“I was made redundant during lockdown – now I’m pursuing my passion through online learning”

online learning

For Pete Williams, a sales manager from Flintshire, redundancy was a “double whammy” – he was made redundant just six days before lockdown began, leaving him in search of a new job in the midst of a global pandemic.While Pete is not alone among those who have been made redundant during the coronavirus, he is also among the many who have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to develop themselves and their career. 

With the spread of the coronavirus making it easier for many businesses to close rather than re-open, the economy has taken a heavy hit this year. 

Despite government intervention, studies suggest that nearly one in six businesses will face the loss of 10% of their employees, with 9% of those businesses risking the loss of up to 49% of their employees over the coming months.

For Pete Williams, a sales manager from Flintshire, redundancy was a “double whammy” – he was made redundant just six days before lockdown began, leaving him in search of a new job in the midst of a global pandemic.

“Looking around for work was…soul-destroying. Due to COVID-19, it felt like recruitment was a slow-go… The only things that my CV matched were other sales management roles and I was adamant this was not what I wanted to do with my life” said Pete.

While he had earned excellent money in sales, he felt that being told that he was a ‘surplus to requirements’ was a rude awakening, and decided he wanted to change his career path to a role in HR – as a people manager.

“Watching new starters develop and take control of their own career was the most rewarding part of my previous role and I had a ‘eureka’ moment. This is what I wanted to do…I just needed to find where to start!”

After looking at formal university courses, Pete quickly realised that he didn’t want to wait until a new school year to get started, and as a young dad, he needed a better solution to learning that gave him the flexibility to take on work and study around childcare.

When a friend recommended an online course with ICS Learn, Pete did some research and found that it was exactly what he was looking for.

“They took time to explain how the modules worked, the support options available, and how I could spread the cost of the course…That day I signed up for a CIPD Level 5 Diploma in HR.”

After spending a few weeks studying the course, Pete added the fact that he’s working towards his CIPD qualification to his CV and was soon shortlisted by three potential employers.

“This has reaffirmed that what I want to do is work in HR and ICS Learn has given me the confidence that going back to studying at thirty-seven is not too late. It has given me purpose… and most importantly it will lead me to a career that I know I will be successful in.”

While Pete is not alone among those who have been made redundant during the coronavirus, he is also among the many who have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to develop themselves and their career.

With online education and an abundance of other resources at your disposal, there’s no time like the present to pursue your passion and achieve something meaningful.

UK Jobs On The Up: Sales And Education Vacancies Rise 26%

  • Sales & trading and education & training both reported a 26% increase in hiring last week
  • The number of people applying for sales roles has doubled since the beginning of 2020
  • Overall, hiring across the UK is up 20% following the PM’s ‘build, build, build’ announcement

Demand for sales staff and education professionals spiked last week as hiring across the country saw the first positive increase in weeks, with the number of jobs posted across the UK up 20% last week. That’s according to the latest real-time statistics from the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology.


Sales staff and teachers in demand

The beginning of July saw the number of sales and trading roles advertised rise 26% week-on-week as more brands began to open their doors to customers and organisations continued to get back to work. However, Broadbean Technology’s data further revealed that the average number of people applying for sales roles has doubled so far this year, with around 65.5 candidates applying for each position. This is indicative of the number of people out of work in the sales arena since the pandemic forced many businesses to close.

The data also revealed that education and training saw a 26% increase in the number of vacancies added in the week ending 5th July as schools continue to struggle sourcing enough teachers ahead of the mandatory re-opening of all education institutions in September.


Permanent vacancies increasing

While all contract types saw an increase in hiring, permanent vacancies are up for the first time in three weeks following the Prime Minister’s ‘build, build, build’ speech. In light of Boris Johnson’s unveiling of plans to soften the economic impact of Covid-19, the number of new permanent jobs being advertised rose 19% week-on-week, indicating an uptick in positivity across many UK employers.

Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology commented:

“It’s incredibly encouraging to once again see vacancies growing across the board. The uptick in permanent jobs in particular indicates a level of positivity in the UK economy that is welcome news for businesses and individuals alike. With more companies able to once again reopen, and shops and schools welcoming customers and pupils back, we certainly expected to see some demand for new staff. However, while this is good news, employers in these specialisms face different challenges. For education institutes, the on-going shortage of teachers is still hampering hiring, with the number of jobs being advertised remaining relatively high throughout the crisis. Before lockdown began, headteachers were reporting that they were struggling to find enough staff to keep schools open, and this increase in vacancies suggests the problem is prevailing as they gear up to welcome all pupils back in September.

“Those employers seeking sales and trading staff might welcome the news that more people are applying for jobs, but this poses an additional problem of finding the right individual for the role. With an abundance of candidates putting themselves forward, the challenge for employers now lies in ensuring they find the person with not just the right skills, but also the right fit with the company so they don’t make the costly mistake of hiring the wrong person in the long run.”

How to Find the Perfect Match for Your Business

How to Find the Perfect Match for Your Business

Studies from the Manpower Group found that 45% of employers struggle to find potential’ is missing from the articleemployees with the skillset needed to achieve the job. When looking to hire people for your business, it’s important to consider not only what they can do for their job role, but how they can positively impact the results and productivity of the business as a whole. The smaller the business and employee number, the more important it is to ensure the person is the right fit. But it can be difficult to find the perfect match on paper, so how can businesses seek to acquire the best talent?

Seek Creativity

One of the best attributes many jobs require is a creative candidate. Even
the most technical, structured jobs can benefit from creativity to streamline
processes or find better ways of doing things. One way of finding this
creativity is to consider how the candidate presents themselves.

A trick many candidates have learned is to showcase their CV in a clever way. Twitter shared that an interviewee had presented their CV as though it were their Twitter page; confectionery company Candy Kittens saw a CV that was presented as a bag of their candy; while a marketing graduate handed out copies of his CV at Waterloo Station – and even bagged a job. Finding creative candidates can often be more useful to company growth than just those who are technically able to do the job.

Adapt the Process

One of the ways in which you can find the right fit for your company is by
changing how people approach you for a job. Rather than have a system for
sending CVs and generic cover letters and then sifting through them, companies
should consider higher barriers to entry. Given that each role sees 100s of
CVs, adding additional steps will eliminate those who are just applying for the
sake of it.  

Indeed, AI has found that many people ‘cheat’ application
to better land the job – regardless of how much of a fit they are.
You could consider adding questions that require an answer, or even a small
task relevant to the job role. This will ensure you receive CVs from those who
are actually interested in the job. It will also give you a chance to see what
these people can do, which might not always translate well to a CV and cover
letter. This can help streamline the process and isolate the talent you need.

Utilise Social Channels

The interconnected world of social media, and platforms where we share
information about ourselves, could be useful in finding the perfect match.
There are countless sites – including Clippings.me and Squarespace – that allow
candidates to showcase their portfolios and examples of their work that surpass
just a CV. A carefully cultivated LinkedIn page or even a professional Twitter
could give you a better look at some candidates.

One of the more interesting recruiting tips, as highlighted by Lusha, include using more surprising social channels to find the right candidate. Snapchat, for instance, can be used effectively according to the Director of Talent & Culture at Likeable Media. Candidates that they like are offered the chance to follow up on Snapchat, providing an informal setting as well as attracting candidates who might have a more creative edge.

You Can’t Teach Personality

One aspect to consider when finding the right talent is to assess the
candidates based on what they know – and what can be learned. 27% of employers
claimed that candidates lacked both the interpersonal ability and the efficacy
to do the job. Many millennial companies highlight people over what they can
do, suggesting it is more important to hire someone who will be a good fit in
the company and its culture rather than someone who simply can do the job.

After all, most job roles can be taught, and training can be provided (54%
of employers conduct additional training once the employee has been hired). The
is a useful indicator of a person’s interpersonal capacity and can bring
you the raw personality first. It asks: would I want to be stuck in an airport
with this candidate? The technical know-how can often be taught later, but
personality isn’t something you can learn.

Often, hiring managers think about the candidate who is the right fit for
the company first and then the job second. Most jobs attract enough people who
are proficient at them, so in order to find the person that will help unlock
growth for your business, prioritising who they are and their capabilities as a
full package is more important.

Ensuring Excellent Engagement


Engaging with potential clients on social media is an increasingly important method of communication for many businesses in the world today. Salespeople trawl through their inboxes in search of compelling and relevant content to help kickstart a meaningful and valuable conversation. However, that could all change. Enter Grapevine6, an enterprise social and digital sales engagement platform. Following the company’s well-deserved recognition as the ‘Most Outstanding Content Engagement Platform in the USA’, we profiled Grapevine6 to find out more.

Imagine instead of sitting at your desk and spending hours trawling through an inbox in search of relevant content, the content you were searching for so longingly popped straight into your inbox for you. Imagine you could finally connect with buyers and clients with powerfully personalized content that builds trusting relationships and represents enormous opportunities. Imagine capitalizing on the pulling power of social media to outperform the competition, captivate customers, and deliver measurable ROI. It sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. Grapevine6 is an innovative platform that has made it easier than ever before to allow salesforces all over the world to share meaningful content with prospects and clients around the globe.

Sharing information can be vitally useful in solving problems and building relationships. That is the belief of the team of curious entrepreneurs and engineers behind Grapevine6. So, they set about developing the technology to uncover and deliver the most reliable and relevant information from around the globe and make it easily shareable. The team brings a wealth of knowledge from a variety of backgrounds, including software architecture, user experience technologies, client relationships, and project management. Under the sage guidance of co-founder and CEO Mike Orr and co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Wayne Gomes, the platform has won a number of awards and cultivated a reputation for being creative, flexible, and easy to partner with.

Working smarter and faster no longer has to be an unachievable dream for those working in sales. Grapevine6’s game-changing platform analyzes the interests and posts on the personal digital profile of an employee, and then picks the best content from across the web based on that profile. Salespeople can then choose which of the selected articles to share on their corporate profiles, making it effortlessly easy to connect with prospects and clients. This added level of connection can create a unique and authentic voice in any interaction, as well as build deeper and richer relationships. Your target audiences will remember you as the salesperson that connected with them in a way that competitors simply couldn’t match.

Grapevine6’s artificial intelligence engine searches through thousands of articles from thousands of sources across the Internet, all so you don’t have to. Searching around the clock and around the world, your salesforce has the most reliable and relevant content at the click of a mouse. With a wealth of content at your fingertips, it’s as easy as selecting which content to use, then posting it on social media to complement your own personal, professional, or corporate brand. Grapevine6 also boasts an easy-to-use mobile app, for salespeople who are on the go all the time, making it easy to post wherever and whenever.

However, the brilliance of the platform doesn’t end there. Salespeople can reap the rewards of Grapevine6’s hard work by building relationships with important clients, and the superiority of the service goes even further. With a deep analytics and comprehensive reporting system, you can view the engagements that the posting has generated, offering tangible and measurable impacts on a business. By having a better understanding of what content is performing the best, you can further tailor posts to ensure maximum engagement.

Those on the frontlines of digital selling have come to the realization that this method is no longer just an option; it is, in fact, a necessity for the businesses of today’s world. Whether it’s banking reps and mortgage advisers needing the tools to stand out against the competition, or insurance agents needing to build credibility as value experts, or technology wizards needing a competitive advantage that shows off a savvy understanding of the latest developments, Grapevine6 can help. This platform’s innovation is clear to see, and it provides salespeople with a tool that the industry has been crying out for.

Contact: Mike Orr
Website: www.grapevine6.com

Font of All Knowledge


Personal and professional growth depends almost entirely on the skills learned and knowledge acquired. Too many organizations fail to encourage this sort of development, especially when relating them to soft skills. CrossKnowledge is the solution, with the team winning Corporate Vision’s Corporate Excellence award for Most Outstanding Tailored Learning Management System, 2020. Having won this achievement, we look more closely at the company to find out more.

CrossKnowledge has twenty years of history behind it, and in that time has grown to be a global leader in the world of digital learning solutions. With 12 million users in 130 countries, CrossKnowledge has been key to the growth and success of thousands of companies. Its expansion has seen various phases, each allowing the company to become even stronger as an organization.

Corporate digital learning solutions have become part and parcel of the development landscape, but since the beginning, CrossKnowledge has focused on these skills with relation to soft skills. Learning depends heavily on the demands and requirements of the clients, and CrossKnowledge is able to provide a variety of different solutions to suit different situations, including CK Connect, CK Blend and CK Channel.

These end to end solutions are designed by the team, to understand the needs of their learners, targeting the learning objective and providing a way to implement it into a business swiftly and effectively. CrossKnowledge has the formidable ability to adapt to suit the company that it is serving, with each solution being tailored to meet the organization’s needs as well.
The team build each aspect of their solutions on expert opinions and scientific research in order to make sure that their work is suited to the task.

The origins of CrossKnowledge as a learning organization has been key to its growth, and reflects the way in which the team are continuously working towards satisfying customer requirements while incorporating technological innovations. Recently, the company has released its award-winning solution CK Blend, which is specifically designed to redefine structured training by bringing back the human interaction and social aspects of learning. The importance of engaging with all levels of the eco-system is clear to CrossKnowledge and is part of the reason that they have been such a success.

The result is, in fact, a partnership with businesses, providing ways to not only help an organization to reach the next level, but to grow indefinitely. This is one of the reasons why CrossKnowledge is able to count L’Oréal, Primark and Heineken as part of its impressive client list. These ties are nurtured by a team of committed Global Account Managers, each committed to finding ways forward that work for both businesses. Also ensuring the level of trust that is essential between learning partners is CrossKnowledge’s Client Success Team, working alongside companies to provide accountability.

Looking forward, the team have been continuing to develop new solutions to provide more ways of learning. Their newest platform, CK Connect, has recently been sent out to early adopters and will play a major part in the success of this new solution. At its heart, CK Connect is an integrated digital learning solution that helps learners discover and build the skills that personally matter to them.

With so many different ways in which to turn when it comes to learning new skills, it can be a challenge ensuring that all of the employees are committed to maintaining the incredibly high standards that have played a major part in the company’s success. This important aspect is handled at a recruitment and on-boarding stage, with any deviation dealt with and rectified immediately to avoid any negative reaction from CrossKnowledge clients.

CrossKnowledge is exceptional in several regards, but what is most impressive is its earned place as a trusted partner of organizations. The business is built around a commitment to helping employees acquire the skills they need to succeed, connecting with the entire workplace, delivering the most advanced integrated learning experience and measuring the learning outcomes so that success can be recorded. It’s this positive approach that encourages companies to play their trust, and their future, in the hands of this exceptional education supplier.

Contact: Emma Hinde
Website: www.crossknowledge.com

Distinguished Data Protection Services

DPO Centre

With the increasing shift towards an ever more digital society and the rapid recognition of data as a truly valuable resource, the need for data protection has never been more prevalent. Corporate Vision recognises both this fact, and the work of The DPO Centre as the Most Trusted Data Protection Consultancy, 2020 – UK. We had the privilege of speaking with the firm’s founder, Rob Masson, to learn more about this increasingly vital work.

Founded in 2017 by Rob Masson, The DPO Centre is the UK’s leading independent data protection resource centre. With a large team of fully employed data protection officers, or DPOs, located across the country, the firm offers services such as outsourcing those DPOs, GDPR representation, and a full range of consultancy services to clients across a wide range of sectors. In the years since the company’s inception, it has worked with more than three hundred clients ranging from small primary schools, right through to large multinational organisations and leading charities, such as the NSPCC. To begin, Rob Masson, provided us with some insight into how the business has developed, what the future of data protection is, and why The DPO Centre was awarded the title of the UK’s Most Trusted Data Protection Consultancy.

CV: Firstly, thank you for speaking with Corporate Vision about The DPO Centre’s recent success. When and why did you set up The DPO Centre?

RM: I first considered setting up The DPO Centre during 2016, well before the GDPR actually came into force. I’d set up and run several technology and eCommerce companies previously, so was acutely aware of the increasing focus on privacy and how important it is to protect people’s personal information. At the time, everyone was beginning to talk about the GDPR and how it was going to impact their organisation, but few organisations had a clear idea of exactly what it would mean. It was clear that businesses had real needs both in understanding how the new legislation affected them, and how the much wider mandated requirement to appoint a DPO was going to be resourced.

CV: What services does The DPO Centre offer to its clients?

RM: Broadly speaking, our services falls into three main areas – Providing ongoing outsourced data protection officers ‘as-a-service’, Article 27 GDPR representation for organisations that don’t have an EU presence, and then project-based consultancy work and interim support.

Firstly, providing outsourced DPOs is at the core of our business. We employ what is probably the UK’s largest independent team of experienced DPOs. They work on a client’s site as an integral member of their team for anything from 1 to 8 days each month, depending on the client’s need. They fulfil all the statutory requirements of the GDPR, by representing the needs of their data subjects and providing ongoing expert advice, support, and training as required. Each new client undergoes a structured onboarding process, which involves reviewing their current data flows, policies, processes, and procedures for data protection, before creating a roadmap for any necessary changes.

Under the GDPR, organisations based outside of the UK or the EU who are processing the personal data of UK or EU residents must nominate a representative based within the relevant territory. The representative acts as the main point of contact for data subjects and the regulatory authorities within their member state. The DPO Centre provides the services of an EU representative for many organisations, including SaaS platform providers, app and game developers, market research organisations, and many therapeutics and life science organisations conducting clinical trials. After the Brexit transition period has expired, the expectation currently is that separate representation will be required within the UK and the EU, so our UK representative services are delivered through our London office, and our EU services through our Dublin office.

Finally, consultancy projects vary widely, but generally we help organisations to understand their data and the steps they need to take to comply. Invariably, this will involve mapping the company’s personal data flows, compiling an information asset register, understanding how, why, and where the data is processed, and the justification (lawful basis) for the processing. We can then assess the impact of the legislation by identifying gaps between existing practices and full compliance, and defining what needs to be done to become compliant. Other consultancy services include policy drafting and reviews, data protection training for staff, preparing organisations for data protection audits, due diligence for M&A work and other one-off projects to evaluate new processes and designs.

CV: Who does The DPO Centre primarily work with?

RM: We’ve worked with well over 300 clients over the past two years from a wide variety of sectors. These include organisations processing high volumes of data such as software and technology and finance and insurance companies, large retailers, eCommerce, and media businesses. We’ve developed a real expertise in the medical and healthcare sector where there is extensive additional legislation and large quantities of sensitive personal data that often needs to be shared between different agencies. Because all public bodies are required to appoint a DPO, we work a lot in with schools and colleges, and we also work with local and national charities and particularly those protecting or working with vulnerable people.

CV: Why do organisations choose to outsource their data protection?

RM: Organisations outsource for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, outsourcing takes the headache out of recruitment. Data protection specialists with industry knowledge are hard to find and retain, and often the role doesn’t need to be full or even part time, so outsourcing is very cost effective. It also means the DPO is independent from the client’s team and therefore, as required by the regulation, not conflicted with other internal roles they may perform.

Our processes and procedures are continuously updated as the industry changes and our clients benefit from the knowledge of our entire team rather than just that of a single individual. Should a DPO be unavailable, we also provide back up support both from a secondary DPO and our email and telephone advice line. But, by working on site at our client’s offices as an integral member of their team, the DPO becomes immersed in the organisation’s culture so can take a proactive, rather than reactive approach. The DPO’s activities are managed by our head of DPOs, so does not consume the time or attention of the client’s management team.

CV: Why do you think you are so trusted by your clients?

RM: I think our clients trust us because we focus on building close relationships with them. By working regularly on site, our DPOs are part of their team and are able to offer pragmatic advice and recommendations in the context of the client’s business. Having the support of the wider DPO Centre team that is quick and responsive also provides a further dimension to the level of service we offer. It means that when there is a significant incident or major project to undertake then we can provide the necessary resources when they are needed.

The main advantage however is that our clients trust us to ‘own’ the DPO role so they don’t have to. Ultimate responsibility for data protection of course remains with the client, but our service enables day-to-day responsibility to be left to us, enabling management to focus their attention on other pressing issues.

CV: Thank you for your time Mr Masson. Finally, what does the future hold for The DPO Centre?

RM: The one thing that is certain is that privacy and data protection is not going to go away, in fact quite the opposite. New technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning and an increasing focus on individuals’ personal rights means that the risks of getting it wrong or being non-compliant will only increase. The benefits of The DPO Centre outsourcing model, coupled with the increasing awareness of the importance of privacy means that we will be able to continue to grow the business by providing a high quality and trustworthy service to all our clients.

Contact: Sarah Leeger
Website: www.dpocentre.com

10 tips for first-time homeschoolers


If you had a hundred home educators in a room, each of them would likely have a different approach, but there are various steps you can take to get the most out of homeschooling.

With schools across the country closed for the foreseeable future, Oxford Home Schooling, one of the UK’s leading home education providers, has given its 10 tips for how to effectively homeschool.

1.Take breaks

A bit of experimentation should identify what works best for you and the child. You might find 30-minute blasts followed by 10-minute breaks help to keep your concentration up. Alternatively, you might prefer to work for longer periods at a stretch and then enjoy a longer break.

Boring as it might sound, giving your learning a predictable structure and routine does help to make sure you get everything done!

2.Make a routine

Children get the most out of homeschooling when parents decide when and what they should be studying. At school, the typical day might consist of seven 40 minute periods – four in the morning and three in the afternoon. So should parents try to emulate this?

It’s important to remember that most children (and adults) are not able to concentrate for long periods of time, whatever the learning environment and kids do not concentrate on their studies for five hours a day at school. The average lesson is filled with interruptions and irrelevancies and the real ‘work’ might be condensed into 10 minutes. The same is true at home. Even if you have assigned 40 minutes to a subject, do not be surprised if the useful work is done in just 10 minutes and the rest is spent in (apparently) less productive activity.

Organisation is not simply a matter of time slots. It is a combination of timetabling and study objectives. By setting routines, children will find it easier to stay focused, engaged and make progress.

3.Get rid of distractions

It’s really hard to focus when the TV’s blaring, the radio’s on or there is lots going on in the place you’re working, so try and get rid of the distractions. Also, concentrating is easiest when you’re in a quiet, comfortable place, so play around with how you and your child study – sitting, standing or lying down; inside or outside; with lots of light or without – and find a method that helps them concentrate.

4.Divide up the work

Sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself when faced with a really big or difficult task. The best solution is to break it down into smaller pieces, planning out the various stages that need completing before you start. This way, your child will know what needs doing and you’ll both get a good sense of progress as you work.

5.Get lots of sleep

It’s an accepted fact that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll find it harder to concentrate, learn and retain information. The trick is pretty simple – get some sleep! Most people between the age of five and 11 need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night, while 11 to 18-year-olds need 8 to 10 hours.

6.Don’t multitask

Sometimes, particularly when there’s a lot of work to be done, it can be hard to resist the urge to multitask and try and get lots of jobs done at once. This is best avoided though, as, in essence, you’re dividing up the amount of brainpower you have available to a given task, meaning you might miss out on important bits of information.

7.Meditate and reduce stress

Plenty of scientific studies have shown the benefits of sitting silently, with your eyes closed and the mind focused on the present. This can dramatically reduce stress levels – a factor that’s been proven to exacerbate tiredness and reduce memory retention.

8.Utilise TV and online learning

Technology is a massive part of education both in schools and at home. Sites like BBC Bitesize and Geography Games are great for delivering educational content in a fun, engaging way.

It can also be used to keep in touch with the homeschooling community to share tips and advice.

If you’re temporarily homeschooling, then tools like Google Classroom can help you interact with your class and teacher from school.

It’s also important to keep active, so consider watching Joe Wicks’ new online PE class for kids on YouTube, which goes out at 9am every weekday.

9.Stick to the curriculum

It’s important to try and cover all of the subjects your child is used to learning about, but don’t worry too much about spending an equal amount of time on each.

You will naturally have greater knowledge in some areas than others and it’s fine to lean on these more heavily. However, your child may have interests in subjects you are less familiar with, and it would be a shame if they were unable to continue learning about these during this period. Avoiding these topics altogether could result in your child losing their passion.

If you are unsure about any content, it can be quite refreshing to do some research yourself and learn something new, before passing on the information to your child.

10.Make it fun

Learning doesn’t have to be a chore, there are hundreds of games you can play to exercise your brain, including the following memory tests.

There are card games where you have to match pairs or groups of face-down cards, flipping two each turn and reverting them face-down if they’re not a pair.

You could also place a number of small, random items on a tray, memorise the items for a minute, then cover the tray, listing as many of the items as you can remember in a given time period.

Then there are two-player games, such as Memory Master, where one player stares at a picture (magazines, books or photos all work) for a minute, after which the second player quizzes them on all aspects of the picture.

Ten of the best online learning resources:

  1. BBC Bitesize
  2. Geography Games
  3. Google Classroom
  4. YouTube
  5. Science Journal For Kids
  6. National Geographic For Kids
  7. Fun Brain
  8. Quizlet
  9. Carol Vorderman’s Maths Factor
  10. Seneca

For more information on homeschooling, visit: https://www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk/

Best CFO, Direct Reports and Teams Recruitment Company – Germany

FINANCE People Solutions

When it comes to filling a CFO position, or indeed that of any top-level executive position, it can be hard to find the right person. Whether a role is permanent or interim however, it is imperative for both parties that the person and position is right to ensure maximum productivity and positivity. Focused entirely on recruiting CFOs and their teams all over the world, one German firm is ensuring that when opportunity arises, there is no better teammate than “ The CFO Partner”.

Founded in 2014, Finance People Solutions does exactly what it says it does. For more than five years, the firm has been helping corporations in need of a Chief Financial Officer fill their positions with the right person, who is qualified and highly motivated to do the best job possible. Under the sage guidance of founder and CEO Paul Taaffe, the firm has grown from strength to strength organically, working hard to become one of the country’s best for interim and permanent recruitment within financial departments.

A specialised globally-operating direct search firm offering interim and permanent positions alongside career advisory services, FPS is renowned for its ability to identify and match the perfect prospective CFO with the right firm. Not content to simply place an individual within a firm however, Paul and his team also specialise in hiring those who would report directly to them as well, giving them a strong and able support network to maximise the chance of growth and continued success.

“Realising that there are two sides to every employment situation, Finance People Solutions offer the same level of care and attention to both parties.”

Realising that there are two sides to every employment situation, FPS offer the same level of care and attention to both parties. For companies, Paul works hard to put himself in the shoes of their CFO and understand exactly what they require from a candidate. On the other hand, open and honest dialogue with candidates can foster strong relationships from the earliest stage and ensure that the candidate gets all the available support they need when career planning or searching for a permanent position.

Support comes in many forms, all of which are aimed at establishing and cementing those strong relationships throughout the process. Through their professional aptitude and experience at partnering clients with candidates, the team at FPS know that it is often more about the person behind the CV. Fitting with a culture and an ethos is just as important as having the technical prowess to do a job, which is why initial phone calls to get to know the candidates are so important.

The career advisory services offered by FPS complement the search and recruitment services perfectly, designed by CFOs for CFOs, or those who aspire to be. Ensuring that the chief financial officers of the future can access a truly beneficial coaching programme, the process differs amongst individuals, but often includes an interview, personal and CVfocused analysis, and advice on what to do next in achieving goals. After a few hours of personal meetings, each set of tailor-made results are ideal for specific situations and how best to progress in search of that perfect CFO role.

One of the ways that FPS continues to stay ahead within its niche field of specifically finding CFO candidates for top-level, executive financial roles is through recognising what the future holds. Innovation is constantly happening, and big companies are finding it harder to move fast enough in an ever-evolving world. Having remained small, agile and versatile within their market, Paul and his team have gradually grown alongside the innovation to increase their presence in the market. Despite the rise of automation, digitalisation and other tech-savvy innovations permeating industries across the world, recruitment is perhaps one of the industries where human interaction will always be better. People make companies great, and recruiting the perfect candidate into a CFO role will always be best done through people like Paul and his team at FPS.

Understandably, it can be hard for those who have not been in executive positions themselves to know the details of the tasks and challenges that a CFO will have to face. That’s the experience that stands FPS apart from their competition. Championing the firm himself, Paul brings a wealth of experience and expertise to identifying the right person with the right skills for successfully running and supporting a company.

Beginning his journey almost thirty-five years ago, Paul is one of the most experienced CFOs and business executives working in the world today. Having worked alongside global companies such as Pepsico, Nike and DELL, it is almost effortless for Paul to step into a CFOs shoes. That way, he can begin to truly understand a firms needs, and how best to offer them a solution that fits with their practice and ethos. For companies who need an experienced individual to identify needs and offer pragmatic solutions, they don’t come much better than Paul.

Paul’s experience working as a global CFO stretches far beyond the usual duties. Having constantly driven himself and those around to succeed, Paul has also overseen turnaround and restructuring work, as well as the implementation of new growth strategies to maximise the chances of success. From his own extensive personal experience in doing everything he can, Paul knows the requirements that the modern CFO must live up to, and FPS set about making sure that all of its clients receive the right candidate who is capable of delivering nothing but the best.

Contact: Paul Taaffe
Website: www.financepeoplesolutions.com

The Five Best Tips to Know Before Starting Your College Adventure

Have you received your acceptance letter to the college of your choice and are you ecstatic to begin your college adventure? We definitely want to begin with a word of congratulations and kudos for continuing your education. 

Before your semester begins, there are a few pieces of information that can help you be better prepared for college life. We’re going to tell you what you need to know to avoid any surprises and what you might expect during your first semester. 

Keep reading for all the necessary details to help you prepare for the upcoming semester!

Plan for the Long Haul

You might be feeling a bit ambitious about starting school and want to take as many classes as you can fit into your schedule while still keeping your sanity. While this might work for some people and upperclassmen, it’s important to pace yourself. 

length of a semester will vary between schools. Typically a shorter semester will mean more intense classes while a longer semester allows for a bit of a slower pace but possibly more in-depth coverage of a subject. 

If a semester is really short (like a winter intersession) it is not advisable to take more than one or two classes at a time. No matter how long your semester is, all of your classes will be measured in credit hours. It can be tempting to take a large number of credit hours in order to get a jump start on your college career – be careful doing this as it can cause you to burn out before you get into the true ‘meat’ of your degree!

You can schedule your classes around work or work around your classes, but try to pick a style of scheduling and stick to it. This will help your employer adjust to your needs as you progress through your degree. 

If you are attending a physical university, as you are scheduling your classes have a map of the campus near you. Having classes that are back to back and across campus for each other will end up giving you an unintended workout.

Start Saving Now for Your Books

The Five Best Tips to Know Before Starting Your College Adventure

Even if your tuition is covered by a scholarship or financial aid, there is a chance that this money won’t stretch far enough to cover your books. Unfortunately, brand new books are super expensive and it seems like every semester a new version comes out which keeps the cost high. 

Ideally, you can start saving now for your books. If you can email your professor before the class starts, find out if the newest version is necessary or if a book that is a few years old will suffice. Opting for an older version means that you might be able to
find the book online at a cheaper rate than the brand-new text at your campus bookstore. 

Sometimes the newest version is necessary. Find out if the book can be downloaded instead of purchasing a hard copy. Typically a downloaded version will be cheaper and you can print off the pages as you need them if you choose to do so! 

Expect Less Oversight

If you’re starting college the semester after you graduate high school, you might be expecting to have teachers breathe down your neck and constantly as you about your assignments. In college, you won’t be micromanaged.

It will be up to you to get organized, know when projects are due, when the exams are, and generally be able to keep up with your readings as they are assigned. Chances are, your professor won’t even know your name unless you happen to be in a very small class or you make an effort to introduce yourself.

Take Advantage of Office Hours

When you’re enrolled in a class that seems overwhelming, you can ask for help during your professor’s office hours. Most of the time, you won’t need an appointment and can just pop in as you need. 

Meeting your professor outside of the classroom will show that you are interested in the topic and are trying to do your best. Often a professor will go the extra mile to ensure you understand complicated lessons and be a bit more lenient with grading if they see that effort has been made.

Attend Class 

When you’re enrolled in a class that seems overwhelming, you can ask for help during your professor’s office hours. Most of the time, you won’t need an appointment and can just pop in as you need. Meeting your professor outside of the classroom will show that you are interested in the topic and are trying to do your best. Often a professor will go the extra mile to ensure you understand complicated lessons and be a bit more lenient with grading if they see that effort has been made. Yet, have in mind that every professor has to make enough consultation time for every student and at times responsiveness is not their sharpest tool in the shed. 

If it means the world to you to be a part of a thorough education process with the professor’s much needed supervised hands-on experience every day, a vocational school may be another interesting option for you.
The trades have a long history in the US and even the newest wave of vocational trades is in high demand. Make sure to take your time and evaluate all options and possibilities before making a final decision. 

Making the Most of Your College Career

The Five Best Tips to Know Before Starting Your College Adventure

Even if you were a shy kid in high school or weren’t quite as popular as the cheerleaders and football players, attending college will be your time to shine! You can become whoever you’d like and join clubs or intramural sports teams without the fear of judgment. 

There are professional societies, Greek fraternities and sororities, and even religious clubs. All of which will be open to you because you’re a student!

Most campuses are so big that people won’t necessarily know you but such a large number of people will make it easy to find your niche, make friends, and really live the college experience. Get involved in various activities and clubs; attend the sporting events to cheer on your team. 

It will ultimately be up to you to ensure that you enjoy your college adventure and learn as much as possible about your chosen field. Have fun and enjoy it! 

11 Great Benefits of Online Education

When it comes to earning a college degree, the benefits of online education can’t be disputed. 

If you’re thinking about taking a college course online, we’re offering a list of 11 amazing benefits of online education plus this list of
affordable online colleges to make your decision easier!

Mortar board and a graduation diploma

1. Flexible schedule

One great benefit of online learning is the opportunity to study while working full time or taking care of your kids. Whatever responsibilities you have during the day, you can always study at the time that is most convenient for you. This means that you won’t have to sacrifice sleep, commute to a physical classroom, or arrange (and pay) for childcare.

2. A variety of programs to choose from

Any course you can think of – you can take it online. You can study business administration, sociology, history, English, computer science, accounting, fine art, sport management – you name it! The greatest part about this option is the fact that the world is your oyster. You can truly choose a subject that is close to your heart, even if it’s originally taught on the other side of the planet. Don’t let geographical coordinates stop you anymore.

3. It’s cheaper

By choosing online learning you can save hundreds of dollars! In the case of online education, the traditional costs associated with using equipment and physical classrooms don’t apply. All you need is the right software and hardware in order to be able to log on and complete your assignments. 

In addition, by not having to commute to a university or college to take the course, you will save money on gas and car maintenance. Finally, you can use this saved ‘commute time’ to study and take tests in the comfort of your home.

4. Multiple channels of communication

One of the best things about online education is the flexibility of communication. As seeing your online college professors isn’t always possible, you can communicate with them via various channels including email, phone conversations, live chat, etc. This means you get multiple chances for constructive feedback, as well as an opportunity to ask questions at any time. 

5. Create a perfect learning environment

Whether you’re studying at home, during lunch break at work, or while visiting relatives, you have an opportunity to customize your learning environment according to your preference. You don’t need to use crowded places like libraries any more! 

You can dedicate an entire room in your home where you’ll be able to study in peace and quiet. For those who are rather shy – you don’t have to worry about having to interact with other students. 

6. Learn at your own pace

With online courses, you no longer have to compare with other students or pressure yourself to keep up with them. In some cases, you might get through your assignments and exams in record time because the material is easy for you to understand, whereas, in others, you might need more time in order to comprehend the concept. Be as it may, the important thing is you’re in charge of your own progress! 

7. Access course materials any time

With online courses, you can review your course materials however often you like and at any time you want – even at 2 in the morning. You have access to a variety of materials like written materials, podcasts, and videos. You can take online notes that will help you to better understand the class materials, flip through screens with ease, or use the “find” function to quickly pinpoint relevant paragraphs. 

You can even take online exams and quizzes and get your score right away. Online education systems have immediate scoring systems to inform you how you did on the test and save you from lots of stress.

8. Transfer your credits

Want to transfer your college credits? No problem. All you have to do is conduct careful research of the universities and colleges you’re interested in and you should be able to arrange credit transfer.  

Contact the admissions offices of the institutions you’ve chosen to get a list of the online courses they accept for credit transfer and get your degree faster.

9. Improve your career advancement opportunities 

Is advancing your career conditioned by having a higher education degree? Then, you can easily upgrade your skills and knowledge by taking online courses. Compared to traditional courses which usually take years to complete, now you can get an opportunity for a raise or promotion in a matter of months!

10. Development self-discipline

When people aren’t forced to attend classes at a physical location, they have to manage their own tasks and time and develop some serious self-discipline. If this seems impossible for you, you can use a time management tool and online calendars. 

However, if you do manage to boost your self-discipline, you’ll have a great skill that will prove very useful even after you complete your college education.


11. Connect with fellow students

Online colleges provide an opportunity to discuss classroom assignments using live online discussion sites or chat forums. This way, you’ll be able to converse with fellow students, swap ideas about assignments, or get your questions answered without having to go to a physical meeting place. 

In addition, you can join online study groups. People who study online often form study groups using free online tools such as Skype or Google Hangout in order to be able to study remotely with other students. All you need is a computer and a headset. You can present documents, share screens, use virtual whiteboards, organize your study projects, etc. 


In Conclusion

Online learning offers a great number of benefits, but these are the top 11 ones to help you figure out if online courses are the right choice for you. 

The Training Your Team Needs – Made Easy

m3ntor Limited

As the world continues to change, so too must many companies. Staff training and ongoing development is crucial for a sustaining a thriving, growth-focused business. Enter m3ntor, named in Corporate Vision Magazine’s Corporate Excellence Awards as 2020’s Leading Virtual Training and Development Specialist. We profiled m3ntor to find out about how it supports businesses deliver their training – more easily.

Whilst training and ongoing staff development can be a vital tool in helping to ensure that businesses continue to expand and grow, it can be a process that is not viable for many. Smaller businesses often cannot afford to employ a dedicated training manager, and sending staff offsite for training courses can prove to be costly in terms of money and time. A perfect solution is available however, in the form of m3ntor. As a virtual training and development service, m3ntor gives business owners and their people access to thousands of online training resources, and the capability to design a tailored training plan that works specifically for them.

For companies looking to invest in their people, m3ntor represents the perfect opportunity. With instant access to more than 170,000 training resources of the highest quality across a myriad of topics, there is no shortage of ways in which this platform can benefit a company of any kind. Every account receives their own personal virtual training and development manager that can be contacted for tailored advice. As well as the advice that they offer, there are also quarterly reports and reviews to ensure that you are getting the best value they possibly can from the service.

Designed and developed by experienced training and development professional, David Breen, m3ntor can offer clients a wealth of services to help them train in a huge number of areas. Of the more than 170,000 online training resources that are available, clients can train in finance, health and safety, sales, IT, project management, customer services, business administration, and compliance to name but a few. There are a wealth of training courses far more niche than these mentioned, and the best way to discover them all is to experience m3ntor first-hand.

Spearheading the success at m3ntor is founder and director David Breen, an experienced training and development professional with more than twenty five years of working in large businesses in the United Kingdom, United States, and Europe. Drawing on his considerable experience, David’s insight, pragmatism, and grounded approach enables him to successfully identify the training needs of individuals and companies alike. For companies in any industry, there can be no better choice for a virtual training and development manager than David.

The way it works is this; once a business has signed up, everyone will be asked to complete a questionnaire that allows m3ntor to identify exactly where current training and development levels are at within the business. Following that, they will be given training content that directly relates to their own specific requirements from a suggested list of courses and resources that can be accessed seamlessly. Every three months, m3ntor will then also review the business’ use of its service before offering advice as to how everyone involved can continue to make the most of it.

m3ntor is available from anywhere in the world, and at any time of the day or night. As well as the professional development that it can be used for, users can also access the service in their own time should they wish to train in topics of personal interest. With no extra cost, every user can benefit from being able to engage and train in areas through the service that m3ntor provides. From exceptional Excel skills to superior social media marketing, there is something for every business with m3ntor.

Imperative for users, the ease of accessibility, and sheer amount of virtual learning modules are key elements that stand m3ntor apart from the crowd. Navigating them is a breeze, as the clear and simple user interface and experience can be easily used to find whatever skill is required. Whether that be a more common skill such as digital marketing, or something more niche such as mining, users can find exactly what they are looking for without hassle.

Key to its ongoing success is m3ntor’s ability to offer different styles of online learning. All people learn in different ways. Individuals often require different approaches and methods to help optimise learning, and m3ntor overcomes this obstacle with a variety of content types and lengths. Interactive activities, videos, listening exercises, skill hubs, and documentation all represent different forms of learning on m3ntor’s platform, and can change the pace for users. They can also keep track of their progress through the MyLearning tab; a place where users can schedule courses and help organise experiences to better absorb what is being taught.

Alongside the wealth of online training and development capabilities that m3ntor offers to its clients, the firm also works hard to deliver hands-on, actionable advice and expertise.

This can take the form of wider training consultancy, face-toface workshops and facilitation, leadership and management coaching, and the creation of specialist training material that caters to exact needs.

By making full use of all the services that m3ntor offers, businesses can benefit in a number of different ways. Firstly, executives and business owners can rest with the peace of mind that a workforce is being invested in, developed, and trained to take the business to even greater levels of success. Secondly, it is far more costeffective than hiring a full-time training and development manager. This easily-accessible way of providing professional development can increase levels of engagement, retention, and overall workplace satisfaction. Finally, there is increased protection for the business.

Everyone has access to compliance training, allowing them to continually meet any legal obligations.

Ultimately, m3ntor’s services are for more than just a business. The development and training resources that the firm offer are designed to bring out the best in people, and drive growth at the companies they work for. Business owners and workers alike can benefit hugely from this beacon of corporate excellence in the eLearning sector.

Company: m3ntor Limited
Website: www.m3ntor.com
Contact: David Breen

Supply Teachers Face Uncertain Future


Britain’s army of supply teachers – and the recruitment firms that partner with them – face an uncertain future as schools across the UK close their doors to pupils. That is the warning from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

There are currently tens of thousands supply teachers working across the UK, with government figures revealing that £1.3 billion was spent by maintained schools and academies on supply staff in 2015/16 and 2016/17 alone.

Unlike permanent teaching staff, supply teachers who are out of work due to school closures are likely to be directed straight towards the benefits system.

According to guidance from teacher union, NASUWT, agency workers who have three months continuous service may be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) subject to earning a minimum of £118 per week if they are self-isolating. However, Supply teachers who are well but unable to work due to school closures could claim Universal Credit or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

Commenting on the current situation, Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Affairs at APSCo, said:

“School closures will have a major impact on our members working in the education sector and the supply teachers they partner with. With ministers suggesting that schools could be closed until September, there is no end in sight – and for the supply staff that schools heavily rely on in usual circumstances, if there is no work then there is no pay.

“Education recruiters, meanwhile, will be in the unenviable position of deciding whether to terminate assignments with their clients and will also have to look at their own business continuity planning given this decision. There is also the issue of protecting the income of the flexible workforce given that other sectors are also being impacted. We hope that the package announced by The Chancellor to help businesses survive this crisis will be accessible soon and easily.”