Laser Learning Customer Service Apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Customer Service

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 Customer Service?

Providing the best possible customer service is essential to every business. Whether it’s interacting with customers face-to-face, by phone, or by email and text, it’s integral that each customer feels valued and is treated with the upmost care.

Working in the customer service industry is a varied role and means working closely with members of the public, as well as other businesses. As a customer service representative, you are an ambassador for the company you work for and need to embody a positive attitude with an appetite to solve problems quickly.

You might consider starting an apprenticeship in customer service if you are enjoy working with people and like to bring a smile to people’s faces on a daily basis. If you’re a natural at conversation and putting people at ease, while also good at resolving problems, this is an ideal industry for you.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service, 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 a Think and Challenge created specifically for this qualification as part of our Laser Lessons resources.

CASE STUDY

James takes a call from a customer who is fairly irate as he has been expecting a phone call telling him a product he is waiting some time for is now in stock and will be delivered.

James informs the customer that he knows nothing about the issue, and it is not his fault no one has contacted him about it. At this point the customer got more annoyed and tells James that he wanted to speak to someone in a position of responsibility and would not be using the company again. James then put the call through to his manager.

  1. Do you think the situation could have been handled in a more appropriate manner?
  2. What do you think James should have done?
  3. What would your recommendations be for James to help him be more efficient?

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 a customer service representative, or use your skills to move into other junior roles such as a personal assistant or secretary, as well as finding the perfect industry in which you feel passionate about delivering outstanding customer service representation.

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. You may wish to go on to develop your conflict resolution skills, or develop customer service skills for dealing with business customers rather than members of the public. Developing an outstanding set of skills in the industry could lead to working with exclusive customers in the future.

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:

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

Laser Learning Year in Review 2018

End of Year Review – 2018

New Lessons in 2018

The content team has been working hard to add new short courses and qualifications with lessons to the laser this year. In total, we added 15 new short courses and 17 new qualifications.

Highlights include:

  • The new CACHE STL suite, which has increased in size and the scope has changed to include learners providing support in colleges. It has also been updated to include radicalisation, mental health, and e-safety.
  • L1 Certificate in Well-being, which encourages learners to make healthy lifestyle choices and support others to do the same. Find out more by watching our webinar on areas of well-being.
  • L3 Award for Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Early Years Settings, which covers the role and responsibilities of the SENCo, strategies and techniques for supporting children and their families (including the local offer, EHC plans, and the graduated approach), principles, guidance and legislation underpinning practice for children with SEND in early years settings, and English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • L5 Diploma in Education and Training, which prepares trainee teachers to teach in a wide range of contexts. The qualification covers planning and developing schemes of work, delivering learning sessions, developing teaching and learning strategies, and assessment practices. Find out more by watching a webinar presented by Laser and NCFE.
  • Teaching Assistant bundle, a new bundle of short courses perfect for learning support practitioners who work with students of all ages to ensure individual needs are met. The bundle covers developing English and Maths skills, promoting positive behaviour, working in partnership on Assessment for Learning, and contributing to learning activities.

When writing lessons for qualifications, we add lessons for all mandatory units and make sure there are enough optional units to achieve the minimum credits, with a handful more for choice and variety.

Feel free to get in contact with us if you would like to chat about the new courses or want any added to your Laser.

Award Nominations and Endorsement

In 2018 Laser Short Courses were finalists in the NMT Nursery Awards and Teach Early Years Awards.

Laser Short Courses awards nominations

We are so proud of the reception our short courses continue to receive and we have many more to be written and produced in 2019.

This year we also secured endorsement from Skills for Care for our health and social care short courses and care certificate. We continue to work closely with NCFE CACHE to delivered endorsed learning resources for full UK qualifications as well endorsed learning programmes as part of our Laser Short Courses.

Laser Systems endorsements

Help Videos and Webinars

Our team have spent time this year creating further help videos and webinars for our YouTube channel in order to provide additional support for those who need guidance around using the Laser as well as guidance on IQA and assessment topics.

If you would like to suggest any further topics for help videos in the future please don’t hesitate to let us know.

International Clients

We’re delighted to say that the Laser continues to be the choice for e-portfolio and learning resources for clients around the world.

Vivette has been in high demand to support clients, new CACHE centres, and IQAs and assessors across the UAE and Asia, and was a guest speaker on the specialist educator panel at the CIIE launch and education retreat on the QE2 in Dubai back in October.

All of us continue to be inspired by each centre’s enthusiasm and passion when it comes to providing the best possible training for their staff from entry level to management.

What’s Happening in 2019?

In January, we will be attending the NMT Agenda (South) in Basingstoke to meet with nursery managers from across the UK.

We will also be guests to support Professor Pat Preedy, Kay Sanderson, and Sir Christopher Ball at the launch of their new book Early Childhood Education Redefined.

In February, Vivette will be back in Dubai to exhibit at the GESS exhibition alongside NCFE CACHE. If you would like to book some time with Vivette while she is in Dubai, please get in touch.

Vivette at CIIE Launch October 2018 on behalf of Laser Learning

Thank You

We have had another wonderful year with some notable achievements, and we would once again like to take this opportunity to thank you for being a part of our success.

Wishing you all a peaceful break if you are closing down for the Christmas period and a fantastic start to 2019.

Business Accounting Laser Short Course CPD

Business Accounting CPD short course

Understanding business accounting and finance is an important part of a variety of roles which involve general administration and/or cash-handling, as well as roles which directly involved business finances.

Having a good working knowledge of business accounting and how finance affects the day-to-day running of a business is extremely beneficial for employees across the company, from general administrators to business management, in any sector.

This short course is aimed at professionals who have recently taken on responsibility for business accounting, are planning on taking on responsibility in the future, or are interested in an overview of how money is accounted for in an organisation. You will be introduced to financial statements, ratios, cash flow planning, balance sheets, and categorising income and expenditure, amongst other aspects of business accounting.

Learning outcomes

  • You will understand how and why income and expenditure needs to be accounted for
  • You will be introduced to financial statements and will know the most commonly used statements used by businesses
  • You will know the difference between a capital expenditure and a revenue expenditure
  • You will understand financial ratios and you will know the types of information they can reveal about a business

Find out more about the Business Accounting CPD short course or see a full list of available courses across a variety of topics.