The 'Moving The Nation: Working Together To Get More People Active' event in Craigavon aimed to bring together a number of key experts and agencies to share information relevant to the promotion of physical activity and a healthier lifestyle among the local population, during this summer of sport.
SkillsActive Northern Ireland manager Siobhan Weir (pictured with other delegates) says: “This event was an excellent example of private and public sector organisations coming together to explore how they can all work better together to stop the obesity epidemic. This is a particular issue for NI where one in five adults classified as obese.”
Health Minister Edwin Poots told the conference: “All Departments, agencies, groups and individuals have a responsibility to ensure that the decisions which are made and the actions taken, work in the best interests of the population of Northern Ireland. We cannot work in isolation. Physical activity is a vital part of maintaining and promoting good personal health. Being active is as important as having a nutritious diet when it comes to helping maintain a healthy weight. Participating in physical activity, either for sport or a leisure activity, such as walking or gardening, can also help promote good mental health and wellbeing.”
Dr Hassan from the Ulster Sports Academy discussed the defining features of the Games, a critical interpretation of the much-vaunted concept of ‘legacy’ and the political implication of hosting the summer Olympics in the UK for the first time in over 60 years.
Dr Conor McClean spoke about modern trends in public health such as the increase in chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. The development of these conditions is, in many cases, linked to lifestyle factors as poor diet and physical inactivity.
Conference organiser, Richie Smith of Unify Global Sport, an organisation specialising in community sport festivals, added: “Increased levels of physical activity of the population will not only relieve the financial burden on the health service, but it will also increase and maximise productivity and the performance of Northern Ireland’s workforce. In this Olympic year we have a great opportunity to encourage more people to engage in physical exercise which will enhance the local economy and the life of local communities.”
The two day WorldHost customer service training is developed by NITB and People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism, and designed for people working in any industry where the quality of front-line customer service is key to business success.
If you are currently employed in a private organisation in Northern Ireland within the tourism sector, then the cost of WorldHost customer service package could be as little as £20. This is thanks to funding from the Department for Employment in Learning in Northern Ireland negotiated by SkillsActive Northern Ireland.
The programme includes:
The support is available to a limited number of applicants for training received until the end of March 2012.
The Register of Regulated Qualifications, OfQual, approved the Level 3 Diploma in Performance Coaching for Gaelic Sports in late 2011. The course will be delivered through the Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI).
SkillsActive manager for Northern Ireland Siobhan Weir says she worked closely with the GAA and OCN NI to achieve the result.
“The formal accreditation of this course is an excellent achievement for Ulster GAA. Accreditation benefits everyone, from the learner to the wider sporting industry, and this is a great example of a work-based course evolving to become a nationally approved qualification.
“Although the course been developed purely for the NI market, it has international potential, especially in London and USA where the GAA has a huge network.”
Ulster GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail says: “We have thousands of volunteers who give their time freely coaching in their clubs from U8s right up to Senior teams. Now the GAA wants to give back to those volunteers.”
Brendan Clarke, CEO of Open College Network NI says: “To be associated with this key development, and able to support it by accrediting such a distinctive and important activity as the GAA coaching programme, is a source of significant pride to the OCNNI.”
The GAA also agreed in principle to buy activepassports for their candidates.
Active leisure, learning and well-being employers in Northern Ireland stand to benefit from the work of a new initiative developed by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs).
Collaboration groups enable SSCs to collectively lead on partnership activities and common issues that affect more than one sector. SkillsActive has joined three of these ‘cluster groups’, including the Tourism and Hospitality Cluster group.
SkillsActive in Northern Ireland manager Siobhan Weir says many jobs in the Northern Ireland active leisure, learning and wellbeing benefit from the expanding tourism industry.
“The Tourism and Hospitality Cluster group provides an important opportunity for SSCs to collaborate to benefit employers across tourism related sectors in Northern Ireland.
“Our first job is to coordinate the roll-out of World Host, a world-class training programme designed to raise the standard and delivery of customer service, which is 90% funded by the Department for Employment & Learning (DELNI).
“We’ll then move on to developing joint applications for the Skills Collaborative Fund. This is a new fund that DELNI are currently developing and it will be loosely based on the Grant Innovation Fund (GIF) criteria. DELNI will announce details of the application process in January with the intention of projects beginning in April 2012.”
SkillsActive is also actively involved with other tourism related partners and forums in Northern Ireland, such as the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Destination Fermanagh and the Activity Tourism Forum.
English apprenticeship providers and employers acting on the behalf of apprentices will soon be able to request Apprenticeship certificates online.
The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils is now the Certifying Authority for England using the Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) system, following changes to the Apprenticeship certification system.
From 10 February 2012, apprenticeship providers / employers acting on the behalf of apprenticeswill be able to use the ACE online system to request certificates from sector skills bodies (SSBs) and sector skills councils (SSCs), such as SkillsActive.
SSBs and SSCs will then issue Apprenticeship certificates, providing the Apprenticeship framework requirements have been met.
• On 10 February 2012, SkillsActive will begin issuing Apprenticeship certificates via ACE
• SkillsActive will continue to issue certificates against claims submitted on the current paper based system until 31 March 2012.
• After 1 April 2012, SkillsActive will only accept requests from people registered on the ACE system
To request a certificate using the ACE system, please register on the ACE website. SkillsActive will issue a username and password to you within 5 – 7 working days.
If you request an Apprenticeship certificate using the ACE system, you will receive the new certificates with gold (higher apprenticeship), silver (advanced apprenticeship) or bronze (intermediate apprenticeship) foil seals. If you use the paper based system, you will receive the older version of the certificate.
• Apprenticeship certification claims submitted via the paper based system until 31 March 2012 – £25
• Apprenticeship certification claims submitted via ACE – £22
activepassports to link with ACE
SkillsActive is working to integrate activepassports into the ACE certification process.
Providers will soon be able to use activepassports to track a linked apprentice’s qualifications and the new statutory Guided Learning Hour requirement.
Following further development, it is hoped activepassport will populate ACE with the required certification information. This will enable providers to better track and manage their apprentices and, ultimately, help streamline the certification process.
Please keep an eye on your email inbox for further details, including activepassport package pricing.
The Skills Funding Agency has advised SkillsActive that the ERR awards will no longer have a value on Learning Aims Reference Application as stand alone qualifications. However, the Skills Funding Agency has calculated an enhanced amount of funding into the competence qualification's (NVQ) funding to cover the delivery of the ERR component of the framework in our sector.
The funding has not disappeared – it is still there but has been captured in the main component of the framework.
SkillsActive apologies if this change has caused concern. However, it was brought in without advance consultation. We hope this notice allays your concerns.
SkillsActive in Northern Ireland recently completed consultation on proposals for ‘Minimum Standards for Daycare and Childminding for Children under 12’ with Playwork partner PlayBoard NI and eight key Playwork employers in Northern Ireland.
SkillsActive’s Northern Ireland Manager Siobhan Weir says the consultation produced three positive outcomes:
Our National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure works with the best training providers in our sector to deliver cost-effective, quality assured training solutions.
SkillsActive helps improve business skills in our sector through a range of training initiatives and resources.
The ability to read, write and do maths opens up the number of career opportunities in the active leisure, learning and wellbeing industry. SkillsActive helps improve adult literacy, language and numeracy skills in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland through a range of training initiatives.
It takes special skills to lead a team - both on and off the field. Train your staff or improve your skills anywhere, at any time with SkillsActive’s selection of quick, simple and cost efficient online courses from quality training providers.
For information and documents relevant to Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland see Frameworks and Guidance for Northern Ireland.
SkillsActive manages the Hair and Beauty Apprenticeship frameworks in partnership with Habia, the sector body for the hair, beauty, nails and spa sector. For Hair and Beauty Apprenticeship frameworks see the HABIA website.
For more information on apprenticeships in Northern Ireland see the Department for Employment and Learning website.
This section contains information and documents relevant to Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland. All files are in PDF format.