Wekiva grad a first round choice in Major League Baseball draft

first_imgShare on Facebook Tweet on Twitter TAGSLogan GilbertSeattle MarinersStetson Universitywekiva high school Previous articleApopka Burglary ReportNext articleWhy you should start colorectal screenings sooner Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Please enter your name here Please enter your comment! You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 From MLB.comLogan Gilbert, a standout pitcher for Wekiva High School, became the highest pick ever out of Stetson University when the Mariners grabbed him with the 14th selection in the first round of Monday’s MLB Draft.The 21-year-old junior went 11-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 15 starts for Stetson this year, with 157 strikeouts and 23 walks in 107 innings and was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year.Logan Gilbert“Logan is a polished, accomplished college pitcher,” said Scott Hunter, the Mariners director of amateur scouting. “He is a strikeout pitcher who controls the zone and wins, as evidenced by his 21-1 mark over the past two years. This is a player we felt we had no chance at, coming out of the summer. We are truly excited to add this type of talent to our organization.”Over three seasons at Stetson, the 6-foot-6, 225-pounder posted a 23-2 record with a 2.38 ERA in 51 games, including 32 starts.Stetson is currently 47-11 on the season and ranked #11 in the nation after an 11-1 victory over Oklahoma State in the NCAA tournament regional finals. They will face North Carolina in the super regionals (final 16) with the winner of the best of three series heading to the College World Series.Gilbert is majoring in business systems and analytics at Stetson.The Mariners hadn’t drafted a pitcher in the first round since 2011 when they took Virginia’s Danny Hultzen with the second overall pick. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replylast_img read more

Credit union foundation supports African women

first_img  18 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Ireland Credit union foundation supports African women Irish credit unions are providing ‚€100,000 this year to support a charity that helps Ethiopian women living in poverty to become self-sufficient. The Credit Union Foundation announced last week that it was providing the money to Self Help, an Irish development agency that helps people in eastern Africa.Self Help will use the money to develop cooperatives in Ethiopia that allow local women to save and borrow money. Self Help runs about 75 cooperatives in Ethiopia with over 9,000 members.”The cooperatives allow poor women to access credit, said George Jacob, communications manager with Self Help. Advertisement AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThiscenter_img The Foundation was established by the Irish League of Credit Unions. The main source of funding is contributions from the member credit unions, supplemented in some cases by co-funding from donor agencies. The objective is to relieve poverty in developing countries by supporting credit unions, their representative bodies and other cooperative type organisations through the provision of financial and technical assistance.Jacob said that one of the most popular ways for local women to raise money in Ethiopia was to buy and rear a calf, which was then sold for a profit.”The money raised allows them to do this. It can also help women to have enough money to grow cabbages and alternative crops, or to set up a small shop that sells eggs and other goods.” Howard Lake | 19 March 2007 | News About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

Milošević trial exposed U.S.-NATO aggression against Yugoslavia

first_imgFew people in the United States, even those in the movement that opposes U.S. imperialist aggression, remember that March 11 is the 15th anniversary of the death of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević. He had been unjustly incarcerated in Scheveningen prison in The Hague, Netherlands.For movement activists, a review of the attempt to demonize Milošević should illuminate yet another effort by the oppressor class to weaken and divide resistance against its rule. The imperialists have applied similar demonization campaigns against Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and others. And they continue today against Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and other leaders of whichever country they aim to crush.A contemporary development proves how important is this struggle for truth: In Serbia, those forces that collaborate with imperialism are still trying to demonize the Yugoslav leader.Conference in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, March 2019, exposes NATO’s bombing of Yugoslav children. Credit: Milosevic.coAt the time of his death in 2006, Milošević was winning his defense against charges that the combined U.S.-NATO powers brought against him under cover of a United Nations-sponsored court – the International Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia.The NATO powers used the UN to set up the ICTY as a political instrument to punish anyone in the Balkans who resisted an imperialist takeover of the region. It brought charges against Milošević in the midst of the U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in May of 1999, obviously to bring additional pressure on the Yugoslav leadership to submit.NATO waged 10-year war on YugoslaviaFrom 1990 to 1999, the NATO powers — with German and U.S. imperialism in the lead — took every step to weaken and destroy Yugoslavia.From the start, the West German government in Berlin, which had just annexed the socialist German Democratic Republic, aided reactionary separatist forces in each republic of the multinational socialist federation of Yugoslavia. This gave rise to wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, along with separating Slovenia and Macedonia from the rest of Yugoslavia.Since Germany had the closest contacts with the Croatian and Bosnian reactionaries and the largest economic interests in the region, this initiative put German imperialism in the lead of seizing influence in the Balkans.Washington, wanting to regain hegemony over Berlin and the other NATO powers, then pushed the conflict toward open war, where the Pentagon’s preeminent place in destructive power would predominate. As a pretext, the U.S. used a battle provoked by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army in the town of Račak in the Kosovo province of Serbia on Jan. 15, 1999. Claiming it was a massacre, the Bill Clinton administration played up the need for “humanitarian intervention.”The U.S. and NATO powers thereby succeeded, with guns and money, in breaking up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into a half-dozen weak ministates, thus overthrowing the last independent government in Eastern Europe. They succeeded even in confusing many progressives in the West — the imperialist countries — with a well-planned and executed offensive of lies that blamed every problem in the Balkans on Serbia and on Milošević himself.Their propaganda offensive obscured the interference, subversion and “divide and conquer” tactics practiced by German and U.S. imperialism, in connivance with neo-fascist groupings in the republics of Croatia and Bosnia and in Serbia’s Kosovo province.The prosecution failsThe ICTY failed miserably when it tried to prove to the world that Slobodan Milošević was guilty of any of the crimes committed against the people of the Balkans in the 1990s.Milošević put forward thousands of pages of text to answer the 500,000 pages of so-called evidence against him. Failing to prove their case, the ICTY’s attempt would have ended in defeat and disgrace for the imperialists had Milošević not died.The International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milošević was established in Belgrade and Berlin on March 25, 2001. In honor of the 80th anniversary of his birth, the committee intends to resist the continuing attempt to demonize the late Yugoslav leader. Co-chairpersons Klaus Hartmann and Vladimir Kršljanin invite “each of its members to take the initiative, and at least send us their text, commentary, memoir and/or video on Milošević’s activities or the relevance and historical meaning of his and our struggle.” Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, now 93, had been an active co-chairperson when the defense committee was formed.See milosevic.co for more information.Catalinotto, a managing editor of Workers World newspaper, co-edited the 2001 book “Hidden Agenda: U.S./NATO Takeover of Yugoslavia” with Sara Flounders of the International Action Center. The first chapter, written by Milošević, summarizes the defense of his country. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Donegal beef farmers facing total wipeout, warn IFA

first_img Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Donegal beef farmers facing total wipeout, warn IFA Google+ Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA WhatsApp Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Twitter The Donegal IFA is warning that the beef industry locally is facing a total wipe out unless the Government intervenes. It comes as the Irish Farmers Journal analysis show that beef prices are down 40 cent per kilo over the last five years.Donegal IFA Livestock Chairman Frank McClain says farmers in the county are enduring their own financial crisis in tandem with the pandemic.He says every effort is being made in bid to get all relevant bodies to intervene:Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/frankbdfdsdfeef1pm-2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.center_img Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Google+ Pinterest AudioHomepage BannerNews Facebook Pinterest Facebook By News Highland – April 16, 2020 Twitter Previous articleFears for Donegal Domestic abuse victims during crisisNext articleDonegal Airport sees increase in passenger numbers News Highland last_img read more

Doctor who prescribed ‘massive quantities of opioids’ charged with murder

first_imgDNY59/iStockBy AARON KATERSKY, ABC News(NEW YORK) — In the first case of its kind in New York, a Long Island doctor has been charged with murder for prescription practices that led to the deaths of five patients between 2016 and 2018.Dr. George Blatti ignored repeated warnings and prescribed “massive quantities of opioids” and other drugs that killed five patients and endangered the lives of six others, prosecutors said Thursday.Blatti is the first doctor charged in New York with depraved indifference murder for prescription abuses.“This doctor’s prescription pad was as lethal as any murder weapon,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.“We allege that Dr. Blatti recklessly disregarded the law, his ethical obligations as a doctor, and the pleas of his patients’ family members and prescribed massive quantities of dangerous drugs to victims in the throes of addiction, ultimately killing five patients who entrusted him with their care,” Singas added.Blatti, 75, was previously arrested in 2019 and arraigned Thursday on the new depraved indifference murder counts as well as reckless endangerment counts. He pleaded not guilty and surrendered to authorities.Investigators from the Nassau County Police Department tied a number of 2018 overdoses to “an inordinate number of prescriptions” for opioids written by the same physician, Dr. Blatti.He was a general practitioner with no specialized training or accreditation in pain management. He maintained an office in a Franklin Square location that was formerly a Radio Shack. The business still had a Radio Shack sign and merchandise racks on the walls.Prosecutors said Blatti also met customers in a hotel parking lot and a Dunkin’ Donuts in Rockville Centre. Addicts went to him with their requests for controlled medications and Blatti allegedly prescribed drugs with no medical history review or exam, in exchange for cash, according to prosecutors.In some cases, he allegedly prescribed opioid painkillers at patients’ request to individuals he had never met or spoken to, prosecutors said.“This is a tragic story of lives lost at the hands of someone entrusted to save lives,” DEA special agent in charge, Ray Donovan, said. “This defendant’s alleged conduct was unconscionable.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Taking stock

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Taking stockOn 1 Apr 2000 in Clinical governance, Personnel Today Occupational health advisers need to audit their own services before theiremployers do it for them. This was the message from DoH chief nursing officerSarah Mullally last month at the launch of guidance Occupational Health Audit.So how do OH nurses approach the task? We set out an extract from theguidelines, written by a working party from the RCN Occupational HealthManagers’ Forum and the RCN Society of Occupational Health Nursing, and look attwo cases of how OH nurses have met their goals. By Fiona Clapson, AnneKennaugh, Margaret Mercer and Carole Miller Audit is good practice and is carried out in many areas withinorganisations. It ensures activities meet set standards and targets. Auditing OHservices is the same as auditing any other area of an organisation. Accordingto Widtfeldt1, OH nurses must be part of the trend in measuring the quality ofproducts and services they deliver. Further research2 states that audit is a mechanism for continuousimprovement in which four factors are necessary. These are awareness of theneed for improvement; a willingness to improve, measurements and a product Standards need to be set for OH practice and should be evidence-based.Recent research by Dr Stuart Whitaker3 highlights the lack of consistency inestablishing standards, guidelines and auditing within occupational health.Audit provides ways of measuring effectiveness of actions against a standard. Clinical effectiveness is essential for quality OH nursing services. Thismeans using the best available research-based knowledge and clinical expertiseto achieve optimum processes and outcomes of OH intervention for employers andemployees. Audit can be used to look at a specific activity in OH, or to focus on thewhole range of OH services to see if they are meeting the business needs of anorganisation. It can be done as self-audit – for example, periodic auditing ofrecord keeping – or by peer review. It can also be done through an externalaudit by outside professionals which Macdonald1 considers the toughest form ofaudit. Audit benefits OH nurses, the business and customers. It can be part ofpersonal professional development for the nurse, it is a requirement ofbusiness-wide standards for excellence and it improves the quality of serviceto customers. OH services vary enormously in what they offer businesses and there is nouniform way of auditing them. When planning an audit, it is important torecognise the desired outcome – different types of audit will produce differentbenefits. Health and safety Many organisations have formal health and safety auditing systems in place.The organisation’s safety adviser typically oversees these, but often OHspecialists are closely involved. They need to work with safety advisers, asmany areas require an integrated approach. Key health and safety areas involving OH staff include: – hazard identification – risk assessment – risk control measures – health surveillance – reporting and recording procedures – management of first aid – policy writing – standard setting, procedure writing – legislative compliance. First steps It is possible to audit one or more separate activities within the service,either as a discrete function, or as a process within the larger organisation. For an OH nurse’s first audit, it may be best to start with a specificdepartment activity. The nurse can use defined standards and criteria tomeasure against and use the results to make an action plan for improvement.Once improvement is shown objectively, the benefits of auditing can behighlighted. At the other end of the spectrum, it is possible to audit all aspects of OHwithin an organisation. Agius4 states those issues of quality and audit mustaddress occupational health throughout the whole organisation and not merelywithin the service. There are many models that can be used for this approach. This guide focuseson one model5 which looks at the structure, the processes and the outcomes ofhealth care. This is used extensively in health care settings and is the modeladvocated by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine in the book Quality and auditin occupational health6. Audit structure It is possible to audit each section in isolation or to combine them toaudit all aspects of OH in an organisation. The occupational health structure includes the resources, human and materialthat are in place to allow OH to function effectively. These include having thebudget, equipment, clinical and information technology facilities, referencematerials, books, journals and databases and policies Occupational health processes include all the steps that OH nurses andmanagement must do to practise effectively. The emphasis must be on auditingthe whole sequence. Processes include: pre-employment screening, pre-placementscreening, health surveillance, statutory screening, management referrals toOH, ethics and confidentiality and sickness absence management. The audit will determine whether the process meets the standards. For example,clinical audit is a process audit. Clinical procedures that can be auditedinclude: lung function testing, audiometry and blood pressure testing Occupational outcomes are probably the most difficult area to evaluate and audit.It involves measuring the results – that is the success of OH interventions –looking at whether the health of employees is improved. Outcome measuresinclude: sickness absence trends, work related ill-health and accidentincidence trends, civil claims experience, health needs assessment, comparisonsof serial general health questionnaires and success of health promotioninitiatives. Baseline audit This approach may be used when a new company is purchased by anorganisation, or an OH provider takes on a new contract. It can involve auditing existing facilities, equipment, resources andpolicies in relation to the health risks of the organisation. Results can beused to develop targets and objectives to improve the service. A date can beset to assess future progress against the plan. Where no OH service exists, a baseline audit can determine what level ofservice is appropriate. Customer satisfaction audit Such an audit can highlight differences between the expectations andpriorities of customers and OH staff. OH customers may include employers, employees and others involved in theprocess. Customers can be questioned to see whether the OH service is meetingtheir needs. The questions should relate to the customers and theirexpectations from the service. For example, line managers expect to receive aprompt response when they refer someone to OH. The standard may be part of aservice level agreement, which sets a time for responses. This can producequantitative measurements. Other service delivery standards may elicitqualitative measurements such as line manager’s opinions on the quality of thereports. Employees can be asked about waiting time for appointments, speed of resultsfor tests, confidentiality and privacy and professional approach. Cost audit OH nurses must periodically review costs and benefits of the services theyprovide. This can help focus activities, prioritise actions and justify whethermore resources are needed. Questions include: why is this activity done? Whatdoes it cost in OH time, employee time and money? What improvements can bemade? Can it be done more effectively? What are the benefits to theorganisation and to the business? OH advisers involved in other areas that have financial implications for anorganisation, for example sickness absence management or ill-health retirement,can audit these areas to ensure standards are met. These guidelines do not provide all the answers to auditing OH services, butintend to stimulate practitioners to appreciate the value of setting standards.Audit is an important measuring device for occupational health and is essentialfor continuous development of services. References 1 Widtfeldt AK, 1992, Quality and Quality Improvement in Occupational HealthNursing. AAOHN Journal, Vol 40, No 7, pp326-332 2 MacDonald EB, 1992, Audit and Quality in Occupational Health, OccupationalMedicine, Vol 42, pp7-11 3 Whitaker S,1999, Bridging the Theory-Practice Gap. RCN Society ofOccupational Health Nursing, Spring 1999 4 Agius R,1997, Quality and Audit in Occupational Health.www.med.ed.ac/new/quality.htm 5 Donabedian A and Rosenfield LS,1968, Criteria and Standards for QualityAssessment and Monitoring Quarterly Bulletin Vol 12 pp99-108 6 Faculty of Occupational Medicine,1995, Quality and audit in occupationalhealth London: Royal College of Physicians Fiona Clapson is chief nursing officer at BT, Anne Kennaugh is operationsdirector, Marsh Health, Margaret Mercer is OH adviser at Unilever and CaroleMiller is regional OH manager for Cheviot Artus Occupational Health Audit – a Practical Guide for Occupational HealthNurses is available from the Royal College of Nursing on 020-7409 3333 or RCNDirect on 0345 726100 Putting audit into practice: Unilever UKWhy? Unilever UK has audited its occupational health services since1993. It was initiated after safety professionals, as part of health and safetyaudits, started auditing its OH departments. The occupational health moduleused did not give any indication of the quality of OH, but instead focused onfirst aid and occupational hygiene, so it was decided to write an internalaudit.The aim The Occupational Health Audit provides a structured processfor reviewing OH services and management systems on company sites. The aim isto allow continuous improvements to be made to the business.How? The evidence for the standards we use stem from: mandatorylegislative requirements, professional standards – UKCC, GMC, HSE, DoH, Facultyof Occupational Medicine, RCN and industry specific groups – and company healthand safety standards.Key elements of the audit include a workplace visit, survey of OH facilitiesand equipment, review of documentation, customer evaluation and feedback ofinformation.At the end of the audit, there is an informal feedback to management and OHstaff. The auditors then forward a written report. The recommendations enablethe site to produce an action plan to maintain or improve standards.The audit has not been a static process. Various changes have beenincorporated over the years and when the sites start to score very high scoresthen we have to raise the standards and hence we have continuous improvement.At present we are reviewing the audit process to include it under the umbrellaof clinical governance.Who? A senior OH nurse adviser and a senior OH physician conduct theaudit. It takes at least a full day and includes interviews with OH staff, sitemanagement, safety advisors and users of the service.Results The audit has been a very successful tool for raising theprofile of occupational health at senior level on sites. All site generalmanagers tend to be competitive and want their sites to have the bestoccupational health department. At the end of the day, they want a score and ifit is not good they want to know why. This is a powerful method to improve OH provision on-site.Margaret Mercer is Unilever’s senior nursing adviser UK Assessment following restructureAn organisation had benefited from a limited, in-house occupational healthservice for more than 20 years. It had moved forward during the last threeyears, since the appointment of a principal nursing adviser. Due to market pressures, production processes within the organisation wereredefined, as were employee skills. With decentralisation, there were increasedpressures to reduce staff numbers and costs. Corporate results showed mixedperformance from the divisions. The historically paternalistic and caringculture of the company was under threat from recent performance figures,downsizing, reorganisation and the appointment of a new finance director, witha ruthless remit to reduce costs.OH overhaulSoon after the nursing adviser was appointed, she decided to introduce someformal performance measurement of the occupational health service operationsfor management. In agreement with her manager, she decided upon four keyperformance indicators:– Review of OH services – delivery/range and frequency– Sickness absence – incidence of illness and disease– Accident rates– Employee claims against the firmA number of new OH services and policies were introduced includingnon-statutory health screening for drivers, alcohol/drug and smoking policiesand stress management.Measuring valueThe need for audit was highlighted when, in the middle of the restructuringprocess, the nursing adviser was questioned about scope for improvement inservice delivery. OH may be offering good programmes with an eye to bestpractice, but does the customer value them? The first aim is to set objectives for the service, which tie into thebusiness aims. It will then be possible to demonstrate achievement of qualityand value for money – performance measures the service’s efficiency,effectiveness and economy.So in this very competitive environment, has attention been given to thespecific needs of the business, the audit process, customer service skills andthe perceived cost of the OH service?Carole Miller is regional manager of the Cheviot Artuslast_img read more

Standards come under scrutiny

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Standards come under scrutinyOn 1 Oct 2000 in Personnel Today The Training Standards Council does a thorough job of checking up on publicly-funded training. But many employers and providers feel that it is treading an increasingly fine line between onerous bureaucracy and helpful intervention. Elaine Essery looks at what happens when the TSC inspector callsIn its relatively short lifespan, the Training Standards Council has come to pride itself on taking a tough stance. Its recently published second annual report illustrates that the TSC plays a crucial role in driving up standards in work-based training funded by the Government.In the report chief inspector David Sherlock notes that employers training their own staff achieve the highest standards of provision, whereas many of the worst providers are small private training companies.Few would deny the need for a national inspectorate to curb unscrupulous providers, but does the TSC have the right focus or do its requirements place an undue burden on employers?”They do a thorough job, but my only reservation is the amount of time and resources it took for the small number of trainees we have,” said David Lee, senior engineering training officer at Corus (Construction and Industrial), formerly British Steel. A team of three inspectors spent four days looking at the training provision for 39 trainees. Gradings were satisfactory except for quality assurance, the generic area most often subject to reinspection. Corus learnt from the inspection, Lee said, and he has no argument with the standards providers are expected to reach. But he is mindful of the need to strike a balance between training excellence and commercial reality. “You sometimes wonder whether it’s worth it for the amount of money you’re being given to support your training. “We’re looking more and more at the bottom line and talking about value-added activity and you have to ask yourself whether it’s good for the business to be spending a lot of time on that.” He acknowledges the room for improvement. “In terms of quality assurance there are things we can do and will do to get to an acceptable level, but we aren’t going to the ends of the earth to satisfy them.”There is a similar view at Perkins Engines. It too fell down on quality assurance, appealed unsuccessfully then achieved a grade 3 on reinspection. Being awarded a grade 4 was a surprise. Perkins believes it was doing everything possible – a view endorsed by the local Tec. Tightening up procedureThe company’s response to the inspectors’ findings was to tighten up existing procedures and introduce others. Personnel officer Michelle Biggs, Perkins’ nominee for the inspection, admitted, “We sat down and wrote the procedures for a reason – primarily to achieve a satisfactory grading, but now we’ve introduced them it’s been quite helpful to us.”Reinspection proved to be a positive experience, but Biggs describes the first inspection as “very demanding with feedback meetings until eight o’clock every night. Part of the challenge was not knowing what to expect”. She estimated that staff attended over 10 days of workshops and seminars to help them conduct their self-assessment and prepare for the inspection. “We put a lot of effort into our self-assessment report and did what we thought was right, but were totally unsure whether it was what was wanted. As it turned out, our lead inspector told us it was one of the best reports he’d seen,” said Biggs. Yet there were discrepancies over gradings, some of which the inspection team increased and others which they lowered. In these areas the company would have welcomed more guidance as to how it might improve. “I understand that the TSC can’t tell us what to do, but even when we suggested other ways of doing things they wouldn’t comment, which was frustrating,” said Biggs.When it came to writing an action plan, Perkins was unaware at first that it needed to address not only weaknesses but strengths. The company was determined to deliver within the timescale, which meant lots of working lunches, as there was not enough time in the normal working day to get the job done. Biggs echoed Lee’s concerns about the expenditure of staff resources relative to value added. “I think most companies are in a culture these days where training Modern Apprentices is probably only 10 per cent of the job. When you don’t have the resources to have someone full-time doing the paperwork, you find you’re spending less time with the trainees and adding value to the business.”Precisely because Modern Apprentice training is just a small part of its business Kwik-Fit (GB) welcomed the TSC inspection. Training and development co-ordinator Paul Binks said, “You’ve got to look at an organisation like Kwik-Fit as an employer delivering Government-funded training. “The apprentice scheme we run is probably less than 5 per cent of the company’s business, so having the inspection tends to bring a focus to things that wasn’t there before and we’re reaping the benefits.” Kwik-Fit set out to be as critical as it could be of its own performance. By the time the inspection took place, many of the actions the company had taken as a result of its self-assessment were already paying dividends. “The good thing is that you can almost view the external inspection as a free consultation,” said Binks. “I can understand that some people may see it as a hindrance, but certainly from our point of view it was very worthwhile.”Stringent assessmentInspectors commended Kwik-Fit on its stringent assessment and upgraded the company in every area, but it will be reinspected because procedures for the management of training were not sufficiently embedded to merit a satisfactory grading. Rather than do the minimum, however, Kwik-Fit is embracing the continuous improvement philosophy. “Even now we’re looking at the actions to see how they can be tweaked to make them a little better. We’re quite looking forward to reinspection,” said Binks.For organisations whose raison d’être is training people, inspection is no less tough an experience. YMCA Training faced an enormous self-assessment task, which included assessing training in seven occupational areas and foundation for work, delivered by some 20 centres nationwide. Quality manager Diana Beardsell welcomed being assessed as a single entity, but found the experience uncomfortable at times. “I felt that the TSC had made the process as clear as possible and given as much information as they could, but the worry in your mind is, have you interpreted it correctly?” The organisation knew it had problems with quality assurance and inspectors agreed with its grade 4. It had already started work in that area and wanted changes to be introduced in a sustainable manner. There was no question of simply reacting to TSC requirements, and continuous improvement driven from within earned the organisation a much-better grade 2 on reinspection. “As a parent, a taxpayer and from the point of view of someone who’s been employed in the training sector for 15 years, I don’t have a problem with the standards,” Beardsell said. But she does have a problem with the mismatch between inspection criteria and the way contracts are written. “Output-related funding puts the focus on outcomes and not the process by which they’re achieved. Producing an outcome isn’t about ticking boxes and accrediting skills which already exist, it’s about upskilling people.”There is also some criticism that the TSC inspectors take a narrow focus. Training and development manager at GKN Westland Aerospace on the Isle of Wight, Liz West, would like to see a more broad-minded approach. “The entire focus is on Government-funded training, in other words the delivery and achievement of NVQs and Key Skills,” she said.History “We’ve got a very good history of training apprentices – we put technician apprentices through institutionally accredited schemes for engineers – but the inspectors were only concerned about the Modern Apprenticeship system, not the quality of training we can deliver.” West admits that at the time of the inspection staffing problems meant that the NVQ system was not fully established within the organisation but the action plan has provided a focus to meet the requirements.”The TSC is there for the right reasons, because we need to ensure all training providers are achieving a minimum standard for their young people,” West concedes. “It’s hard when you know you can deliver high quality training to meet the standards of the Engineering Council but it’s not in the remit of the TSC to recognise it.” For this reason GKN Westland Aerospace even considered pulling out of Government-funded schemes, but realised it would be difficult to recruit young people if it could not offer a national qualification and a recognised apprenticeship. Corus and Perkins have had similar considerations. “If value added activity means that if we don’t reach the standards we’re going to lose support for our training, we’ve got to make a decision one way or the other,” said Lee. Biggs commented, “It seems you have to do more and more for less and less money. A lot of companies have pulled out of funding and we’ve thought very carefully about it. We may be moving to taking on people after they’ve been trained.”If such views signal a trend among employers, it poses a serious threat to both the quality and quantity of work-based training. In April next year, the TSC will be replaced by the Adult Learning Inspectorate, still with the current chief inspector David Sherlock at the helm, and its remit will be even wider in terms of the publicly-funded training it will inspect. Many feel that it needs to strike a balance between onerous bureaucracy and helpful intervention if it is to safeguard the adequate provision of good training. How to make the gradeSince 1998,the Training Standards Council has been responsible for the independent inspection of Government-funded, work-based training in England. It draws its funding from the Department for Education and Employment and its chief inspector reports annually on the findings of the inspectorate.Training providers are required to produce an annual self-assessment report. This must examine strengths and weaknesses in each occupational area where training is provided, along with four generic areas: equal opportunities, trainee support, quality assurance, management of training, and present a grade for each.The gradings range from 1 for outstanding through to 5 for poor. Of the in- between gradings, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is less than satisfactory. Providers are inspected, with due notice, every four years by a team of TSC inspectors which examines the provision, awards its own grades and presents its own report for publication on the TSC web site www.tsc.gov.ukEach provider is then required to produce an action plan, detailing how the strengths and weaknesses identified will be addressed. Providers that have been awarded a grade 4 or 5 in any area are reinspected within a year. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Forget to provide an EPC? Then you could be added to rogue database under new proposals

first_imgThe government is proposing to introduce a new and shockingly wide range of offences that could lead to letting agents being included within its recently-introduced ‘rogue agents’ database.This is to include failing to sort out problems with rats and mice, permitting overcrowding, spam emailing customers, publishing misleading adverts, not being a member of a redress scheme, not providing an EPC to a tenant, not fitting fire alarms and offering homes to let that contain unsafe furniture.At the moment the database, which went live in April 2018, is only available to local authorities to check, and letting agents are only included if their actions are within a narrow range of the worst criminal activity and have resulted in a banning order.Letting agentsThe database has drawn ridicule rather than plaudits. In April it was revealed by The Guardian that only four entries had been made in the database as hard-pressed councils, who are tasked with populating the database, have struggled to find the resources to upload entries.Despite this, the government also wants to enable prospective and existing tenants to see the database.“The aim is to provide a more comprehensive range of information to assist existing and prospective tenants in making an informed choice about who to rent from,” the proposals say.Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, says: “We welcome government plans that would stop private renters unwittingly agreeing to rental contracts with rogue or criminal landlords.“Having access to a public database will offer renters a better chance of protecting themselves and their family. But, far and away the most important thing the government can do to tackle rogue landlords is make it impossible for them to evict tenants without a valid reason.”“We have long argued for the database to be publicly available, and we’re pleased the Government is listening,” says David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark.“It’s important that everyone has access to the database, particularly so agencies can vet potential employees, and landlords and tenants can be made aware if they’re using a banned agent.“We do however still believe legislation should be combined with the 1979 Estate Agents Act, as without combining the lists, there is a real danger that a banned sales agent could set up as a letting agent or vice versa which will do little to improve the standards or perception of the industry.“Particularly in light of RoPA, there needs to be a coordinated approach to regulation and enforcement moving forward. We also believe that access should be granted to professional bodies, such as ARLA Propertymark, so the industry can work together to eliminate rogue operators once and for all.”Read the full list here. July 22, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Forget to provide an EPC? Then you could be added to rogue database under new proposals previous nextRegulation & LawForget to provide an EPC? Then you could be added to rogue database under new proposalsNot providing an EPC or failing to deal with mice are among many reasons government is proposing to add a letting agent to its blacklist.Nigel Lewis22nd July 201901,422 Viewslast_img read more

News story: A service to remember Becky Dykes

first_imgInternational Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: In the weeks and months since Rebecca’s death, we have been deluged with supportive messages from her friends and colleagues, which have brought us a great deal of comfort. The incredible attendance at her memorial service today is testament to Rebecca’s passion, energy and enthusiasm, which touched everyone she encountered. Rebecca loved her work, and we want to ensure that it continues in her name. We are raising funds to establish the Rebecca Dykes Foundation, which will focus on humanitarian and stabilisation work for refugees and other vulnerable communities, with a particular emphasis on female empowerment and the prevention of violence against women. We are planning a series of fundraising events, and have secured a large number of places at the Great North Run, in September, for people to run for Rebecca. She loved running, and had completed two marathons in under four hours, with very little training. Help us to ensure that Rebecca’s legacy lives on. Please donate at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rebecca-j-dykes In a statement, the family said:center_img Rebecca provided the means for life for people she cared for – water to the people of Babliyeh, the means to grow produce for those in Adousiyeh, and peace and resilience for Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Her joy in her work was evident throughout her career, whether it was her elation on learning she was to be part of the stabilisation unit or her happiness just hours before her death knowing that she had secured the future of a project providing social stability to young people across Lebanon. Rebecca changed thousands of lives for the better, and if we judge her life on those achievements, she achieved a lifetime’s worth. Through the foundation her family have set up, which will focus on continuing Rebecca’s important humanitarian work with refugees, as well as empowering women and preventing violence against them, her impression on this world will be a lasting one.last_img read more

Cool summer could push U.S. coal consumption below 600 million tons—analysts

first_imgCool summer could push U.S. coal consumption below 600 million tons—analysts FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Industry analysts told S&P Global Market Intelligence a projected cooler summer across much of the U.S. could challenge an already struggling coal industry by muting domestic utility demand for the commodity. Coupled with weakening European and Asian thermal coal pricing, a cooler summer resulting in lower energy demand could weigh on the U.S. coal sector, the analysts said.“Every year is important for this industry,” said B. Riley FBR analyst Lucas Pipes. “I think it’s probably fair to say that given the weakness in the seaborne market at this time, stronger domestic demand is maybe more important than let’s say last year because if the export market should continue to stay challenging at current pricing levels, clearly producers have to look more towards the domestic market to balance their sales books.”Todd Crawford, senior meteorologist for IBM Business’ The Weather Company, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that he projects there will be about 9.5% less energy demand on average across the country year over year. Crawford said heavy rain and flooding in the Midwest this spring will likely result in a cooler summer, noting that temperatures in the region and into the Northwest have remained two or three degrees below average in recent weeks. He added the Southeast may have a slightly warmer summer than normal but not a significant increase.“As we look through June, we don’t see a lot of heat through the major population centers, energy demand centers, of the eastern U.S.,” Crawford said. “If there’s any big heat going on in June, it’s going to be of the [Pacific] Northwest.”Andy Blumenfeld, head of Market Analytics at Doyle Trading Consultants LLC, said some power demand data is already reflecting the effect of cooler temperatures heading into the summer. Though the U.S. had strong energy demand this winter, it has declined significantly more recently. Blumenfeld said he thinks coal burn will decrease significantly this year compared with 2018, dropping by much as 40 million tons to less than 600 million tons, a record low over the last several decades.Blumenfeld added the potential for increased summer demand from the international market could help domestic producers, given the increased use of air conditioning in other nations outside the U.S., especially in Asia. “If we do see a spike in demand that certainly will help, so that’s possibly a good-news scenario that comes out of this,” he said, “but so far we’re not seeing it in the forward pricing to a great degree. There is some upward lift, but it’s still pretty low.”More ($): Cooler summer may limit domestic opportunities for struggling coal sectorlast_img read more