tasks such as collating data and creating reports, as well as helping you to effectively manage information, and build relationships with your colleagues.

How will you learn?

As an apprentice you learn ‘on the job’ which means you gain hands-on experience from day one. This gives you the advantage of gaining invaluable experience from colleagues and managers in a real work environment. It also means you earn a salary while working towards achieving your qualification, and in most cases your apprenticeship costs are covered by Government funding.

To achieve your qualification you will need to produce work to show you are competent in each of the qualification criteria, which means you will successfully pass each unit. You will also need to show you are competent in your work environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are asked to produced a written piece of work for each of the criteria as there are many different ways to collect evidence for your portfolio. You may also take part in a professional discussion with your trainer, produce reflective accounts, take part in group discussions, produce videos to show your competence, and be assessed via observation in the workplace.

If you are completing a qualification with a training provider or college who use our Laser e-portfolio and/or Laser Lessons resources, you will be supported by a trainer who will guide you through your qualification, set your workplans, and mark your work. They are the person you can contact whenever you have a question about your coursework or need advice about your learning journey.

Your trainer will conduct teaching sessions with you and you can then use the Laser Lessons resources to continue your study during your allocated learning time.

Here’s an example video created specifically for this qualification as part of our Laser Lessons resources.

As our resources are online you can access them with an internet connection anywhere and at any time. If you are using the Laser e-portfolio you can also upload work, read feedback comments, and email your trainer at any time.

What roles can you go on to work in?

You can go on to work as an administration assistant, or at junior level across a wide variety of business support roles depending on where you want to build your skills and gain experience.

There are also higher levels of qualification you can achieve at levels 4, 5, and 6 which can aid you to move into manager positions or to further specialise your knowledge and skills. In the business environment there are a number of ways you can specialise once you have the foundation skills and knowledge. Some examples of the areas you might choose to move into are human resources, marketing, finance, customer support, and sales.

More about our Laser Lessons resources

Laser Lessons resources are written by subject specialists with vocational experience in their chosen area. Each lesson follows our unique Laser format, giving each learner:

  • A filmed tutorial with a professional presenter and accompanying text for those with hearing difficulties
  • Selected reading available in PDF format and also from trusted websites
  • A presentation to give further explanation of a specific topic
  • Good practice example videos, including videos scripted by Laser Systems for Canal Wharf Studios to cover specific criteria
  • An interactive quiz to test knowledge gained
  • Evidence opportunities which allow the learner to produce work towards their course
  • Extended learning materials for those who want to develop their skills and knowledge even further
  • A think and challenge activity which asks the learner to put the knowledge they have gained towards a real-life scenario

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship, look for local apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

If you are a training provider, college, or business who would like to more about using the Laser e-portfolio and Laser Lessons resources to deliver apprenticeship teaching and learning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Remote Working CPD Short Courses Laser Learning

A Love Letter to those who Work from Home: Stay Safe and Stay Motivated

This Valentine’s Day we’re showing some love to those who work on their own.

Whether you’re travelling for work or working from a home office, it can feel a little lonely sometimes. It’s important that you are granted the same motivation and safety as those working in a head office.

We’ve put together some of the most common safety considerations as well as tips to stay motivated to support you.

Smiling young female entrepreneur working on a laptop at home

Safety

Make sure your equipment is working

Before you leave and head out to an appointment, make sure you check your equipment.

Is your phone fully charged?

This is the most important question as you may need to contact someone throughout the day and particularly in event of an emergency. It’s also important that any other equipment you need is working and that you have all the cables, chargers, and information you need for the entire day, so you do not have a wasted journey.

Make sure you check this before you need to leave to begin your journey.

Invest in the right equipment

If you are travelling a lot in your role you may need a product with Bluetooth so you can use your phone while you drive. If you want to be able to call or take calls while driving, you must have a hands-free device and should never use your phone while driving as it endangers the safety of yourself and others.

If any of your equipment is starting to look or behave like it’s seen better days, don’t leave it until the last minute to replace it. Make sure you have a backup ready to go and take it with you if you have any concerns.

Tell someone where you are

Staff at your head office should know your schedule so they know where you are and when they can contact you. It’s also important you confirm you have arrived at a scheduled visit and that you have made it safely home. This could be crucial if something were to happen or if someone didn’t know your schedule.

If you don’t have a head office then make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you should be home. It could make a real difference if anything were to happen to you.

Consider where you park or your travel by foot

When driving to an appointment you need to consider where you park your car. If it’s winter, you may be leaving your visit in the dark, so don’t park your car somewhere with bad lighting or in a place you don’t think is safe. If you don’t feel safe going back to your car for any reason, ask a member of the organisation to walk you to your car or to watch you get into your car.

The same principle applies for anyone who is taking public transport to an appointment. Make sure you know how to get from the station to the building. If it is quite a long walk and you are leaving in the dark, then it might be safer to take a taxi back to the station to catch your train.

Take breaks

It’s just as important to consider your health and safety in your home office as it is when you are out travelling. Make sure you take regular breaks from your work throughout the day and don’t sit in the same position for your entire working day without moving.

You need to give your eyes a break from the screen in the same way as you would at an office desk. You also need to get up from your desk, move around, and get some fresh air if you can. This is for your well-being and will make you more productive throughout the day.

Assess your work space

Is your desk appropriate for working?

Is your desk set up so you are sitting correctly?

Do you need a rest for your wrist or any other additional support?

Staff working in an office will have a risk assessment completed at their desk to ensure the environment is safe, and you must do the same thing. Working in a position which damages your back or neck could cause you serious problems. You also need to ensure your equipment is being used safely and that you give the same consideration to confidential documents and data protection as you would in your head office.

You can consult IOSH for more information about risk assessments in the home office.

Remote Working CPD Short Courses Laser Learning

Staying motivated

Routine

When you work in an office environment, you’re likely to have some sort of routine. Whether it’s the time you start your day, your lunch break, or the order you approach your work; the routine is often part of the charm!

Having a routine for a remote office or a home office is just as important to keep you motivated and maintain the line between ‘work’ and ‘home’ life.

Decide on your work hours for that week and stick to them. Wake up like you would if you had to leave to go to work and make sure you give yourself time in the morning before you start work.

Having this routine will make your day easier to manage and organise and will also stop your work day blurring into your home life. Letting the two become one can have negative effects on both as you’ll either be unmotivated to work and complete work tasks or the complete opposite will happen, and you’ll be unable to switch off. If you’re working for yourself you might not mind putting in the extra hours, but you won’t want to be working at home when you’re not earning for it.

Get ready for work

You wouldn’t go to an office in your pyjamas, so don’t sit at home in your pyjamas to do your work.

If you don’t get yourself ready for the day then you’re unlikely to have the motivation or correct mindset for work tasks. If you’re finding your work is getting a bit sloppy then make sure it’s not because you feel sloppy. It doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you feel confident and capable, so make sure you’re doing what you need to before you start work to feel your best.

Obviously, if you are contacting clients or colleagues via a video call, it’s even more important to ensure you look presentable as you are an ambassador for your company even when you’re working from home.

Organise

Plan your day and give yourself goals for that day and that week.

Organising your day will help you stick to your working hours and also make it clear what you need to achieve.

As you have your own workspace, you can use it in any way you wish, and so you can use wall organisers or calendars to encourage yourself and push yourself towards your goals.

Make sure you get some fresh air at lunch time even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Keep in touch with head office

Even though you are not physically in head office, you are still part of a work team and it’s important to build on your relationships with colleagues, as well as keeping up-to-date with the business.

If you’re feeling lonely or unmotivated then reach out to your colleagues. You can contact them by phone, email, or video call and discuss how business is moving or if there are any changes you should be aware of.

When you’re struggling with something don’t just struggle alone in silence. Reach out to the appropriate member of your team and ask for help.

Make sure you share your achievements with your manager and colleagues so they can congratulate you like they would in an office. However, remember that they can only be involved if you tell them about it!

Know when to stop

Finally, working remotely can often mean you lose track of time. As you’re not walking away from your desk or travelling home, you may be tempted to carry on working.

Finishing a task after the time you should finish work is often the right thing to do, however, scheduling work for outside working hours or carrying on with new tasks which see you working for hours after you should have finished is not healthy.

This is why planning your day is so important.

If you find you aren’t able to handle your workload in your allocated hours, firstly consider whether you are being distracted during the day or whether your planning and schedules are working, then speak to your manager to discuss how you can move forward.

Remote and flexible working is now common in a wide variety of businesses and so it’s important we take care of our remote workers.

You can find out more about supporting and managing remote workers with our CPD short courses:

Personal safety for lone or remote workers

Supporting remote or virtual teams

Music for All FREE Laser CPD Teaching Short Course

Music for All NEW Free Short Course

We’re delighted to introduce our new short course, Music for All.

This short course is a free addition for those with an account on Laser Short courses and is a teaching short course guiding you step-by-step to establish a ‘Music for all’ initiative in your school.

The course includes template documentation to put together a presentation that will introduce the approach to your governors and the senior leadership team, to introduce parents and children to the idea and to share with staff how it could be used to raise attainment and improve behaviour and well-being. The course will guide you through the process of finding staff and structuring and organising lessons.

You will be able to watch a short documentary filmed at Langley Hall which explains their ‘Music for all’ approach and the children’s resulting activities. We hope that this will inspire you to adopt a similar approach in your school.

Finally, the course will give you the opportunity to think through the questions and challenges you will face in adopting a ‘Music for all’ initiative at your school and being prepared for this by having counter arguments to hand and practical solutions to problems that will be presented as reasons why it might not work in your school, setting, or environment.

Find out more about Music for All or see a full list of available short courses.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

Safer Internet Day 2019

Tuesday 5th February 2019 is Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day 2019 will take place on Tuesday 5th February with the theme ‘Together for a better internet‘.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of schools and organisations join together to raise awareness of online safety issues and run events and activities right across the UK.

Educating children and young people about being safe on the internet, how to recognise threats, and where they can go to for additional support is an important task in today’s society. Ensuring the online world is a safe space is an integral part of ensuring the well-being of the young people in our care.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

You can equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to protect young people by completing our online CPD short course Keeping Children Safe on the Internet. Internet usage has increased enormously, but so have reports of the safeguarding issues linked to abuses of internet communication. This course will introduce you to some of the risks and dangers, and how to deal with them – including where to report online concerns and risks.

This short course is endorsed by the awarding organisation, CACHE.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day 2019 and get involved! www.saferinternetday.org.uk #SaferInternetDay2019