An innovative South Cumbrian entrepreneur is using modern technology to ensure local firms and groups don’t miss out on vital health and safety training during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Phil Newton, Managing Director of Barrow-based Skills Shop Ltd, is determined to ensure organisations are able to meet their legal health and safety requirements and that their staff can continue to learn life-saving skills.
Following Government instructions about social distancing amidst the Covid-19 outbreak – and it is pleasing that people are adhering to them – we have to look at alternative ways of running our courses,” said Phil, 42.
“So now Skills Shop is going to be delivering innovative online courses which staff can complete at their own pace with automatically marked online quizzes.”
The company covers the whole of the north of England and offers a variety of courses, including emergency first aid at work, mental health first aid for the workplace, manual handling and conflict management.
“We give staff the confidence and skills to be able to react immediately in case of an emergency,” explained Phil. “The beauty of these online courses is that any company in the UK can access them so we help even more staff stay safe and stay skilled during and after the coronavirus pandemic.”
It is a legal requirement for all companies to have someone qualified in first aid. “If someone gets injured at work a firm runs the risk of being investigated by the authorities if they don’t have a qualified first-aider,” he said. It is also mandatory for companies to carry out manual handling training.
Usually Skills Shop will deliver in-house training by going out to a client’s place of work or a nearby venue to deliver the training. But with concerns rising about the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), Phil is set to run courses online.
“You can attend the course live online or watch a pre-recorded version,” said Phil. “The theory will be covered online and then we shall come out and complete any practical elements on a one-to-one bases with individuals soon afterwards.”
A conflict management course is already available online. An online mental health first aid course and an online health and safety in the workplace course will be available soon and other online courses will follow.
In another innovative move, Phil has this week launched Skills Shop Pro, a managed training service designed to help companies save time and money. The main purpose is to assist orgnaisations with cashflow which has never been more important during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Under the scheme, firms can type in their specific training needs and delegate numbers for the next three years into a simple online pricing calculator. They immediately see the cost of that training if it was carried out by Skills Shop on an ad hoc basis – and how much they would save through using the Pro system.
The discount is 20 per cent, for example, if they pay for all the training upfront, and 15 per cent if they pay in three instalments over three years.
The training costs are fixed for three years and other benefits include exclusive online content, including being able to chat online to Skills Shop staff. Companies also receive priority booking on future courses.
“The system allows companies to factor their three-year training costs into their budget and it assists with cash flow, which is particularly important at this uncertain time,” said Phil.
Stay Home – Stay Safe – Stay Skilled
Andrew Thomas runs a media consultancy business. He offers a variety of services, including writing attention-grabbing media releases and advertising features; readable case studies for websites that reveal from a client’s perspective their positive experience of working with a company; how to maximise online and social media reach; and media training. He has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism and was Editor of The Westmorland Gazette for ten years.