Monthly Archives: May 2014

What are the 10 less flashy skills employers want?

It can take up to 3 days to gain a new soft skill with

It can take up to 3 days to gain a new soft skill with

The less flashy skills are the ones really dominating employers selection criteria.

article by Diane Shawe CEO AVPT

“Knowing which skills are in high demand can help guide decisions around education and work experience,” says Diane Shawe CEO of Academy of Vocational and Professional Training UK. “It can help workers identify where they can potentially transfer their current skill sets or supplement their education to prepare for future opportunities.”

No. 1 Critical Thinking (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

No. 2 Complex Problem Solving (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

No. 3 Judgment and Decision-Making (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate ones.

No. 4 Active Listening (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate and not interrupting.

No. 5 Computers and Electronics (found in 8 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, electronic equipment and computer hardware including applications and programs.

No. 6 Mathematics (found in 6 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics and their application.

No. 7 Operations and Systems Analysis (found in 5 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Determining how a system or operation should work and how changes in conditions, operations and environments will affect outcomes. Understanding the needs and product requirements of a particular design.

No. 8 Monitoring (found in 5 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Monitoring and assessing performance of yourself, other individuals or organizations to make improvement or take corrective action.

No. 9 Programming (found in 3 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Writing computer programming for various purposes.

No. 10 Sales and Marketing (found in 2 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting and selling products or services. Includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques and sales control systems.

Click to order your copy today

Click to order your copy today


Why employers and training organisations need to take heed of this global trend

Diane Shawe CEO AVPT

Diane Shawe CEO

The Changing face of Skills and Training

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed CEO

In a report conducted by Kelly Global Workforce Index in 2013 over 120,000 respondents from 31 countries across the Americas, EMEA an APAC regions where asked several questions about Skills and Training.

When asked to identify the main motivation for earning new skills or undertaking training, the largest share of employees 57% cited the opportunity for promotion with their current employer. A further 47% cited the opportunity to work in another organisation, and 42% planned to enter a new field of work.

Globally, 60% of worker are either actively seeking further education or training (23%) or considering it (37%).  The APAC region stands out as a skilling hotspot, with 69% of those surveyed either considered or seeking further training for a new field.

Across the globe, there are markedly different approaches to the notion of additional training and professional development. The highest rates of planned upskilling are predominantly in developing economies, while the lowest rates tend to be in some of the most prosperous nations.

Russia heads the list for training intensity, with an astonishing 92% planning some form of training. Also high on the list are Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Puerto Rico and Malaysia.

Surprisingly the lowest rates of planned training are in France, Luxembourg, the US and Switzerland.

Among professional and technical employees, those most likely to be actively seeking to upgrade their skills are in Math, Engineering and IT, while the least likely are in Science, Health Care and Education.

Investing in Training that Works

For training to be meaningful it needs to be relevant and practical – not “training for training sake”.

When asked to identify the mot desirable means of furhering their skills, the overwhelming preference was for on-the-job experience and training, identified by 70% of respondents, significantly ahead of the next hightest ranked “continued education and training” cited by 58%

Building a durable Skills base

The last two decades have radically altered the way skill are acquired and developed. Skill are no longer “front-end loaded” onto a career. Rather they are increasingly embedded as part of lifelong learning and development.

The upgrading and renewal of skills plays a critical role in personal and professional development. It also has a vital role in broader workforce development, which is the cornerstone of organisational efficiency and productivity.

All skills have a finite life, and in industries subject to high rates of technological change and innovation, the lifespan of skills is becoming shorter. Increasingly, new skills will need to be learned and deployed throughout a working life.

It is clear that decisions about training and professional development are now an integral part of the employment equation, and have an important bearing on employee moral, performance and retention.

What Employers can do

  • Consider opportunities for training and personal development.
  • Help to build a culture of continuous learning so that employees are encouraged to develop and use new skills
  • Encourage employees to think about career plans and the type of skills and training they need to stay equipped.
  • Consider training as a key element in employee attraction and retention.
  • Champion individuals who have devoted time to upskilling so they can become ambassadors for an organisation.

The landscape has changed

The scale and duration of the downturn has forced may employees to look afresh at the whole area of training and professional development – one that was previously guided by employers.  Employees now recognise that they cannot solely rely on an employer to direct in this important element of their lives.

A new generation of workers is taking on much greater responsibility for their training and professional development, including the way it is provided and funded.

The global economic shock-waves have unleashed a new orthodoxy and a unforeseen outcomes has a new generation of employees are more independent, globally focused and adaptive.  The new challenges for global employers is to understand why the landscape has changed and prudently look beyond the present and where the best skilled workforce will be and what work will look like in 10 or 15 years.

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses


Pre employment Short Courses

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses

Whether you are a complete beginner or more experienced, on one of our career development short courses you will find yourself learning in our enjoyable and professional environment.

Our courses allow you  to take full advantage of our specialist facilities and the expert tuition at your fingertips with a full take away manual for further reading.Taking a short course is ideal if you want to add new skills to your tired CV, brush up on an old hobby or refresh your skills, build on your current practice develop expertise to help start your own business review your career build a portfolio for college or work.  We have a range of different creative short courses available. Follow the links below for further information.


Call 0203 551 2621

visit for more information.

How Blended Education Makes Learning Process More Efficient

Photo courtesy of Guilia Frsythe

Photo courtesy of Guilia Frsythe

As internet connectivity and smart devices become every human being’s daily companion, with 1.75 billion users worldwide as eMarketer reported, more and more academic institutions are now leveraging the power of technology to re-invent the traditional classroom learning model.

The 2013’s United States Education & Workforce Committee study said that 31 states are now offering full-time eLearning tools to almost 275,000 K-12 students and 70% of all US school districts are now integrating blended learning (BL) programs in their curriculum.

One of the biggest trends in the academy, BL is a teaching approach that combines face-to-face learning through online-based instructions/activities. To facilitate, students are allowed to use their smart devices to do research, work on activities, complete their assignments, seek consultations, and consume digital learning resources in or outside the campus. But, how can this teaching methodology make learning efficient? Read on our discussion below as we further elaborate the topic.
Learners Are More Engaged

The infusion of online learning tools and traditional classroom lectures expands the learning resources being offered to the students. Apart from textbooks, teachers can pull out relevant video materials online and project it in front of their students to explain the topics further. Educators can also showcase online slideshows and interactive web applications to further strengthen their class discussions.

With BL, the possibilities of getting a reliable learning resource are endless. With the advent of video conferencing, students and teachers can go beyond the four corners the classroom. For instance, in foreign language topics, this innovative tech solution can be maximized in arranging live language lessons from native speakers worldwide. It can also be utilized when facilitating lectures on different cultures worldwide.
Students are safely browsing

The common concern with this learning strategy is that students are widely open to various content online, such as social media and online games that are deemed to be distracting in class. However, with the latest mobile technology today, we are now presented with devices that can block or curate content specifically for students only. One of the biggest brands Apple launched its own Kid’s App Store where students can only access curated educational apps and games. The latest Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S5, are also equipped with Kids Mode that let’s one set some parental control on the device, as featured on this source. As for Nokia’s Lumia range of Windows Phone devices, Microsoft also designed a special feature called Kid’s Corner which allows parents to choose the kind of apps and digital content they can only view and access. These innovations minimize the apprehensions that most parents and traditional educators have towards smart devices.

Teachers Can Access and Create Various Educational Content

Since the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is a part of this learning strategy, educators are given the opportunity to easily design a variety of content types tailored to their students. Apart from online blogs and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) where professors can access a myriad of educational content (infographics and video lectures), they can also access mobile applications and e-Books to accompany their lectures.

The Academy of Vocational and Professional training are also currently the leaders on online Soft skills courses which are mobile device compliant, globally accredited and accessible 24/7

Since mobile devices nowadays are equipped with media creation tools, teachers can even create or design their own content to accompany their discussion. For instance, with many of the apple and android tablets,  are empowered to create slide shows with engaging music. The free movie making tool can also help them create video presentations combining photograph, audio, and text element.  It’s worth checking out the Samsung and iPad apps.
Makes Students More Engaged

Timothy HuneyCutt of National Math + Science Initiative pointed out that when “technology is integrated into school lessons, learners are more likely to be interested in, focused on, and excited about the subjects they are studying.” In subjects that may appear monotonous to selected students (such as Science and Math), teachers can use virtual lessons and one-on-one tutoring to encourage them to learn.
how to get your online website to attract clients free seminar 2014

Students Can Learn At Their Own Pace

Failure to digest the educator’s lecture can lead to students’ discouragement towards learning. With BL, if they fail to understand a particular lecture, they can ask their instructor to give them individualised instruction or learning materials through emails, video-conferencing, and social media channels. Students who are shy to speak out in the class through face-to-face on-campus discussion are also given the opportunity to shine and excel in class through BL.

BL can further enhance students’ learning by integrating technology and online resources to support the traditional face-to-face lectures. As we move to a more digital era, where handsets are now wearable and voice command accessible, we should see more improvements in educational technology in the coming years.

Blog by Jennifer Birch

Blog by Jennifer Birch

About the Author

As an EdTech advocate, Jennifer Birch believes in the power of Blended Learning. For her, the infusion of online learning tools and traditional classroom expands the learning resources being offered to the students. Connect with Jenni via Google +.

Chinese Entrepreneurs Scoops Business Award

Chinese investment hotting up in UK

‘Enterprising Women’s Business Group’ Host Diane Shawe Offers A CPD Lifeline To Professional Women Working In The Legal Sector

Join us in May for a productive event

London UK, Thursday 12th May 2014 – An innovative UK based business women has successfully achieved CPD training provider status and recognition through the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)

Diane Shawe, host of the KCW Enterprising Women’s Business Club will now be offering a comprehensive range of recognised CPD soft skills courses aimed at supporting female legal professionals in a bid to help them establish, develop and grow despite to compete with some of the difficulties and challenges law firms are now facing.

As a traditionally male orientated arena, the legal industry now attracts as many talented female professionals as it does male counterparts, however workplaces are still unfairly weighted towards male work-life balances and working models.

As a result, it’s accepted that female legal professionals often face gender related difficulties in terms of promotion and development (Diversity in the Legal Profession in England and Wales: A Qualitative Study of Barriers and Individual Choices 2013).

The wide range of CPD courses now available have been specifically tailored to support and nurture women looking to achieve and fulfil their potential in the legal industry either as a partner, employee or independent practice.

The ‘Enterprising Women Business Club‘ has over 45,000 members nationally and has a remit to help women achieve the success they want by empowering, connecting, training, inspiring and supporting. The next Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster business club meeting is set for the 15th May. For more information please visit

About AVPT

As a leading provider of over 390 soft skills training courses approved and accredited by the IAO, IoSCM, and  Solicitors Regulatory, ‘AVPT’ are now offering CPD applicable courses to the legal profession. For further information on the Enterprising Women’s Business Club, please visit the official website at  Contact: Farhana Jaman of Enterprising Women 01223 903913

Or more info on CPD Softskills courses visit

Why the legal profession is changing – Part-time partners

CPD on the move with expresscourses

CPD on the move with expresscourses

Only 9.4% of equity partners in law firms are women, despite equal numbers of men and women entering the profession

Article by Nicky Richmond Guardian Professional,

The statue of justice at the Old Bailey court in London. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

In the world of big law, equity partnership is broadly equivalent to being on a board of directors. In the top 100 law firms in the UK, just 9.4% of equity partners are women. This is even lower than the percentage of board members at FTSE 250 companies who are women, at 9.6%.

Given that equal numbers of women and men enter the legal profession, why is it that so many women don’t reach equity partnership? The Women’s Business Council – set up to advise the government on how to get more women into executive positions – came up with some interesting conclusions in a recent report.

They reveal an overwhelmingly masculine, patriarchal corporate culture, and point to the double burden of work and domestic responsibilities, the “anytime, anywhere” model of management and, a particular curse in the UK, the long hours working culture wired into city law firms.

A large proportion of women who drop out of law do so because they decide to have a family. Many women feel that they simply cannot combine the demands of life in a law firm with the demands of their families.

It’s little surprise they reach this depressing conclusion; at most law firms it is either full-time or nothing. A law firm may offer a woman a career downgrade to ‘support lawyer’ status but for many the cut in remuneration for part-time working or a lesser role are options not worth considering. Factor in the expense of childcare, and it’s little wonder many women conclude that the high cost simply isn’t worth it.

The goal of a partnership becomes more distant for many women once they decide to have a family. In many firms there is no route to partnership for lawyers who work part time. It just isn’t allowed. This is not only morally wrong, it is nonsensical.

There is no reason why a part-time lawyer – female or male – cannot make an outstanding contribution as a partner in their practice. Critical to a woman’s decision as to whether or not she returns to work following maternity leave must be the availability of flexible working. This means flexibility in both hours and location.

In order for things to change in law firms, firms must prioritise retaining their best people for as long as possible. This could include accommodating requests for part-time or flexible working. Given the demands of clients this isn’t always easy, but in most cases – with a real will on both sides – it can be done.

I work for a law firm that is owned equally between men and women. This is key to the day-to-day operations. A number of our lawyers work on a part-time basis. Some work certain days from home, others are consultants who hardly ever come into the office. We try to accommodate people’s real lives and ultimately, it’s the service to the client that counts.

Equality in the law will not happen on its own. In the 25 years I have been in practice I have seen all sorts of attempts to deal with ‘the women issue’, but evidently none of them have worked. Suddenly, however, it has become clear to City law firms that losing women is losing them money. So now, in line with the government’s recommendations, some of those firms have introduced their own targets for senior women. Money talks, and that’s what will drive the change.


Check out Merchant Cash Advance Services for small businesses

365 business financeMerchant Cash Advances, also known as Business Cash Advances, are a quick and easy way to convert your future credit and debit card sales into immediate cash to spend on any of your business’ requirements. They are a simple alternative to unsecured bank loans and overdrafts.

At 365 Business Finance, they’ve helped businesses across many sectors get the finance they need. they’ve provided cash advances to cycle shops, convenience stores, butchers, greengrocers,  pet care stores, garden centres, sports shops,  off-licenses, shoe repairs, cash and carry, and just about any other business that accepts credit and debit cards.

As a business owner, are you considering expanding  your store or making costly refurbishments?  Are your suppliers  unwilling to provide you with the credit line that you previously received? Or maybe  you need to purchase stock ahead of a busy sales period? Perhaps you’d like to launch a new website or run an advertising campaign? Whatever the reason,  you need cash now, but you’re not sure how to proceed. You’ve thought about a small business loan, but some banks have imposed tighter restrictions, some require security and detailed business plans,  and even if you do qualify, you may have to wait for months to get the funds.

With our Cash Advances,  you can avoid some of the hassles of a traditional business loan by utilising your future credit and debit card sales to secure thousands of pounds of ongoing finance for your business. Our unique repayment plan takes a percentage of your daily card sales (typically between 5% and 20%) until the advance is paid off. A traditional loan requires fixed monthly payments irrespective of how your business is performing, but our financing process is designed to match your business’s performance, so during quieter periods, you pay back less. The process happens automatically so there isn’t an extra bill to keep track of each month. Our application process is fast and simple, and you can have your money in days.


Here are a few examples of how our cash advances can be utilised:

  • Expansions;
  • Refurbishments;
  • Equipment purchases;
  • Bulk stock purchases;
  • Marketing and advertising;
  • Website development;
  • Recruiting staff;
  • General working capital needs

3 Steps to Growing Your Business

Step one

1. Monetise your future card sales

They will  buy a fixed amount of your future (credit and/or debit) card sales

Step two

2. Get your cash in days

You’ll receive the lump sum directly into your bank account to use on any business requirement.

Step three

3. Watch your business grow

You repay a small  percentage of your card sales. Repayments are  automatically processed and hassle-free.

Learn More….

Click to Check our our Budgeting & Accounts Soft Skills courses for your business.

1 day social media and marketing course

10 most profitable hair extension techniques to learn for 2017 by Diane Shawe

Why setting up a hair extension business could give you a long term career?

Article written by Diane Shawe M.Ed

Getting started in the hair extension business by Diane ShaweWe have seen the hair extension market grow over the past 15 years, now there are more hair extension techniques than ever before and it can be confusing to decide which is the right one for you to either apply to your own hair or become a qualified technician.

If you are thinking of becoming a qualified technician, it is important to consider how potential clients might make their decision.  Some people will make a decision based on price, others on their hair type and some based on what they need to achieve. Click to see our training school video

Here are just a few tips to help with your decision making process.

1. Wigs Wigs are a quick and easy way to give yourself a quick makeover.  What you need to bear in mind is that the cheaper the wig the more un-natural it will look.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money but it is worth investing in a wig that you can use from time to time.  Client will pay between £120 – £300 for a good quality wig which could last for up to 12 months.

2. Hair Pieces: There are lots of different hair pieces from pony tails to rear hair attachments in all different shades, curly, straight or plaits. There are also specialist hair pieces for thinning hair that can help disguise any problems.  The thing to bear in mind is that hair pieces are not often very secure and could make you feel a little uncomfortable.  Some of the ponytail pieces can be securely fixed, so if you want a demure look go for a ponytail.

popular integrated weave

3. Integrated Weaves: This is when wefts of hair is sewn onto a fine cornrow which is then hide by the bulk of your hair on top.  It is a popular technique because if done correctly it can look very natural and offer up a robust and secure hair enhancement solution.  If you look after the hair you can reuse it when you go back to have it re tightened. Clients could pay between £190 – £330 for the integrated weave.

How hair extensions are sourced treated and graded by diane shawe M.Ed 2014 price4. Pre-tips: This is small pieces of hair that have been pre bonded together.  They can be added in sections all over the head to aid thickening, give the impression of highlights or lowlight and length.  Pre-tips can be applied using heat, micro rings or even small elastic bands.  Be aware that they have to be professionally removed so as not to damage your own hair.

5. Strand by Strand (glue gun): This is when hot bond is used to bond small sections of hair to the recipients own hair.  It was a very popular technique in 6 years ago, but requires professional application and removal by a qualified technician.  Can give the appearance of flyaway hair that you could somewhat run your fingers through.  It is a very time consuming technique and is much better for a long term wear over 3-4 months.

6) Clip in hair extensions: These are now very popular.  They are best used for lengthening mid should length hair.  If the hair is shorter they don’t sit very well because they can be a little bulky in appearance.  They don’t offer up much security unless they have been professionally fitted.  This is when a very small cornrow is done and the clips are slipped through for much added security.  Great for an evening occasion but not advisable for long term wear.  click to read more


7) Net Weave:  This technique is used when the client wants to partially extend just a section of their hair or if the client suffers from patchy alopecia.  This technique is suitable for 2-4 months wear.

8) Hook and Latch: This technique does not use any glues or threads. It is a beautiful technique, flat to the touch and hair could be worn up.  It works well with shorter hair especially the Micro ring track technique.

9) Lace Wigs: Lace wigs have become very popular. They are really good for girls with short thin hair, damaged hair, hair that needs a rest or a complete makeover.  Top celebrities have made them really popular and you can see why from the video testimonial below. See Radio TV presenters new lace wig


10) Braides and PlaitsBraides and Plaits have been around for hundreds of years.  A technique that can look very simple or quite exotic.  Braids can be worn for a number of months until the hair grows out, they can even have beads added to the end for that extra special look.

Hair Loss Specialists
Clients also suffer from thinning hair can be helped, click here to hear what one client had to say.

As we see an aging population, people are becoming more confident about getting help to resolve short term or long term hair problems.
There is s shortage of qualified hair extension trainers in the UK. Visit this link to find out more and how you can become qualified.



avpt membership and approved status 2014 jpeg