Listening on the radio to people who have been made redundant, some talk about emigrating as if they’ve no other choices.
Sometime it appears they’ve made the choice to emigrate rather than retrain. Yet retraining is often a very viable option.
For example, many electricians being made redundant could consider taking up the FAS Loughlinstown course on intelligent wiring. Intelligent wiring is where you wire up a building as it’s being built, so you can put electrical appliances or computer equipment anywhere. Does away with the need for trailing cables. There’s not many people in this line of business and there’s a huge demand for buildings which are “intelligently wired”.
Early in 2009, all residential buildings being sold will require an energy assessment. Again not many people are trained as energy assessors, so this is a good opportunity for any one with a building background or DIY interest to retrain for a new career.
Employers and employees need to realise constant training is now needed. Compared to other countries we’re quite poor in our approach to training. According to a recent report the ratio of hours spent in job related training and workplace initiatives in Ireland was just 12% compared to the OECD average of 25%. This attitude shows, for example, many companies are failing to fully exploit information technology according to a recent PWC report. (Can’t find the link on the PWC web site)
Working with some clients recently, I was surprised to realise their computer skills were quite limited. This is making their working lives difficult as they are unable to access job related information quickly and must keep searching through paper files even though the information is on a computer system.
I needed to get a job done quickly, but when I rang potential suppliers, they had no voicemail- simply a “please ring back later message” or worse the phone simply rang out. And no, I did not ring back later, simply went to the next supplier.
These days not being able to use technology in the workplace is like not being able to drive. You can get by without driving, but it makes life a lot more difficult and frustrating.
The same applies to technology such as computers and phones. From personal use, such as paying your motor tax on the internet, to getting the work done faster, the ability to use technology are essential. Obviously if you’re reading this your’re probably internet savvy but are you able to
1. Use all the basic functions of a word processor
2. Use all the basic functions of a spreadsheet
3. Understand about saving documents in directories and sub directories
4. Use the search function in all the programs you use
5. Confidently figure out how to solve a problem when you get stuck on a computer task
6. Set up and change the voicemail on your phone
7. Use teleconferencing(meetings held over the phone)
8. If you’re job hunting, able to put your profile up on www.linkedin.com or job boards
If you can’t do all the above, then you may be limiting your productivity in the job. Even on building sites, I’ve noticed they’ve started using handheld scanners so it’s not just office based jobs where PC literacy is required.
The European Computer Driving licence (ECDL) is the driving licence of computer proficiency, whilst this is not essential, being able to use a computer confidently is. So consider taking a course if you’re not confident on a computer, or just spend time playing around on the computer.
If you don’t have a computer at home, your local library provides free access usually for an hour at a time. Or you can win your own notebook PC by taking just takes just a few minutes to complete am Aontas, the Irish adult education survey on your attitude to adult education, here
or on nightcourses from the 10th to the 27th October.
All entrants to the survey will be entered for a free draw for a notebook computer once they leave their details.
So have you started thinking about training, if you’re worried about job security?
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