COVID-19 SUPPORT

 

08/March /2021 

We are pleased to announce that our skills learning centres are opening from March in line with Government guidance. The rest of our business is still operating remotely to provide education, support and guidance to our customers, learners, clients and carers through online, distance learning and remote solutions.

Kind regards, 

Together Training Team

On 5 January 2021 the UK entered a national lockdown to control spread of the coronavirus.

As with previous lockdowns we are able to provide remote and online learning throughout this period. All existing and new apprenticeships and adult education courses can continue, and we continually review and adapt our programmes to ensure they meet the needs of our learners and employer partners.

There is extremely limited access to our centres at present, and these are only being used where online/blended learning is not appropriate or assessments need to be completed. We have taken the following precautions to ensure all our sites are COVID secure:

  • Each site has been COVID risk assessed by a member of the Health and Safety team. No visitor or client is allowed on site until it has been deemed fit for reoccupation by the Health and Safety team.

  • All staff are pre-screened prior to being allowed back in any Together Training environment.

  • Online pandemic awareness modules are completed by all staff.

  • All visitors to our centres are required to supply contact details for NHS Test and Trace. Official NHS QR code posters are displayed in every centre, and visitors are encouraged to check in by scanning the NHS QR code instead of completing the customer log wherever possible to facilitate contact tracing.

  • Visitors will see posters / signs / prompts on arrival, or at the nearest hygiene station. They will then be prompted to comply with hygiene and distancing measures as they move around the centre.

  • We have in almost all scenarios been able to metre rule for offices and meeting rooms. Where this has not been achieved other effective mitigation measures have been put in place.

  • Guidance documents are available to all staff/visitors.

  • Our management team reassesses Government guidance on a weekly basis, and will ensure that all centres comply with the latest guidance applicable to the local COVID alert level.

For the latest Government guidance and support relating to COVID-19 please visit: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

We recognise that for all of us, these are extraordinary times and I want to personally reassure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure a seamless experience during this difficult period. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and to thank all of our colleagues who are working incredibly hard to serve our customers with the high standards of service you expect from us.

Kind regards, 

Together Training Team

20th March 2020

Dear Apprentice,

 

Following Government guidance, the Together Training office based in the Business Lounge at West Herts College will be closed from Friday 20 March 2020 until further notice. We are continuing to monitor information from Government regarding schools and colleges and we will keep you up to date with any further developments.

 

As a result, all masterclasses previously delivered on site will now be moved online via conference call through Microsoft Teams and or Skype. Please get in touch with your Learning Coach to find out more details.

 

As our team of professional learning coaches work from home, we are able to deliver brilliant training via private, personal, development learning conversations and interactive workshops.

 

In the meantime, all staff will be working remotely and are contactable via the usual channels.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Managing Director, John McMahon – john.mcmahon@togethertraining.co.uk 07500126450.

 

We wish you all well in this very challenging time.

 

Kind regards, 

Together Training Team

April 2020

Learner guidance for remote delivery

It is important that you are aware of the impact that your online activity can have on both yourself and other people, and the digital footprint that you create on the internet. It is easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that you are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that you have posted. Personal information should be kept safe and not shared with strangers.

Some online content may be hurtful or harmful to you. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. Try to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias. Only navigating sites and pages that you have selected can help to mitigate risks here.

Consider that people online may not be who they say they are and that once someone is added to an online account, you may well be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends’ lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each person is able to access.

If you are aware of inappropriate behaviour online or offline then please report it. It is important to inform a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying you for example, or making you feel uncomfortable. You can do this by contacting our Safeguarding Officer -safeguarding card  or your Learning Coach or MD John McMahon 07500126450 about this, or any other matters of concern. They can direct you towards accessing support for a variety of situations and anything raised will be dealt with discreetly and confidentially, (unless you or someone else is at immediate risk of harm).

18th May 2020

Dear all,

 

We hope you and your families are keeping safe and well during these unprecedented times.

 

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.  The theme for this week, as chosen by the Mental Health Foundation, is kindness.

 

Mental health and wellbeing continues to be an important priority for Together Training , particularly during the current situation. Please see below for some insightful links in regards to mental health/wellbeing and tips for working at home.

 

 

 

 

Tips for working from home with children, a partner or housemates


1) Agree together where you will work and the ground rules for both/all the adults to work effectively.

It’s worth discussing together where in your living space you are all going to work and the ground rules you all need to be effective. For example, if the door to my office is shut, I’m on a confidential call, so please don’t come in. Or I’ll let you know when I need quiet or when I’m taking breaks so you know when I can be interrupted.

2) Tag team the responsibility for children with a partner if you can.

If you have children at home, particularly if they are younger, it’s going to be a challenge to work and look after them. If you have a partner at home, make sure you share the responsibility so that critical work is not interrupted, for example if you have a call with a client or you need to meet a deadline.

3) Remember that you are not home schooling your children.

If you are putting the pressure on yourself to create the perfect learning experience for your children at the same time as holding down your job and leading/managing a team who need your time, energy and support, stop now!

You are not home schooling your children; the schools have closed in an emergency situation and the teachers are trying to keep them moving along, but this is not a normal situation. Keep them fed, love them, help them through what is an anxious time, keep them occupied where you can. Use the square babysitter (TV) if you need to at critical moments; there are lots of educational programmes on iPlayer if that makes you feel better.

4) Work with natural rhythms rather than against them.

Trying to fight against the natural rhythms in the household is a recipe for stress and unhappiness. Running battles with small children will make everyone miserable and won’t lead to any increase in productivity for you. Watch the natural rhythms and work with them. Ideas include scheduling client calls during nap times for very small children or allowing them to watch a movie when their energies are lower to give you some focused time on a task you need to complete.

5) Forgive yourself; this doesn’t have to be perfect.

Forgive yourself for being less than perfect right now, or even less than optimal in any of the varied roles you play. You are doing your best in challenging circumstances.

 

As always, if you wish to talk about anything, please feel free to contact your learning coach and/or Felicity Profit, Apprenticeship Delivery Manager.

 

 Managing Director, John McMahon – john.mcmahon@togethertraining.co.uk

 07500126450.

Best wishes,

Together Training Team

June 2020

Dear all,

 

Hope you’re keeping well and safe.

 

Please find  our safeguarding card with contact numbers in regards to any safeguarding/wellbeing issues.

 

If you have any concerns regarding anything else, including your apprenticeship programme, please feel free to contact your learning coach and/or the Together Training team as follows:

 

  • John McMahon, Managing Director on 07500126450

  • Felicity Profit, Apprenticeship Delivery Manager and Safeguarding Officer on 07825 682 923

Our working lives have been changing for a while now – but the emergence of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to a massive change, more uncertainty, and new challenges for many of us.

We found some really useful advice from MentalHealth.Org

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak/while-working

Take care.

 

Kind regards,

Together Training Team

July 2020

  Teaching and learning during enforced campus closure.

 

In line with guidance around social distancing we are delivering a fully remote and online service. We have replaced face-to-face training, workshops and coaching sessions with a variety of distance learning alternatives, including:

  • Virtual classrooms to enable remote teaching

  • Adapted delivery materials and use of good remote teaching practices (e.g. questioning, screen swap/share, research, discussion, review of work and feedback)

  • Live and pre-recorded Microsoft Team sessions on specific topics of difficulty

  • Use of videoconferencing to facilitate remote group exercises and peer support

  • Access to a wide range of e-learning resources

Our remote delivery model also takes into consideration the health and wellbeing of our apprentices as they adapt to a very different learning experience. With this is mind we will be incorporating:

  • Bitesize teaching and learning to minimise screen time

  • Use of activity-based learning to punctuate trainer-led sessions

  • Additional 1-2-1 support for learners when needed

  • Flexibility in relation to learning to take into account personal circumstances (e.g. childcare commitments)

  Apprentices satisfaction levels

 

As most of the apprentices we surveyed didn’t choose to study online, it was important to quickly identify areas for improvements and collect feedback in order to continue to deliver high quality training. We spoke with 107 apprentices and Initial feedback found overwhelmingly positive results about the move from classroom to online learning.

 

The main questions we asked were:

 

  • Is the Covid-19 outbreak having an impact on your apprenticeship?

  • How satisfied are you with the extra delivery/support that is being delivered during Covid-19

  • As far as you can tell, how satisfied are you that in your apprenticeship you have learned/are learning up-to-date knowledge, skills and behaviours?

 

The feedback collected identified that apprentices were extremely positive about their learning coaches and how they have delivered training sessions in order for apprentices to continue to work from home effectively .89% of apprentices have said that Covid -19 has not affected their apprenticeship ,but from the comments box, apprentices indicated that they are missing the interaction from other students who attend the monthly Masterclass in the Business Lounge .90% of apprentices indicated that the extra support of increased reviews ,weekly catch up  and well-being sessions were well recieved.78% of apprentices are satisfied that they are learning up to date knowledge, skills and behaviours. 

 

Whilst its pleasing to see that the apprentices are enjoying this new way of learning, it’s important to note that this cohort of apprentices signed up to monthly face to face classroom sessions and are missing that interaction. TT will continue to monitor government advice regarding face to face delivery.

Kind regards, 

Together Training Team

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – important customer update Autumn 2020

 

In light of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, our priority continues to be the well-being of our staff, learners, employers, and partners. Together Training  is regularly monitoring the outbreak of Coronavirus following the advice and latest updates from the government, you will appreciate this will change.

 

Together Training remains open and fully operational. Most of our staff are working from home to limit the spread of the virus meaning we have accelerated the use of technology to deliver our programmes innovatively in order to limit the amount of physical contact between staff and customers, as an educational institution we are able to visit learners and employers in the workplace as long as we all follow government guidance to keep everyone safe. Download the app here.

 

We understand that you will be experiencing a great deal of disruption personally and across your organisation, and we will do all we can to minimise this and continue to provide a positive customer experience. The government have released information to help support both businesses and employees during this crisis. Further information is available here

Kind regards, 

Together Training Team

Nov 2020

Online safety

It is important that you are aware of the impact that your online activity can have on both yourself and other people, and the digital footprint that you create on the internet. It is easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that you are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that you have posted. Personal information should be kept safe and not shared with strangers.

Some online content may be hurtful or harmful to you. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. Try to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias. Only navigating sites and pages that you have selected can help to mitigate risks here.

Consider that people online may not be who they say they are and that once someone is added to an online account, you may well be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends’ lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each person is able to access.

If you are aware of inappropriate behaviour online or offline then please report it. It is important to inform a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying you for example, or making you feel uncomfortable. You can do this by contacting our Safeguarding Team, Learning Coach or Learner  about this, or any other matters of concern. They can direct you towards accessing support for a variety of situations and anything raised will be dealt with discreetly and confidentially, (unless you or someone else is at immediate risk of harm)

Support for creating passwords -Link

October 2020

The events of this year has meant we are all spending a lot more time online; be it Zoom meet ups with friends and family, virtual lessons, increased social media scrolling or gaming to ward off the boredom – internet safety is as important as ever before.

With a second lockdown upon us, keeping in touch online will increase again. It is important to stay connected with family and friends to boost your wellbeing and you may join online communities or start using new video calling platforms in order to keep in contact, however it is important to be aware of the risks. Some of these risks include:

  • Online abuse

  • Cyberbullying

  • Sexual Exploitation

  • Sexting

  • Grooming

  • Radicalisation. 

To help you understand and tackle the risks we all face online, here are our top 5 tips to staying safe online:

1. Check Your Security & Privacy Settings

Look for the ‘privacy and security’ or ‘settings’ on the app, website or device you are using and check or adjust them to increase the security on the personal data you are sharing. By ensuring your device is using the latest version of software and apps can also improve your security.
 

2. Block Unsuitable Content

If you see harmful activity, report it to the site. To prevent unwanted content from appearing, set filters on your home broadband and mobile networks. The UK Safer Internet Centre has advice on how. 
 

3. Protect Against Fraud

Criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam people, including Covid-19. Beware of fraud, scam or phishing emails and text messages relating to COVID-19 and do not give out your personal details in response to emails/text messages you don’t trust or recognise. You can find guidance on how to recognise a fraudulent email from the National Cyber Security Centre, here.
 

4. Check the Facts

Before you like, comment or share something online, use the SHARE checklist published by the Government to make sure you’re not spreading harmful content

  • Source - make sure information comes from a trusted source

  • Headline - always read beyond the headline

  • Analyse - check the facts

  • Retouched - does the image or video look as though it has been doctored?

  • Error - look out for bad grammar and spelling

5. Take a Break 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with information at this time and constant news and social media updates can just add to your worries. Therefore if you feel it is affecting you, take a step back and limit the time you spend reading, watching or listening to media regarding the outbreak.

Remember you are allowed to leave your house for one form of exercise a day, so why not use it as a chance to take a break from screens and online media.

Kind regards, 

Together Training Team

The Levy affects businesses with

a payroll bill of over £3 million, equating to just 0.5 percent of employee payroll paid into the levy pot by qualifying businesses.