learndirect Business – Release the Potential of your Workforce

Case Studies

How learndirect Business helped other businesses release their potential

Case Study 1: Mines Rescue

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A unique team of emergency workers are swapping mining tunnels for laptops and studying as part of their latest mission. Ten rescue workers from Mines Rescue, based in Mansfield, have embarked on a learndirect Learning through Work programme to develop their knowledge and skills.

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These are no ordinary students. Mines Rescue is a specialist organisation set up over 100 years ago to rescue miners in one of the most dangerous environments imaginable. The Coal Authority remains a key client and Mines Rescue attends all coal mining related hazards to ensure public safety. As well as Mines Rescue’s core work, the company has diversified into wider business areas including health and safety training and consultancy.

Mansfield based Mines Rescue has become one of the first businesses to take advantage of a University of Derby project funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) to identify and develop higher level knowledge and skills designed to meet the specific needs of many different businesses.

The Mines Rescue students all come from a mining background and have never studied at university before. The Certificate of Achievement course they are working towards is a higher education qualification – providing 30 credits – which can stand on its own or be a building block on the path to a diploma or degree. Each learning contract is designed with the organisation and individual learners in mind to ensure it delivers direct tangible performance benefits.

Mines Rescue Commercial Director Andrew Watson is himself a Learning through Work degree student. In consultation with Derby’s Learning through Work team, he has designed his own course of study – Mines Rescue Management – to look specifically at challenges and potential developments for the business.

“Our decision to become involved in this project is part of a process of continual improvement and change for this business,” said Andrew. “We have developed from being part of a nationalised industry to a private enterprise that relies on cooperation and motivated staff”.

“We carry out critical rescue work for many industries in addition to supporting the mining sector. This demands that our staff have at least two years experience of working underground. We have the best trained people for the most dangerous kinds of rescue work, and we train the fire service in specialist rescue skills.”

“Because Mines Rescue is a constantly changing, non-traditional business, tailor made training that meets the needs of our business is a viable and extremely worthwhile investment.”

Case Study 2: Susan Emmerson – Aimeric

Susan Emmerson thumbnail photoSusan Emmerson believes that staff training is vital to the success of a business and, with ten years experience as a learning analyst, she recently decided to set up her own business to encourage organisations to make the most of their training budget and in turn, increase productivity. Susan began Aimeric in November 2006 and, whilst she felt confident in advising businesses on their training options, she felt she needed some personal training in setting up her own business, negotiating new business and marketing her venture.

Susan explains: “When I decided to set up my own business I wanted to feel confident in negotiating new business with potential clients and in the marketing techniques I would need to make Aimeric a success. As I was still working part time in my old job, I had no spare time to attend training courses to enable me to expand my knowledge – online training seemed like the perfect solution. I purchased the Negotiating Strategies and Marketing eCourses from learndirect Business and they both allowed me to fit the training around my working day. I could divide the courses into bite-sized chunks doing a couple of hours a night or over the weekend. The Negotiating Strategies training was particularly helpful as it gave useful tips on how to deal with unfamiliar situations when setting up a new business including negotiating with a variety of professional individuals and networking – both areas in which I had little previous experience.”

“The courses improved my self-confidence dramatically,” Susan continued, “using the skills I have developed from the eCourses and building on what I have learnt has finally given me the push I needed to leave my job and put all my efforts into expanding my business.”

Susan is confident that the course has had a 20% return on investment and she envisages this increasing to at least 50% in the next four months as she goes out and talks to more potential clients. She has also purchased the learndirect Business Apprentice DVD series, a series of DVD ROM courses based on the award winning TV series covering topics that are vital to business success, such as leadership and management, selling, pitching and presenting.

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