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Why Is My Food Getting Mouldy So Quickly? I Could Not Believe What I found Out!

Food does not seem to last long now a days. Why?

Why is my Food Growing Mould?

Article by Diane Shawe

I have been noticing that most of my food is going mouldy quicker, even in the jars!  I was curious to find out why, espcially as this is happening more and more in the fridge as well. I thought the fridge was designed to keep things cool and slow down the detiriation of our food.

I also wanted to know what mould did to the body if injected, my mind started to generate all types of conspiracy theory so I decided to do a little research based on facts.

We all grow up learning mold is gross. But is it just unpleasant, or is it actually dangerous? Isn’t it mould that makes blue cheese blue? And wasn’t penicillin first discovered in moldy bread?

Are we wasting perfectly safe food when we throw it out? Or are we gambling our health when we shrug our shoulders and eat that piece of cheese that had a dusting of white fuzz?

How does mould grow on food?

I found this bit scary because is the air we are breathing so toxic? Is that why we are getting sicker even though we are more health concious? I mean think about it, our lungs are very moist!

So back to the question: Tiny mould spores are carried in the air. When these spores land on food, they take root and grow until they produce patches of mould visible to the naked eye. Once they mature, they produce new spores and release them into the environment and the cycle continues!

What is mold on food?

Mould is a microscopic fungus, and yes—spoilers!—consuming it can be bad for our health. Like its cousin the mushroom, there are thousands of different species.

Some are safe to consume, but many produce poisonous mycotoxins that cause illness and even death. Additionally, some people are allergic to mould and need to steer clear of it. So dealing with mold on food is serious business.

Why does mould grow on food?

Mould requires three things to grow: organic matter, water and oxygen. Food provides the the first two ingredients. Exposed to air, mold has everything it needs to grow.

How long does it take for mould to grow on food?

Many factors affect the rate of growth of mould: the specific type of mould, the food it’s growing on, and the ambient temperature and humidity. Many species of mould like warmer temperatures and mould growing on fruit on your counter may develop in very few days, especially in the warm humid summer months. Other mould growing on food with less water content in the cool of a refrigerator might take several weeks.

How to handle mould on food?

Mould can grow on most types of food, but not all food is the same.

Red Flag Food

Red flag food items should be automatically discarded when mouldy. These items include most food items, particularly soft and moist foods:

  • Luncheon meats, hot dogs, bacon, etc.
  • Cooked leftover meat, poultry and fish
  • Cooked pasta and cooked grains
  • Casseroles
  • Sour cream and yoghurt
  • Soft fruits such as tomatoes, berries, cucumbers, etc.

Some other drier, harder foods fall into this category as well:

  • Nuts and legumes
  • Bread, baked goods and other highly porous items

In general, softer food with more moisture content is more prone to moulding, and can’t be safely salvaged. In addition to the mould itself, soft moist food can provide an ideal environment for dangerous bacteria to grow. For these foods, it’s important not to assume the problem is limited to the mould you see.

Throw away the mouldy food, and carefully inspect other nearby food, especially food in the same package. Do not sniff mouldy food: spores might get into your respiratory system. Wrap the spoiled items in plastic to contain the spores, and discard.

To eat or not to eat?

Moulds can grow in the fridge and will even survive freezing. They can also survive in salty, sugary and acidic environments. This is scary!

As mould on our food is so hard to avoid, here are some general guidelines from the most Food Safety and Inspection Service on responding to the problem:

Discard all of these foods if mouldy:

  • Luncheon meat, bacon, and hot dogs.
  • Yoghurt, sour cream and soft cheese.
  • Soft fruits and vegetables
  • Bread and baked goods.
  • Peanut butter, nuts and legumes.
  • Jams and jellies – but note Dr Hocking has a slightly different view for Australian jams.

These foods can be saved from mould:

  • Hard salami (the dry, aged type) – scrub mould from the surface.
  • Hard cheese – cut off at least 2.5 centimetres around and below the mould. Don’t let the knife touch the mould and recover the cheese with fresh wrap.
  • Firm fruit and veg – small mould spots can be cut off.

Cheeses made with mould

  • Blue cheese
  • Roquefort
  • Gorgonzola
  • Stilton
  • Brie
  • Camembert

The mould used in making these cheeses is safe for consumption. However, if other mold that is not part of the manufacturing process is present, these items should be discarded just like any other red flag food item. Some blue cheeses may be hard enough to be treated as a Yellow Flag item (see below for care). However, if you are unsure where to draw the line, remember: when in doubt, throw it out.

Note that while the mould that forms the blue veins inside blue cheeses is harmless when deprived of oxygen inside the cheese, the same strain of mold can form harmful mycotoxins if allowed to grow on surfaces exposed to air. Be careful of cross-contamination with these cheeses and keep them wrapped in cellophane while storing them.

Yellow Flag Food

Other foods, particularly harder and drier foods, can sometimes be kept once the mold is carefully removed. These include:

  • Hard cheese
  • Firm fruits and vegetables (cabbage, carrots, bell pepers, etc.)
  • Hard salami and dry-cured ham

If you’re going to cut away mould rather than discard the item, it’s important to remember that there is more mould present than what you can see. Below the surface, mould will have penetrated up to 2cm or more. For these food items, mould can be cut away but you should cut at least 2.5cm (1 inch) outside of and underneath any visible surface mould. Be careful to keep the knife clear of the mould to avoid contaminating the rest of the food as you cut.

Note that surface mould is a normal occurrence on certain hard salamis. In this case, scrubbing the mould off the surface is sufficient. Again, it never hurts to be cautious. When in doubt, throw it out.

Different types of food mould

Black mold on food

I did not like this bit, but if you are going to understand something, you can’t disguard the ugly sides. Well here goes.. Various strains of mould can have a black appearance. Homeowners know to watch out for black toxic moldStachybotrys chartarum, commonly found in attics.

However there are many non-toxic strains of black mould as well, including Rhizopus stolonifera, also known as black bread mould. You may encounter black mould on the rubber seals of your refrigerator or on food. While this doesn’t prove you have black toxic mould in your house, you are best to assume it may be harmful and discard the food item in question, meticulously scrub clean the refrigerator, and look for signs of black mould in your house.

Pink mould on food

Pink mouldy formations on food may not be mould at all, but rather bacteria growing. Aureobasidium and Fusarium are also two common fungi that grow with a pinkish colour.

Pink mould is most often seen on bread, dairy products and meat. Dangers of pink mold include infection of the respiratory, gastro-intestinal or urinary tracts.

White mould on food

White mould is seen on a variety of foods, from the white mould purposefully grown on the outside of certain cheeses, to fluffy white mold appearing on berries and other fruit.

Many strains of mould can appear white, and to complicate matters many coloured strains of mould may go through a phase where they appear white before developing the spores that give them their colour. Unless white mould is a purposeful part of a food’s production (e.g. brie and camembert cheese), assume it is toxic and handle affected food accordingly.

Green mould on food

Green mould is commonly found on citrus fruit and bread. Cladosporium is one particularly common species of green mould.

It can have a potent smell and be particularly irritating, particularly for people with mould allergies. This can lead to respiratory problems such as wheezing and coughing, as well as vomiting. Clodosporium mold can produce mycotoxins as well, so avoid exposure.

Orange mould on food

A variety of mould can take on an orange colour, including Fuligo septica and Aleuria aurantia. These orange moulds commonly have a slimy texture.

While they may be less dangerous than some other colours of mould, they can still cause respiratory problems, and where orange mould is present, bacteria are also likely to be found.

Furthermore, orange mould is particularly prone to growing on wood. So not only is orange mould a threat to your food, it is a threat to the wood in your house.

Red mould on food

While various strains of mould can be red, red mould on food is most commonly Neurospora. While this type of mould is typically less dangerous than other types of mould, some mycotoxin-producing moulds might appear red in certain conditions, or might be present alongside red mould. It’s therefore wisest to treat red mould on food with the same caution as other mould.

Blue mould on food

Blue mould on bread and the blue mould deliberately cultivated to make blue cheese are strains of the genus Penicillium. And yes, some species of Penicillium (but not all!) produce penicillin. Many species of Penicillium are innocuous, but some are not.

And while the blue mould in blue cheese, deprived of oxygen, is safe for consumption, that same strain of mould can produce mycotoxins when it grows on an outside surface exposed to air. So, eat that blue cheese but treat other blue mould as potentially toxic.

Consumers Select Food Based on Colour at the Supermarket

It is widely accepted that consumers select a food product with their eyes, so products need to look fresh and tasty.

Oxidation is the Enemy

Oxidation, a chain reaction that occurs in the presence of oxygen, is responsible for the deterioration of food products, including off-flavours and off-odours. This process is affected by processing, packaging and storing techniques, as well as product ingredients.

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What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules that:

  • Significantly delay or prevent oxidation
  • Help maintain fresh appearance and colour
  • Extend shelf life

How Do They Work?

Antioxidants delay the onset of oxidation by donating hydrogen atoms to quench free radicals, forming a stable antioxidant radical that is unable to participate in propagation reactions, slowing down oxidation.

What happens if you eat mould?

what happens if you eat mold
You have to be really careful

Is it dangerous to inhale mould spores from food?

Inhaling mould visible on food is risky and should be avoided. It may cause allergic reactions or problems with the respiratory tract. When mould isn’t visible, sniffing may be a useful way to detect it—e.g. smelling dishcloths. However, once you’ve spotted mould, avoid inhaling.

Can mould on food make you sick?

Mould on food can be harmful in various ways. Some people are allergic to mould and could have a potentially serious reaction. However, even if you don’t have allergies, mould can cause irritation in the respiratory, gastro-intestinal or urinary tracts. And the mycotoxins created by some moulds are poisonous carcinogens that can prove fatal.

What are health symptoms you can get by eating mould on food?

Allergic reactions to mould can include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, postnasal drip, irritated eyes, nose and throat and dry, scaly skin. Those with asthma may experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest.

Those without allergies may still experience respiratory problems such as wheezing, sneezing, tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, this can lead to respiratory infection and even hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

A particular concern is ingesting mould that produces mycotoxins. Signs of mycotoxin poisoning include reduced appetite, a general feeling of malaise, acute illness or death in rare cases.

Food mould facts and questions

Which food will mould fastest?

Storage conditions will have a significant effect on how quickly a given food turns mouldy. However, all things being equal, food with a high moisture content will mould first. Thus, in the fridge, fruits such as strawberries or cucumber might get mouldy before other foods. Stored at room temperature, natural bread (with no preservatives) can get mouldy quite quickly.

Is it safe to eat fruits with mould on a peel you discard?

It may be tempting to think that for fruit with a peel, simply removing and discarding the peel may be enough to protect you. In the case of a firm fruit like a pineapple, it can indeed be treated as a “yellow flag” food, carefully cutting away the affected area.

Fruits with a softer peel like oranges or bananas should be treated as “red flag” foods and discarded—underneath the visible mould, it may have penetrated the peel to the flesh of the fruit inside. In the case of an avocado, while the skin is quite tough mold can still get underneath and infect the fruit inside. Play it safe and discard it.

What temperature kills mould spores in food?

Most moulds are killed off by temperatures of 60-70°C (140-160°F). Thus, boiling water is generally enough to kill off mould. Remember, though, that mould doesn’t just grow on the surface: heat will have to penetrate into whatever the mould is growing in to kill it. Also keep in mind that the mycotoxins produced by certain mould can survive intense heat: boiling may kill the mould but leave its poisons still intact.

How to prevent mould on food?

Mold on Food
Putting Items in the fridge is good

Of course, far better than throwing out mouldy food is avoiding having your food get moldy to begin with! Fortunately there are steps you can take to keep your food fresh and mold-free:

  • It takes one mouldy food item to get the whole basket covered in mold! This is very important rule to remember the moment you are at the market. If you are buying nonpacked items, ensure each of them is fresh. If you notice mold on any single piece, simply don’t buy it. Examine each item for bruising, softness, oxidation or signs of mould before you buy it and avoid any items that look overly ripe.
  • On the other hand, when buying pre-packed food you cannot examine every single piece, meaning that mouldy items can go unseen. In that case, ensure you checked the date and chose the one that was most recently packed. Instead of buying processed or pre-packed food, where you often don’t have control of the freshness (the story of wrong dates is not rarely heard), choose local markets and stores you can trust.
  • Once you buy your delicious food, especially fresh fruit and veggies, it is important to keep it covered until you’re ready to eat it to minimize the risk of cross-contamination with bacteria, mold, dust and debris from the environment. Use plastic wrap to cover foods you want to keep for longest, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, salads and cheese.
  • Rinse the contents of canned goods under water and store them in your fridge in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers. Refrigerate leftovers and use them within four days.
  • Consume early to avoid mold. The first step you can take to prevent food going bad is to eat it before mould has time to take hold. Especially for moisture-rich and porous food like fruits and breads, buy in smaller quantities so you can consume it within a just a few days.
  • Keep food cold: the cooler the better. Keep food, especially soft moist food like fruit, in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. Only take it out while you’re using it—under two hours. To keep food mould-free for longer periods, store it in the freezer rather than the fridge.
  • Use heat to kill mold. High acid foods such as fruits, jams and jellies can be made safe to preserve through heat treatment. A boiling water bath is a common practice to prepare them for a long shelf-life. The amount of time required for a water bath will vary depending on what and how much you’re canning, so be sure to adapt your method to the specific food you’re treating.
  • Keep kitchen tools and surfaces clean. Mould may thrive on food, but it can be found anywhere. The less mould in your kitchen, the less your food will get exposed. Clean your refrigerator and other kitchen surfaces with a mixture of 5ml of baking powder to 1L of water. Watch out for black-coloured mold on your fridge’s rubber seals and scrub carefully to clean it out.
  • Keep your dishcloths, tea towels, sponges, mops and other kitchen tools clean. Give them the sniff test: if they smell musty, they may be harbouring mould. Any item that you can’t get clean and fresh-smelling, discard and replace.

Mould proofing kitchen and cleaning tips

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Since food is stored in the kitchen (most of the times), keeping your kitchen clean and well-aired will also have a big impact on your food’s life. For example, mould will develop anywhere where there is a leak, and if you are storing food close to that it can easily transfer from a corner and attack your favorite otherwise fresh food.

In order to prevent mould on food you will have to work on overall kitchen mould prevention. In most cases it includes either ensuring there is enough fresh air or regular cleaning. Here are a few tips that can help you prevent mold in the kitchen.

  • As said above – mould can grow in the fridge and, thus, it is important to keep the inside of the refrigerator clean. We suggest cleaning it every few months with one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly before storing food again.
  • Ensure your food is still fresh by checking it every day or two. Toss away anything that has a sign of mould or that started rotting away.
  • Replace sponges at least once a week and always use clean dish clothes and towels. If you notice a musty smell coming from a sponge or towel, replace it immediately.
  • Wash the dishes at least once a day. Don’t leave food leftovers in your sink behind you once you are done with the meal. Throw them away immediately. If you are in a rush, keep your dishes under water to prevent food stains from hardening until you can wash them properly.
  • Mould can be found in dishwasher and garbage disposals. It can be the reason behind the odors, thus keeping it clean should be your priority. At least once a week pour baking soda, salt and vinegar (or lemon) own the sink and leave it for 10 minutes. You can add lemon or orange peels and even essential oils to give it a nice smell. After that all you have to do is pour boiled water to wash it up and your disposal and sink will be clean, mould-free and refreshed.
  • Kitchen tools, especially wooden ones should be washed and well dried before set aside, because wood is one of the favourite food for mould. All you have to do is simply wash them after you used them and leave them to dry well somewhere where it is not wet and it has enough fresh air and light. (for example if you are done with cooking and your stove is still warm, you can put it next to it to dry.
  • Don’t forget about unused kitchen appliances. They are often sealed and if not well dried, mould can form due to water evaporation inside. The best way to prevent mold from developing inside is to ensure it is well dried before storing and, if there is a possibility, keep it open.
  • And last but not least, make sure that the relative humidity in your home is between 30% and 50%, especially in the warmer months, when mold is known to flourish. The easiest thing you can do to control the humidity level is to keep your windows open as often as possible. If that is not possible your next steps should bes either air vents or even a dehumidifier.

Conclusion

As with mould in general, there are many strains of mould that can be found on food. While some are innocuous, many are not. While mould that’s purposefully introduced into certain cheeses can be safe, always treat other mould on food as a dangerous substance. Treat “yellow flag” foods with caution and for “red flag” foods, play it safe and discard it.

And remember, the same concerns about mould allergies and mould toxicity that applies to food mould also applies to other mould in your house. Keep watch for mould in your kitchen and whole house, and if you detect signs of mould, get informed as to the steps needed to eradicate it safely.

Keep thing clean

source Bust Mould

Why are they contaminating bottled spring water?

Bottle-of-water-and-floride doane shawe
Most Bottled Water is FILLED With Fluoride, Here’s a Complete List of Brands to Avoid

“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,”Grandjean says.
“The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”

As with other fresh water supplies (e.g., spring water, lake water, river water), bottled waters have low levels of fluoride.
Fresh surface water contains an average of just 0.05 ppm. To put this in perspective, artificially fluoridated water (using industrial-grade fluoride chemicals) contains 0.7 to 1.2 ppm fluoride, which is 14 to 24 times more than the average natural level.

Fluoride Health Problems

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the presence of fluoride in public drinking water (fluoridation). For starters, before fluoride was used to fight cavities, it was (and still is) used in insecticides and rat poision.

Fluorosis is a condition that wears down the enamal of the tooth, leaving behind white spots, making the teeth more vulnerable to cavities and decay. Fluorosis is a very real health condition that can effect both children and adults. More and more evidence is mounting against the use of fluoride, even in small amounts. But it doesn’t appear to be a critical issue according to the US Surgeon Generals, as the last 5 Surgeon Generals have supported the fluoridation of drinking water. Incidentally, the claimed health benefits almost always point to oral health. Fortunately, the CDC is calling for new labeling rules requiring manufacturers to list a product’s fluoride content, which we have found to be missing in some cases.

What is too much Fluoride?

Fluoride itself is actually required by our bodies in low doses. When consumed in high amounts, specifically the man-made fluoride that is in public drinking water, can cause problems.

An estimated 5-10g of sodium fluoride can be lethal for some adults. While fluoride provides benefits to your oral health, it can also come with adverse side effects, that vary in severity depending upon the amount of fluoride consumed. Excessive consumption of fluoride can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. This can occur with doses 15 to 20 times lower than actual lethal doses (0.2-0.3mg/kg). Fluoride in exessive amounts can also cause problems in the formation bone.

Here are some bottled water brands that contain little to no fluoride:

  • A Better Water
  • Agromas Natural Mineral Water
  • Albertsons
  • Alpina
  • American Fare
  • American Star
  • Appco
  • Aqua Fresca
  • Aqua Panna
  • Aqua Pure
  • Aquarius Natural Mineral Water
  • Arbor Springs
  • Arlington Springs
  • Aquafina Water
  • Aqua Systems
  • Aqua Von
  • Artesian Wells
  • Augusta Medical – Daniels
  • Badger Water
  • Besco Pure Premium Drinking Water
  • BIOTA Colorado Pure Spring Water
  • Bio-2
  • Black Berry Farms
  • Blue Ice Natural Mineral Water
  • Boney’s
  • BORNEO
  • Bountyland
  • Buches
  • Calistoga
  • Callaway Blue
  • CAPA
  • Cascade
  • Century Springs
  • Chemung
  • Chippewa Spring Water
  • Citi Stop
  • Classic Selection
  • Clearly Arctic
  • Clear Mountain Spring Water
  • Clover Company Limited
  • Coach
  • Cold Country
  • Cohutta Mountain Spring Water
  • Cowboy Squeeze
  • Crowne Plaza Drinking Water
  • Crowne Plaza Natural Mineral Water
  • Cruel Jacks Spring Water
  • Crystal Mountain Spring Water
  • Crystal Point
  • Crystal Ridge
  • Crystal Spring Natural Spring Water
  • Culligan Water
  • Dakota Splash
  • Dannon
  • Deep Rock
  • Deep Rock Crystal Drop
  • Deep Rock Fontenelle
  • Deja Blue
  • Desert Quench
  • East Phils
  • Eco Quest
  • Elite
  • Equatorial Natural Mineral Water
  • Essentia Water
  • Eureka
  • Evian
  • E Water
  • Family Pantry
  • Famous Ramona Water
  • Flowing Springs
  • Food Club
  • Founders Square Bank
  • Fresh Brands Artesian
  • Fresh Brands Distilled Water
  • Fresh Brands Drinking Water
  • Fresh Market
  • Get-N-Go
  • Glacier Bay
  • Glen Summit Springs Water
  • Glen Summit Distilled Water
  • Glenwood Inglewood
  • Gordon Food Service
  • Great Bear
  • Great Value
  • Harvey’s
  • H2O4U
  • Henry’s
  • Hidden Valley Natural Mineral Water
  • Hillcrest Distilled Water
  • Hillcrest Drinking Water
  • Hillcrest Spring Water
  • Hilton PJ Natural Mineral Water
  • Hinckley Springs
  • HINT
  • Hi-Sprint Drinking Water
  • Hi-Sprint Natural Mineral Water
  • Hog Wash
  • Hon Less Natural Mineral Water
  • Ice Jam
  • Inland
  • Istana Natural Mineral Water
  • Joe Muggs
  • Joe Ragan’s Pure Water
  • Junior Johnson
  • Just Squeezed
  • KLGCC Natural Mineral Water
  • Kroger Bottled Water (Reverse Osmosis)
  • Krystal J Artesian Water
  • Krystal J Distilled Water
  • Laure
  • Leroy Jenkins Ministries
  • Logansport Savings Bank
  • Lowe’s
  • Martins
  • Masafi Pure Natural Mineral Water
  • Mercurio Produce
  • Mesra Drinking Water
  • Mesra Natural Mineral Water
  • Misty Mountain
  • Monadnock Mountain Spring Water
  • Montclair
  • Mountain Energy
  • Mountain Forest
  • Mountain Valley Spring Water
  • Mutiara Natural Mineral Water
  • Nantze Springs
  • New Frontier Bank
  • Niagra Mist
  • Nicolet Distilled
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Oasis Pure Drinking Water
  • Oasis Sparkling Water
  • Ogallala – Clear Cool Water
  • OUI Drinking Water
  • OUI Natural Mineral Water
  • Paiges
  • Parmer Pure H2O
  • Patriots Choice
  • Pelangi Natural Mineral Water
  • Penta Ultra Premium Purified Drinking Water
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Polaris Water
  • Pristine Natural Artesian
  • Purely Sedona
  • Quick Stop
  • Rain Soft
  • Refresh Natural Mineral Water
  • Reiser Drinking Water
  • Request Foods, Inc.
  • Rip Time
  • Roundy’s “Purified Water”
  • Safeway – Refreshe
  • Sam’s Wine & Spirits
  • San Faustino Natural Mineral Water
  • San Pellegrino
  • Santee Springs
  • Scheopner’s Water
  • Sequoia Springs
  • Scotts
  • Shamrock
  • Shop-N-Cart
  • Shur-Fine
  • Silver Creek Purified Water
  • Silver Creek Spring Water
  • Sky Drinking Water
  • Smart Water
  • Snow Valley
  • Spinx
  • Stator Bros. Markets
  • Summit Mountain
  • Summit Springs
  • Summit Valley
  • T-Rex
  • Teton Mountain Lodge Spring Water
  • Tweetsie
  • United Dairy Farmers
  • Volvic
  • Vitamin Water
  • Veta Drinking Water
  • Valutime
  • Whistler Water
  • Whole Foods 365
  • Woodland Spring Water
  • Wyoming Machinery “Catipillar” Spring Water
  • Zodiac

List of brands to avoid that are known to be high in fluoride:

  • Alhambra
  • Arrowhead
  • Belmont Springs
  • Crystal Rock
  • Crystal Springs
  • Deer Park
  • Diamond Springs
  • Hindley Spri
  • Ice Mountain
  • Kandiyohi
  • Kentwood Springs
  • Mayer Bros.
  • Mount Olympus
  • Nursery Water
  • Ozarka
  • Poland Spring
  • Pure Flo
  • Puritan Springs
  • Shenandoah
  • Sierra Springs
  • Sparkletts
  • Zephyrhills

The list contains data provided by the International Bottled Water Association that you can use to make sure you’re not feeding fluoride to yourself and your family.

Source: http://www.foodandourhealth.com/

 SHORT COURSES TRAINING

How answering 77 questions could help you avoid business failure

Out Now: 77 Ways to avoid Potential Business Failure77 Questions to avoid business failure by Diane Shawe white background

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

Like you I Never Thought I Could answer 77 questions that would help me  avoid business failure  – But I Finally Discovered The Secret! Here’s How…

article by Diane Shawe Author

Are you ready? Is Entrepreneurship For You?
Are you the right person for your business idea?

In business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business – but you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation, and insight. Start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a potential owner and manager of a small business. Carefully consider each of the following questions.

  • Are you a self-starter? It will be entirely up to you to develop projects, organise your time, and follow through on details.
  • How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including customers, vendors, staff, bankers, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor, or a cranky receptionist if your business interests demand it?
  • How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly – often quickly, independently, and under pressure.
  • Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Can you face six or seven 12-­hour work days every week?
  • How well do you plan and organise? Research indicates that poor planning is responsible for most business failures. Good organisation ­ of financials, inventory, schedules, and production ­ can help you avoid many pitfalls.
  • Is your drive strong enough? Running a business can wear you down emotionally. Some business owners burn out quickly from having to carry all the responsibility for the success of their business on their own shoulders. Strong motivation will help you survive slowdowns and periods of burnout.
  • How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start­up can be hard on family life. It’s important for family members to know what to expect and for you to be able to trust that they will support you during this time. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk in the short-term.

So Before you start – Do you know the answer to these 77 questions?  Download your copy today it will be the best £3.99 you spend? 

I recommend you get a little notebook and start working on each question. For those you cannot answer, find the answer and make a note.  This is also an invaluabe excercise if you are already in business, it can help you clarify where you are today and help you plot where you need to get too and how to do it.

Get your exclusive copy today and save £3.00

Get your exclusive copy today and save £3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to find out if you are right for your business, we have a surprise link hidden inside this little ebook.  All you have to do is Answer 10 questions and we will send you a full report which will also include your Personal Training Needs Analysis to develop your Entrepreneur skills.

Diane Shawe Author of 77 Question to avoid business failure Available from Amazon

Diane Shawe Author of 77 Question to avoid business failure Available from Amazon

Grants for further Education and Short courses

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses

Loads of grants and bursaries go unclaimed each year in the UK, so we’ve created this guide so you can bag the cash you’re entitled to.

Further education loans for mature students in England

If you’re 24 or over, you can apply for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan to help with college or training tuition costs in England.

You’ll need to be studying a Level 3 or 4 course – these include A-levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and many apprenticeships You can take a loan for each A-level, but you can’t take them all at once. You must also have lived anywhere in the UK for the last three years.

There’s no credit check to get the loan, and it doesn’t depend on your household income. How much you get depends on what you’re studying and what your college charges in tuition fees. The minimum loan is £300. The loan will be paid directly to the college.

There’s also a 24+ Advanced Learning Loans Bursary Fund, which you can apply to if you need learning help, or to cover childcare or residential costs.

If you’re studying an Access to Higher Education diploma, then go on to complete a higher education course, your 24+ Advanced Learning Loan is written off.

You start paying the loan back when you earn £21,000 a year or more. Interest is charged at RPI+3% while you’re studying, then at RPI.

Who can apply? Anyone over the age of 24 studying a Level 3 or 4 course.
What’s the maximum award? £300 upwards. What does it cover? Tuition fees/training costs.

Free short courses

Fee-free tuition for Scottish students

If you live in Scotland and decide to study at a university in Scotland, you won’t have to pay anything towards tuition fees, you’ll be guaranteed to get a maintenance loan and may be eligible for a bursary. But if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll still have to pay up to £9,000 a year to study in Scotland.

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) offers the Young Students’ Bursary, which covers day-to-day living costs if your family’s household income is less than £34,000 a year. Those on an income of less than £17,000 will get the full bursary of £1,750.

Anyone who applies through SAAS will be eligible for a loan of at least £4,750 if their household income is £34,000 or above, while others will receive £5,750.

There’s also an Independent Students’ Bursary and student loan for those who are 25 or over, are married or living with a partner, or responsible for a child. Here, you’ll get a bursary of £750 if your household income is under £17,000.

Loans work in the same way for mature students – you’ll get at least £4,750 if your household income is over £34,000, while those with an income under £17,000 can borrow up to £6,750.

Who can apply? Loans: Everyone. Bursary: Households earning under £34,000 a year.
What’s the maximum award? £300 upwards. What does it cover? Living or studying costs.

Why Study With Us Unemployed PosterIndividual Learning Accounts for Scottish adults

If you live in Scotland and earn less than £22,000 a year, you could get some funding from ILA Scotland.

This provides a grant of £200 towards the cost of learning something new at any approved provider, including learning centres, colleges, universities and private training companies.

Who can apply? Adults in Scotland. What’s the maximum award? £200. What does it cover? Learning costs.

Discretionary Learner Support

You can apply for Discretionary Learner Support from your education provider if you’re 19 or over, studying for a further education course, and facing financial hardship. This money can go towards childcare, accommodation, travel or course materials & equipment.

Your school or college decides how much you’ll get, and which scheme you’ll be put on, ie it could be a direct payment (you don’t have to pay it back), a loan, or paid directly to your landlord.

Who can apply? Anyone over 19. How much can you get? Varies. What does it cover? Any costs associated with studying

Care to Learn

There is help for those who have to bear the cost of course fees and childcare through the Government’s Care to Learn scheme. You must be 20 years or over at the start of your course to be eligible for the scheme, and be the main carer for your child. This is not suitable for those studying a higher education course at university.

The sum covers childcare, deposit and registration fees, travel costs for taking your child to the provider, and keeping your childcare place over the holidays. Childcare providers must be registered with Ofsted.

Payments of £160 per child per week (£175 if you live in London) will stop if you stop studying, you finish the course, or your child stops attending childcare.

Who can apply? Aged 20 or over, studying publicly-funded course in England. How much can you get? £160 or £175 per child per week. What does it cover? Childcare costs.

Professional and Career Development Loans

If you think grants and loans are only for university students, think again. These loans are offered at a reduced interest rate, which the Government pays while you’re studying, and are there to help those who want to top up their training.

To be eligible, you need to be over 18 and must have been living in anywhere in the UK for at least three years before the start of your course. Your course must last two years, or up to three years with a year of work experience.

The snag is that the course must be provided by an organisation on the Professional Career and Development Loan Register, so you’ll need to check.

Be careful of imposters – only Barclays and Co-op currently offer these loans. For more information, take a look at our Career Development Loans guide.

Who can apply? Anyone over 18. How much can you get? Between £300 and £10,000. What does it cover? Any tuition costs associated with developing your career.

Mobile Learning, Mobile Earning

Mobile Learning, Mobile Earning

Local council grants

Your local council may offer grants to advance your education. As councils can assign funding to different areas, search for local training providers using the Gov.uk website.

Quick Stats: Who can apply? Varies. What’s the maximum award? Varies. What does it cover? Depends on the type of grant available.

Setting up your own business

Over 50 and interested in setting up your own business?

The Prince’s Initiative, a charity that supports people who are out of work or facing redundancy, offers a Preparing to Run Your Own Business Course for the over-50s. It’s free but requires an £80 deposit, reduced to £25 if you’re claiming an employment-related benefit, which is refunded when you’ve finished the course.

The course runs all over the UK and includes areas such as marketing and finance. For more information, or to book a place, see the Prime website or call 0845 862 2023.

Who can apply? Over-50s. What’s the maximum award? N/A. What does it cover? 6-7 week course with 3 training days and coursework.

Want to improve your maths and English skills?

A simple maths equationIf you’ve ever wanted to improve your maths and English skills, virtually every college in the country offers free courses to help you from basic literacy and numeracy up to GCSE level. Check on the National Careers Service website or call 0800 100 900 for classes in your area.

Try this online quiz from Move On and the BBC SkillsWise site to see if you could improve your skills.

Who can apply? Anyone What’s the maximum award? n/a What does it cover? Free daytime and evening classes in maths and English (reading, writing)

 

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!

article by Diane Shawe

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 information on  soft skill courses on demand click here

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.

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 http://www.expresstrainingcourses.co.uk for more information.

How can employers help keep their work force healthy so as to avoid high healthcare costs?

5-natural-ingredients-for-preventing-lung-disease-expresstrainingcourses.co.ukWhether you’re talking about asthma, cancer, COPD, or even rare conditions, lung disease is on the rise.

The experts are calling lung disease a “time bomb waiting to explode.”

sourced: by Diane Shawe from the  Institute for natural healing

Whether you are creating a workplace wellness program from scratch, or enhancing what you already have, you’re already on the right track! With increasing costs of health care, a shrinking workforce, and aging workers, a savvy workplace understands the value in supporting workers to improve their conditioning and to live a fitter lifestyle.

For instance you could help by engaging with your workforce through your company blog by blogging about five natural ingredients to keep their lungs young and healthy as follows:

1. Milk Thistle: You might already know that it has the power to help your liver regenerate its cells. But milk thistle contains silymarin. It’s a compound that flushes toxins out of your liver. It also helps prevent lung cancer from forming and spreading.

Milk thistle also contains silibinin. Like silymarin, it protects you from lung cancer. But even better. These cancer cells spread quickly to other organs in your body. And they can become drug resistant. Silibinin doesn’t only reverse drug resistance in these cells… It causes natural cell death in cancerous lung tumors.2 You can find milk thistle extract pills in health stores and online. Organic milk thistle tea is another option.

2. Fiber: Oddly enough, fiber is critical to your lung health. It may help relieve symptoms of–and even prevent—asthma.

A high-fiber diet changes the makeup of your gut bacteria. The good bacteria feed on fiber. When you keep these bacteria well-fed, they produce short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce inflammation and irritation in the lungs. But don’t add grains to your diet for more fiber. They actually increase the amount of inflammation in your body—including your lungs. Instead, eat more organic artichokes, peas, raspberries, and blackberries.

3. Ginger: It’s full of antioxidant power. But two of these antioxidants in particular protect your lungs against inflammation and damage. Gingerols help clear your lungs by reducing the amount of mucous they produce.3 And 6-shagaol, the compound that gives ginger its flavor, stops bronchial tubes from tightening.4 This keeps airflow open and easy.

Ginger can be pretty intense if you aren’t used to it. Add it to your diet slowly if you don’t eat it on a regular basis. When it comes to ginger, fresh is always better. Cutting up some fresh ginger and adding it to a meal gives you antioxidant power and extra flavor. You can also juice with it or use it to brew your own tea to help soothe your lungs when you have a cough.

4. Broccoli Sprouts: Broccoli sprouts are rich in vitamins A, K, and C. But they also contain sulforaphane. It’s a compound that helps you fight the inflammation that causes asthma. One study found that it helped restore defective white blood cells in the lungs. More white blood cells mean less bacteria and inflammation.5

Broccoli sprouts have about 50 times more sulforaphane than regular broccoli. But you may not be able to find them at your grocery store. If that’s the case, look at your local farmer’s market. Or you could grow them yourself. Try them steamed or throw them raw into a salad. For convenience, you can also find broccoli sprout extract as a supplement online.

5. Bromelain: It’s an enzyme used to reduce inflammation of the sinuses after surgery. But it’s also a natural way to treat pulmonary edema.6 This condition prevents the fluid from draining out of your lungs. The result? Shortness of breath. If left untreated, it can cause deadly infections. One study found that bromelain reduces the amount of inflammatory neutrophils in the lung by up to 85 percent.7

The best way to start getting more bromelain in your diet is by eating fresh pineapple.8 And lots of it. Most of the bromelain in a pineapple is in the stem. Or you can supplement.

Pollution and secondhand smoke aren’t the only things that can irritate your lungs. Inflammation is a major factor in the development of most lung disease. Lowering it will help ensure that your lungs are working at their best. Using these five natural solutions will help keep you free of disease—and breathing a little easier.

So you can see the benefits of preparing a workplace wellness program.

Creating a Workplace Wellness Program

Whether you are creating a workplace wellness program from scratch, or enhancing what you already have, you’re already on the right track! With increasing costs of health care, a shrinking workforce, and aging workers, a savvy workplace understands the value in supporting workers to improve their conditioning and to live a fitter lifestyle. We have a  two-day course includes all aspects of designing or upgrading a workplace program, from concept through implementation, to review.

AVPT’s two-day workshop will help you  to:

o   Describe the necessity of workplace wellness programs
o   Create program elements that reflect the needs of employees and the objectives of the organisation
o   Select program elements that fit the context of current operations
o   Establish implementation and evaluation strategies

Getting you qualified in days not years!

Getting you qualified in days not years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

other article you might be interested in : Dangers of Hypertension to Founder owners of SME.

Have you every wondered why people shy away from solving problems?

banner bbb aug 2013 avptglobalDo you spend a lot of time frowning?  are you even aware that you frown?

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed
CEO Academy of Vocational and Professional Ltd.

Do you think more people focus on the half empty glass or the half full. Which are you? At times, it would seem that we have more problems then we can handle, but this all boils down to self responsibility critical thinking skills and optimism. Taking the bull by the horn can be a scary things, so check out a few well know secrets?

1.      Smile!  It is impossible to hold a frown and smile at the same time, try it, you will be amazed at how your brain will help you look and keep on the bright side of life.

2. Separating negative feelings from positive thoughts. This is an important step in solving problems. Only after you have cleared your mind with unnecessary thoughts can you start solving your problems accordingly.

3.      Treat each problem as a challenge an opportunity for self-improvement.

4.      Lose the scapegoat attitude. Are you pointing your finger or blaming others for mishaps? Take responsibilities for your mistakes. No one is perfect, so never put the blames on others unless your trying to say that they are much smarter because they got you to do something you did not intend.

5.      Commit your problem with a pen and paper, and rate the depth of the problem and state the worse that could happen. Face the fear and then write down all the options of solving it.

6.      Keep a journal and treat it as a “secret friend” who is always willing to listen to your grievances. Write your feelings freely.

7.      Develop a noteworthy hobby, for this will help you lessen or minimise stress in your life.

8.      Take time off from work and create variations of your daily schedule. Relax and check out the best movies in town. Travel and meet new wonderful people. You will find these activities worthwhile in the long run.

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

 4 Steps problem solving tools

1.      To determine the root cause of the problem. Ask a question, answer it, then ask why, answer that, then ask what if, and so on until you run out, that might likely be the root of the problem.

2.      Draw up a strategy, then act upon it. (Pretend you was advising a friend and follow your own advice)

3.      Give yourself a deadline, and reward yourself when you have completed the task

4.      Reflect so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes .

Problems are problems. They are there not to annoy you; but problems are created when you fail to act upon them. Learn to  Let go and you will free yourself of  worry. Remember, less worries mean less stress, so you won’t just spend your time looking at problems, but working to solve them.

If you think that you really want some time out because of problems, visit the next room called “improvement.”

Why not take a look at some of our problem solving courses now.  Click here

AVPT HAIR EXTENSION DEPARTMENT LOGO JULY 2013

The ‘Multi-Generational’ workforce and m-learning

article by Diane Shawe BBA., M.Ed IEEE  CEO Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd

Social Media, New media and e-Networking, whatever we want to call it,  has certainly changed more than the way we work, the way we share and consume knowledge and even complain. The context in which we work is faster and faster, and result can almost happen in real time around the world.

Well they have come up with yet another gadgetry word, wait for it…  The workforce of the 21st century is now being referred to as the  ‘Multi-Generational Workforce’ because it consist of a mixture of baby boomer’s and generation Y.

Generation Y differs from the baby boomer’s because they were brought up in the digital era. They are familiar with the internet and social media and easily post a question into their on-line network and receive all types of answers in seconds!

With this in mind, we see a lot of the old ‘Tanker’ type organisations refusing to initiate, release, set free the use of this new powerful media throughout there organisation because of speculative fear mongering proposed by their IT departments!  I guess these guys need to safeguard their jobs!  I know the truth hurts.  They say a tanker takes a much longer time to turn than a speed boat.  Look at the graveyard of large tanker companies who just did not heed the writing on the wall.

This unstoppable social media era has taken a few large employees by surprise because smaller leaner business have taken the reins by freeing and empowering all their staff to become ambassador’s for their company  enabling not one but many to respond to change and  guarantee online responsive service and  quality to the every fast moving consumer who can complain in nano seconds around the world!

The investment of continuous education (lifelong learning) of any work force is imperative. With more and more titanic type organisations downsizing, multi skilling the remaining staff efficiently is a no brainer!

Research of Harvard shows that in 1986 when the first baby boomer’s started to work they had to rely for 75% on their own knowledge. The other 25% came from sources such as manuals. In 2009 people were relying on only 10% on their own knowledge and on 90% on information from third party sources such as social networks. New media did not merely change the way we work but primarily the way we share knowledge and learn. Therefore, companies need to make sure their workforce knows how to navigate the vast online environment.

In this sense, m-Learning is more than just a cost saving method but a strategic tool to avoid damaging the company’s reputation and to project a positive brand image.

Social Media and employees
One single negative post or tweet of an employee can have a devastating effect on the image of an organisation. For this reason, many organisations have implemented policies which offer support and guidance on the usage of social media. This empowers employees to use social media when necessary while still avoiding the pitfalls that can generate negative PR fallouts. But merely setting up these policies will cut short of these goals. That is why, increasingly, organizations use m-learning to communicate these guidelines and rules in an interesting and interactive manner. There is another major advantage to use m-Learning versus traditional training methods: the costs. Academy of vocational and Professional Training can assist any company deliver to their entire workforce  courses that are significant in  a scalable way. m-learning provides a solution which can be accessed from the desktop, iPad, Tablet, notebook or smartphone at any time and be kept up to date in real time with changes.

mobile-learning
m-Learning is increasingly used for specific training purposes, such as communicating the social media guidelines, but it can also play a major role in the broader development and training of personnel. One of the key characteristics of well-designed m-learning solutions, is that they create a space where workers can be active and inquisitive in their learning.

What’s next?
On the modern work floor we encounter a mix of various generation groups. In the year 2012 knowledge is not the ultimate goal, because knowledge is just a few mouse clicks away. It is about how one is able to apply this knowledge and provide an added value. There are several ways to make learning more interesting for both young and mature workers. Simulations, e-coaching and online peer-to-peer learning can help bring together the generation gap. Below we provide some ideas on how we can help to accelerate learning within the organisation:

1. Keep it simple.
By adding a variety of  layers, a blended learning approach meets the various learning styles with tool that are relevant and challenging for each employee. Keeping it light by a combining video, images and text without eating too much data.  Encourage employees to share experiences and let them contribute to the improvement of m-learning, so that they experience blending learning as one coherent experience.

2. Work with real-life cases
Real-life cases are recognisable and will therefore be motivating. Employees should be encouraged to collaborate and share knowledge and ideas. This can be reached by integrating a familiar environment. Many employees love to learn if this will assist them to execute their daily work.

3. Mirror reality
Learning is most effective when simulations are as closely related to reality as possible. We know that Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are the new game shifters in online communications and could be used most effectively in a controlled environement. Competitions or games could help challenge and stimulated the employee to make certain choices or come up with ideas. Be recognised and awarded. These are the most concrete experiences one can gain.

4. Make progress visible
People must be motivated to continue to learn. It is important that one can measure their progress in adopting new ideas, knowledge and behavioural changes. By acknowledging progress, the incentive to continue grows. By creating a competition element, one adds value. The employee can measure the success of the decisions made when they lead to a comparable and competitive result.

In many organisations, there is much to improve in terms of development and training. Sometimes employers forget that the whole organisation could suffer from economic and emotional depression, especially whey no energy is put into real motivation or stimulation.

While everyone knows that knowledge, development and involvement can make all the difference for a company to increase performance. Introducing an m-learning tool to reflect and inspire a higher order of thinking skills which incorporate communications, could reinforce each and every member of staff throughout an organisation.  After all it is not the size of the dog, but the fight in the dog that will set the new trendsetters apart. So  Let’s get to work! Let’s help your organisation stimulate on a scalable and cost effect way with our no nonsense approach to m-learning, courses and certificates that count globally.

For more information about our services visit www.academy-of-vocational-and-professional-training.com or call us on 0203 551 2621 to discuss our bespoke or white labelling services.