Monthly Archives: July 2014

Millions of grandparents expect to have to help fund their grandchildren through university

Grandparents up skill your grandchildren with a soft skills course

Grandparents up skill your grandchildren with a soft skills course

Millions of grandparents to fund grand children’s university education as students continue to struggle with high tuition fees

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed  AVPT

Due to the rising cost of tuition, it has been reported that grandparents are helping to bail out their family by contributing to the rising cost of education for their grandchildren.

Around one in eight over 55s think they will need to contribute to fees of around £9,000 a year, with many dipping into their savings to help out their grandchildren when they go onto higher education.

Researchers found as people got older more expected to make a contribution, 10 per cent of those aged between 55 and 64 planning to help with funding, which increased to 15 per cent for the over 65s.

Around 637,456 students applied to university in 2013, compared with 618,247 in 2012, which suggests people could be using their families to help them pay fees.

Accessing quality courses online and on the move

Accessing quality courses online and on the move

Ucas reveals 4% increase in the number of applicants to UK universities despite slight decline in number of 18-year-olds according to the Guardian’s report in  January 2014

The study of over 55s by Key Retirement Solutions found as many as one in eight grandparents – equivalent to 1.7 million over-55s – expect to have to pay towards their grand children’s university fees.

“The numbers of grandparents providing financial assistance for university tuition is set to rocket from current levels as the implications of the maximum £9,000 a year tuition fees become clear.

Young people from the worst-off areas in England are now almost twice as likely to apply to university as they were 10 years ago, according to the Ucas data.

But academics and policy experts said the buoyant figures masked some unhealthy trends, with wide gaps in participation and a worrying fall in the number of young men applying to university compared with women.

“With finances for the over-55s under strain from falling annuity rates and historically low savings rates taking on extra commitments requires careful thought and planning.”

Why online education will woo the person with the purse strings?

The higher-education model of lecturing, cramming and examination has barely changed for centuries. Now, three disruptive waves are threatening to upend established ways of teaching and learning.

Around the world demand for retraining and continuing education is soaring among workers of all ages. Globalization and automation have shrunk the number of jobs requiring a middling level of education. Those workers with the means to do so have sought more education, in an attempt to stay ahead of the labour-demand curve. In America, higher-education enrollment by students aged 35 or older rose by 314,000 in the 1990s, but by 899,000 in the 2000s.

So demand for education will grow. Who will meet it? Universities face a new competitor in the form of massive open online courses.
These digitally-delivered courses, which teach students via the web or tablet apps, have big advantages over their established rivals.

With low startup costs and powerful economies of scale, online courses dramatically lower the price of learning and widen access to it, by removing the need for students to be taught at set times or places.

This could eventually be the saving grace for lots of grandparents.

As one of the disruptive effects of the job market is the requirement for more people to develop and have doing skills, entrepreneur skills and all round communication skills, looking at short expert courses could be the best gift a grand parent or parent could give to their child.
AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

Employee will either increase or decrease the profitability of your business.

Develop your interviewing skills

Develop your interviewing skills

When it comes to recruitment, I have made every mistake in the book…and then some!

It’s a fact of life that every employee will either make you money or cost you money.

If you want to avoid employing super depressives, psychopaths, nymphomaniacs, dishonest reprobates, cheats, scoundrels and lazy-good-for-nothings people, then here are a few nuggets I have picked up along the way.

So here’s the ten million dollar question – how do you identify the winners from the losers, the right people from the wrong people?

It’s not easy but it becomes a lot simpler when you realise there are only three categories of employee:

  1. People who work against your business.
  2. People who work for your business.
  3. People who work with your business.

People who work hard against your business have a few recognisable characteristics:

  • They are always happy to lend a listening ear to moaners and groaners.
  • They often have a hidden agenda.
  • They are lazy but they are good at making themselves look busy.
  • They sabotage success.
  • They undermine successful colleagues by gossiping behind their backs.
  • They tend to run in packs with others just like them.

Let’s now move onto the second category – employees who work for your business.

They just want to get paid for doing the job but their hearts are not in it.

Employees who work with the business are the only people you should be hiring.

Here are some of the characteristics of the men and women you should be recruiting:

  1. They are committed.
  2. They always go the extra mile.
  3. They feel responsible and hardworking.
  4. They are loyal and trustworthy.
  5. They love to get involved.
  6. They want you to win.

In short, they know that the more they put into their job, the more they will get out of life and the longer your business will stay in business. That’s what makes them extraordinary.

Next time you are recruiting be determined to hire only extraordinary people with an entrepreneurial spirit.

To ensure you identify these talented people, here are some questions to ask yourself about each candidate you interview:

  1. Will you enjoy working with this individual?
  2. Did they demonstrate an enthusiasm for your company and a passion for the job?
  3. Will they be dedicated to working shoulder-to-shoulder with you to help you achieve your goals?
  4. Will they inspire their colleagues and even you?
  5. Will they be compatible with your team?
  6. Do they have the character to do what it takes?
  7. Will they be loyal through thick & thin?
  8. Will your customers and clients like them?
  9. Will they be industrious and hard working?
  10. Will they be ambitious for the businesses success?

If you can put a tick in at least nine boxes, you may have found yourself the perfect employee.

There is, however, one more question you might want to ask yourself: “Could they be better than me?”

Don’t be afraid of the question or the answer because if they are

If the answer is yes – hire them immediately!

For more interesting releases from Diane Shawe visit http://www.academyexpresscourse.com

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Diane Shawe ebooks and publication dianeshawe.org

Innovation is alive and kicking as FSB 2014 London Business Awards announced

Express training courses diane shawe finalist

Express training courses diane shawe finalist

Innovation is alive and kicking in London, according to the organisers of this year’s FSB London Business Awards, who have just announced the finalists.

The shortlist includes Express training courses who provides soft skills courses to people looking to get a job, get a promotion or start a business by them training on their mobile devices.  Rockflower Ltd, who sell fresh flowers from kiosks and vending machines, Mum2mum market Ltd where mums sell nearly new baby and children’s clothes to other mothers and Cyclehoop, award-winning designers and architects who are changing the face of indoor and outdoor cycle parking.

Steve Warwick, London regional chairman of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) said: “The four businesses we’ve picked out here are just the tip of the London innovation iceberg. We’ve been blown away by the ingenuity and innovation shown by this year’s finalists.

“Yet again London’s small businesses have shown that they are leading the way in finding new markets and providing services and products that customers didn’t even know they wanted! We’re all looking forward to the awards final, which is set to be a celebration of London business success.”

The overall winner as well as the category winners will be announced at the final at the plush Hotel Pullman London St Pancras, on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

The full shortlist is:

Busisess Innovation Award

Geeks Ltd

Express Training Courses (AVPT Ltd

Mum2mum market Ltd

Orange Money Ltd

MarketInvoice

Best New Business

Advantage Business Partnerships Ltd

GATE8 Luggage

IDEX Consulting (London) LLP

My TutorWeb

Rockflower Ltd

Service Excellence

Cafe Buzz

Edward James London Aveda Salon & Spa

FM Cosmetics UK Ltd

MSH Wellbeing

RIG Locums Limited

Training and Development

Myers & Co Accountants Limited

RIG Locums Limited

Edward James London Aveda Salon & Spa

Optimity Limited

Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salons and Spas

Young Person of the Year

Daryl Woodhouse, Advantage Business Partnerships Ltd

Kerry Cannadine, Chic Dreams

Louise Clarke, Dot Net Solutions

Katie Newman, Havering Beauty Academy

Shubber Raja, Medilink Consulting Limited

Enterprising Business

GeoLytix

Cyclehoop Ltd

Promo2u

Wildwash

Medilink Consulting Limited

Merton Council

Geeks Ltd

Cannizaro House

Flying Fantastic

MaByLand

Mum2mum market Ltd

Enfield Business of the Year

Love Your DoorStep Ltd

Tessa Stevens health & Beauty Clinic

Employee of the Year

Tracey Reece, Balance Recruitment Ltd

Richard Walker-Taylor, Burns Carlton Ltd

Real Life Entrepreneur

Daryl Woodhouse, Advantage Business Partnerships Ltd

Anita Sieniuc, FM Cosmetics UK Ltd

Gina Conway, Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salons and Spas

Lars Andersen, My Nametags Ltd

Cath Harrop, Mum2mum market Ltd

Express courses online courses

Could you Access match funding up to £2,000 for every director and senior manager?

leadership and management training by short courses expert

leadership and management training by short courses expert

GrowthAccelerator is a premium service that helps England’s brightest growing businesses achieve their ambitions with rapid, sustainable growth. It’s a partnership between private enterprise and the UK government. And it’s affordable.


GrowthAccelerator’s network of world-class growth experts work side by side with leaders of high-growth potential small and medium-sized businesses to provide them with the know-how and ability to achieve sustainable growth. The service helps business leaders discover the real issues that could be holding their businesses back, define the right growth plan and open doors to world class business experts and networks.

What will my business get from GrowthAccelerator?

Each Growth Managers and coaches will help you:

  • Appreciate your true potential for growth and set achievable goals
  • Attract investment by developing your funding proposition and introducing you to funder – identify and overcome the barriers holding you back
  • Stimulate product development, commercialise your innovation and motivate your employees
  • Energise your plans with one-to-one leadership and management advice
  • Connect with business experts and networks to achieve insight and build relationships

About Growth Coaches:

  • Have proven track records in helping small and medium-sized companies accelerate and sustain their growth, in every size, region and sector
  • Have made the same journey themselves so they know what it’s like to fight for success.
  • Know when to talk, when to listen, and how to lead you to ideas that will transform your business.

Leadership and Management

A great leader can make a business thrive. But having a whole team of great leaders could propel your business into rapid growth.

If investment in your leadership team is crucial to growing your business, GrowthAccelerator, with Government backing, can make a financial contribution that makes your commitment even more worthwhile – invest in your team and GrowthAccelerator will too.

This is where the Academy of Vocational & Professional Training can help as one of the registered training providers we can deliver your Leadership and Management training.

Access match funding up to £2,000 for every director and senior manager

To develop and empower your leadership team during your next drive for business growth, GrowthAccelerator offers match funding of up to £2,000 for every senior manager involved in the strategic direction of the business, to undertake leadership and management training recommended for your business.

Different directors and senior managers will be able to take different types of leadership and management training and you’ll be able to apply for training once you are signed up to GrowthAccelerator and have paid your invoice – with the proviso that training begins within 90 days of match funding being approved.

Any leadership and development training that you need will be given alongside other core workshops, masterclasses and coaching that your Growth Manager recommends in your growth plan. GrowthAccelerator has a team of Leadership and Management Specialists who will recommend the best training for your business needs.

Training eligible for match funding through GrowthAccelerator will fall under the following key areas:

  • Developing an effective personal leadership and management style
  • Leading and managing high performance
  • Planning and developing an effective organisation
  • Creating a joint enterprise culture
  • Sustaining growth and continuous improvement
  • Embedding a culture of innovation
  • New market entry

Is your business eligible?  

If your business is registered in England, has fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £40m contact us on 0203 551 2621.

What do you have to invest?

This is done through the official GrowthAccelerator Managers. GrowthAccelerator is a partnership between private enterprise and government which means we can keep the service affordable. Because Government is investing with you in the growth of your business, the cost to you is significantly reduced. Your investment in GrowthAccelerator will reflect the size of your business:

Micro and start-up businesses (1 to 4 employees) – £600 + VAT

Small businesses (4 to 49 employees) – £1,500 + VAT

Medium-sized companies (50 to 249 employees) – £3,000 + VAT

source Main growthacceleraor website

If you would like to read about the GrowthAccelerator programme and what it has helped businesses achieve in its first year of operation please click here.


You will need to talk to a growth accelerator Manager initially in order for them to process your application and suitability. Call us and we will refer you to our Growth Accelerator Manager.