Archive for the ‘Work Related Learning’ Category

 

2017 is off to a good start

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

2017 is off to a good start. Happy New Year to you all from Team Telcare.
Mix Fireworks or firecracker.
It’s time to grab the bull by the horns and focus on the new year ahead, it will be what you make it, but we all need a little support along the way. How fortunate we are then, to be located in Kent, where there’s a thriving business community with hundreds of business men and women encouraging each other along their chosen paths.

Having access to these marvellous men and women can be a most valuable asset for you and your business. We all need contacts to help our business grow. So how do you meet said marvels? You network! Being out and about in the business community, meeting like-minded people and developing mutually beneficial relationships is a positive move for any business. It’s a great way to find out what’s happening in your local business world, learn something new and receive free advice and mentoring.
On that note, we know of a few events coming up that you might wish to attend. canstockphoto6370084

MEBP Networking Breakfast is on Weds 11th Jan 8.30am to 10.30am at BAE Systems, Marconi Way, Rochester, Kent ME1 2XX

Medway Education Business Partnership is an organisation bringing together schools and businesses in order to prepare young people for the work place. The organisation is hugely successful in providing young people with opportunities to engage with local employers through various work experiences.
MEBP have just recently become a BTEC Training Centre in order to deliver Workskills Qualifications. They are very excited about their plans for 2017 and are holding a networking breakfast to bring everyone up to date and explain how businesses can get involved should they wish to. For more details or to book a place, please contact Dawn on 01634 204995 or email dawn@mebp.co.uk

The Networker’s Networking Event is on Thurs 16th Feb 9.30am to 3pm at Eastwell Manor in Ashford.

This event is for those who have only just started to network right through to the serial networker. There will be speakers running us through the pros and cons of networking and teaching us how to network effectively. There will also be some interesting information on the psychology of networking. To sign up for this event click here www.butterfliesanddreamsep.co.uk

Telcare will be attending both of these events and will look forward to meeting you there.

Old Dogs Teach Networking Tricks

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Last week I joined a group of seasoned business men and women to attend a careers fair at a local school. The brief was to teach the students how to network.

When you’ve been about for a few years the process of interacting with others gets easier and communication skills get taken for granted. For some, however, the thought of making conversation with a stranger can be traumatic and something to be avoided at all costs.

Fortunately these fears can be overcome and skills can be improved with practice. Our aim was to make the students feel at ease, boost their confidence and improve their communication skills.

The options for the morning were either carrying out some soft networking, i.e mingling amongst the terrified students and striking up a conversation or having some fun. We decided on both and put together some speed networking sessions, with soft networking in the background.

The morning consisted of 4 workshops with approximately 20 students in each. Former Kent Entrepreneur Paul Andrews kicked off each session with a humorous rendition of a surfing trip with his son. The story related to attitude and how employers still stress how important it is to have the ‘right attitude’ regardless of the qualifications you may have.

Having politely giggled in all the right places at Paul’s speech, the students were let loose into the room to network. It was encouraging to see so many head towards the speed networking area; in fact we had a queue for most sessions and had to reduce the time of each session in order to accommodate everyone.

Some students began nervously saying that they didn’t know what to say but within moments they amazingly found their voice and were engaging with the volunteers as if they were old friends. Confidence grew before our very eyes, it was extremely rewarding to witness.

The result, an enjoyable morning had by both students and volunteers alike. Personally I was reminded of the power of communication and just how significant networking is to me and my business.

Thanks go to Paul Andrews, Louisa Felstead, David Kirk, Sarah-Jane Herber-Hall, Alastair Wood, Trayc Randall, Soinia Hurren, Jan Fenning, Chris Pollard and Emma Dengate. You were all fabulous mentors and excellent company.

A Student's Point of View

Friday, August 8th, 2014

This week I have had the wonderful opportunity to experience working at Telcare Ltd, which was organised through my school and the MEBP (Medway Education Business Partnerships) program. As I was on my way to my first day at work I had no idea what was in store for me and naturally I was quite nervous but when I arrived, that all changed.

I was greeted on my first day by my supervisor, Lisa Settle who was very polite and introduced me to everyone around the office, which comprised of a total of 12 people, unfortunately not everyone was there due to holidays. However everyone I did get to meet turned out to be very welcoming, polite and enjoyable to talk to, making it much easier for me to get on with my tasks and not be nervous if I had a question.

The first tasks I had included making a twitter schedule for future tweets and researching articles for it. This made me feel more empowered as I was trusted with the responsibility to work on my own. I was also given the opportunity to learn about the fault logging system and how to enter new logs using the company's database as well as being given an idea of how remote programming is done and was shown how they diagnose system problems.

As I progressed further through the week I was able to get to grips with their ‘Sage’ software which is used for their accounting, being kindly guided by Bekki along the way. On my second day I was introduced to a simple IP phone and was given the chance to update the software and program the extension numbers for around 7 of them, this sounds simple but each phone took 15 minutes!

I also got to learn about the various marketing techniques used by Telcare such as social media, sponsorships & awards and exhibitions. I then learned how important CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) was for a business and how it could be used to build links with the community.

Everyone continued to be friendly as I became more integrated and friendlier with the staff, more laughter, funny stories and interesting topics were discussed. Learning how everything worked was fascinating and a lot more complicated than I had thought. On day three I spent the most part of the morning with Lisa who helped me organise and prepare a plan for my C.V. As the afternoon progressed I spent the latter half of the day helping David with log entries and site plans for a couple companies they had visited. I also managed to squeeze in some help with another colleague, Jamie, setting up a little more advanced IP phone which was both interesting and enjoyable.

On the penultimate day, I had a really nice time. Thursday was my birthday and being the really kind people they are, I was given some mini cupcakes and a card signed by everyone in the office which really helped make my day. For the most part of the day I was busy writing up and going through my C.V. with Lisa who was very helpful in cutting it down, phrasing it right and just generally checking for mistakes and grammatical issues. I found this extremely useful as having someone available to do these things with you helps you see where you went wrong.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Telcare. The people and the atmosphere were really comforting and everybody there was perfectly willing to help with any issues I was having and had no problems answering questions, no matter how trivial they may have been. I was given the opportunity to develop my team working skills, communications skills as well as being able to strengthen my own ability to work independently. I would like to give a huge thank you to everyone at Telcare, especially Lisa for giving me the opportunity to work here and I highly recommend for any student looking for work experience to come here, I gladly would for another week or even longer!

Work Related Learning - Why Get Involved?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Getting involved in work related learning programmes can be time consuming but when you consider that we are handing over our business knowledge to the next generation then surely that’s time well spent.

Over the years we have participated in schemes providing mock interviews and CV assistance, enterprise weeks & competitions, mentoring, careers fairs and work experience placements. The involvement not only equips the students for a smooth transition into the workplace but provides many benefits for small businesses.

Here are 4 good reasons to get involved.

• Building Links with the Community
Becoming involved with the community keeps you up to date with local issues and gives you an opportunity to have your say. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people. By offering reliable and consistent support to organisations that rely upon volunteers, places your company in a trusted position. Demonstrating that Corporate Social Responsibility is at the heart of your business is great for your reputation and sends a positive message to staff.

• Recruitment
Meeting and mentoring students on a regular basis provides an insight of the abilities emerging from schools, colleges and universities. Having access to the raw talent often highlights key skills that are a perfect match for your organisation and makes for easy recruitment. Work experience is undoubtedly an advantage in the recruitment process. Preparing the next generation with ideas of what an employer is looking for is beneficial to both employer and employee.

• Training
When a mentor is training a student, he is also learning. Taking part in work related learning schemes can help with your personal development and that of your employees. Staff members are often keen to take part and are motivated by the thought of passing on their knowledge. Work related learning provides on the job training in real situations for the trainer and trainee and a major benefit is that it’s free!

• Marketing
Involvement within the community provides a source of news worthy content which is useful for your newsletters, blogs and social media strategies. In fact, if we’re lucky our current work experience student may just present us with a blog at the end of the week. Watch this space!

Success of the Pink Ninjas

Monday, March 25th, 2013

By participating in many work related schemes, we get to witness the extraordinary talents of young people on a regular basis. Last Wednesday was a prime example. I was invited to judge the Young Enterprise Company Finals at Bethany School and what a pleasure it was.
We were presented with six companies, formed by students from various schools, who had come together to compete in the finals. Business plans had been formed, share capital raised and taxes paid. The students take on the responsibility of running the company for a year, getting practical experience with finance, marketing, selling, product development and company administration. Along the way they encountered problem solving and the importance of teamwork and communication.
The Young Enterprise programme, now in it’s 50th year, has seen thousands of students develop key skills that will enhance their employability and enterprise capabilities. Many alumni of the Company Programme have gone on to outstanding careers as entrepreneurs, corporate executives and public figures. Employers tend to look favourably on students who have taken part in the programme. The academic world also recognises the value of the scheme. An A level 3 OCR qualification is available to all students taking part in Company Programme. This is worth up to 40 UCAS points that count towards entry into university.
The finals were made up of three sections, firstly judging the business plans, secondly judging the trade stand and interviewing the students and finally judging the presentations. Each company demonstrated a sound business understanding and had excelled in at least one area of the judges criteria. The enthusiasm was not only impressive but totally infectious
Prizes were awarded for the best business plan, the best trade stand and the best presentation. The overall award went to a group of very determined young people, going by the name of The Pink Ninjas. The Pink Ninjas offered seasonal services, taking advantage of Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter as well as producing a school mug that could be sold throughout the year. Their brand awareness was tremendous and their constant monitoring aided the company’s further development. Communication and teamwork were probably the key factors leading to the Pink Ninjas overall success.
Huge congratulations go to them and the very best of luck for the rest of the year.

Work related learning

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Work experience is an excellent way to introduce students into the world of work. It helps them to know what will be expected of them when they go to work. It also gives them an idea of what they may or may not like to do as a career.  Having a good set of employability skills will give students an advantage when searching for a job and a work experience placement is the perfect time to discover and develop these skills.  The latest student to join us was Daniel Atkinson.  Daniel adapted to the Telcare environment very quickly, his willingness to learn was impressive, it didn’t take him long to became part of the team.  Below is Daniel’s report on his experience.

This week I have had my work experience at Telcare Ltd, which was organised through my school and the MEBP (Medway Education Business Partnerships). My first day was scary as I was entering a new environment and I didn’t know what was going to happen. However fortunately for me, everyone at Telcare Ltd was really friendly and helped me to adapt to my new surroundings.

Throughout the week I was shown the different aspects of the business and I even had a go at some of them. I especially enjoyed the accounting software ‘Sage’. At the beginning of the week I was allowed to enter some financial transactions with the account manager, however by the end of the week I was able to do this on my own. Another aspect of the business that I enjoyed was when I took apart some broken telephones and replaced the screens. I found the creative aspect of that very interesting as well as looking at all the different parts inside the phone. I also learnt about the importance of brand identity and the various ways to get the message across to the customer. Telcare use different ways to be seen such as advertising, sponsorship, exhibiting, social media and blogging.

On Friday I was writing a practise covering letter to go with the CV that I had also created, when my supervisor told me that she had spoken to their accountants inquiring if they could take a work experience student on in the summer holidays for a week. I was extremely happy and thankful to my supervisor for this, as she knew that I wanted to go into finance when I am older.

Other tasks included creating a twitter schedule. This made me feel proud because my supervisor had trusted me and given me the responsibility to do it. I researched various topics that would make interesting reading. I also managed to overcome an uncomfortable moment when I had to make a call to a client. It was my first day so I felt really nervous and not at all confident however by the end of the week I could answer the phone with more confidence having gained a little experienced.

I learnt many important skills that will help me in the future; Team working, Problem solving, Self managing, Perseverance and Communication. These skills are essential for getting a job in the future and I am extremely grateful to Telcare for giving me this opportunity. Without a doubt, I would recommend any student looking to do their work experience to work at Telcare Ltd and if needed I would definitely come back to help for another week.

Thank you Daniel, it was great experience for us too. Keep working hard on the things you do well.  We wish you all the best for a successful future.

Guest Blogger – Molly Harrington

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Last week we had a work experience student with us here in the office. We were extremely happy to welcome Molly to the team; she has a bubbly personality with a positive attitude, so a pleasure to have around. Work experience placements can require lots of prep work so it is wonderful to see when a student is receptive and eager to learn, it makes all the preparation worthwhile. When I suggested that Molly write a blog for us, I was absolutely delighted that she didn’t hesitate for a moment, she just got stuck right in.

So let me introduce our latest superstar, Molly Harrington, who will give you an overview of her week at Telcare.

I managed to land a week’s work experience with Telcare through my school and the Medway Education Business Partnership (MEBP). On my first day in the office I didn’t know what to expect and I was feeling very nervous! I had never experienced any kind of office life. Thankfully everyone in the office was very friendly and welcoming and there was a great atmosphere. The Telcare team really made me feel at home and were always ready to help.

I was shown how to use the company database, as well as the accounting software Sage. Throughout the week I was given many tasks to do; my favourite was creating a twitter spreadsheet as part of Telcare’s social media campaign. This involved researching new tweets and scheduling when they would be written. On Thursday my day began well, as first thing I received my GCSE results and then I went on a trip that my supervisor at Telcare had arranged. Telcare knew I had a keen interest in law, so we went to the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey). We were lucky enough to sit in the viewing gallery of a murder trial. I found it really interesting to see how the court worked and how the various roles were played. It was clear to see there was a common court room courtesy and everyone was very respectful to each other. I didn’t get to see the accused questioned however, but it was very interesting to study their body language. I wonder how much this influenced the jury. You could also see the importance that CCTV played in the trial. It took up the whole day, with actual footage, still frames and continual descriptions being given to the jury.

After my day out, I was inspired even more to go into this line of work. It has really given me the impetus to work hard.

One of the valuable things I will take from Telcare and my supervisor is being taught how to create a CV and covering letter, which I will continue to add to in the future.

For any student coming to this placement next year I would tell them that having good communication skills is the key to a successful week. You will need to talk to your colleagues throughout the placement to help you get an understanding of what you are doing; it will also help to build your team working skills.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my week with Telcare, and have found the Telcare team very entertaining! I loved being part of the office life. Telcare taught me that it is never a happy office without there being a hot pot of coffee and a smile. Cream cakes also go down a treat! Working at Telcare has improved my communication and self managing skills which I will take with me to any future work experience placements or jobs. I would be more than happy to come back for a few days if they ever needed my help!

Thank you Molly, we wish you every success with your A Levels and a wonderful time in the sixth form.

Guest blogger - Katherine Clarke

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Work related learning is something that we have always been keen to get involved in. It can be hard work at times but equally proves to be a very rewarding way to give back to the community. You will understand why I was so happy to receive the following email and wanted to share it in our blog.

So it is with great pleasure that I introduce Katherine Clarke as our guest blogger for September. Katherine successfully completed her work experience at Telcare in 2009. Her willingness to get ‘stuck in’ and become part of the team was not only refreshing but an absolute treat for us. In no time Katherine became a valuable member at Telcare, so it was with open arms we welcomed her when she returned during the summer of 2010. Recently Katherine stepped in to provide holiday cover and it was on this occasion that she told me just how useful the experience at Telcare had been to her.  Over to you Katherine ......

"I recently completed four A levels at Dartford Grammar School for Girls and am now preparing to move to, and study at, The University of Birmingham. Despite being really busy I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to complete a few days of valuable work experience at Telcare. This was my third period of work experience with the business in the space of two years.
At the age of 14 I chose Business Studies as one of my GCSE subjects, and continued to study it up to Advanced Level alongside Economics, Human Biology and Geography. I had always been unsure as to which subject I would most like to study within higher education. It was when making this decision that I spent a few weeks of my summer holiday within the Telcare office. From the point of view of a Business Studies student Telcare proved to operate in a way in which I had studied in my text books. It was as if I had stepped into one of the case studies and was seeing first-hand the ways in which a family run business operates.
Being able to sit within one space and observe, as well as actively partake in the different functional areas enabled me to appreciate how important communication and efficiency are to a firm. For instance, I had read about the importance of providing customers with an honest and reliable product or service and was aware that marketing was an integral key to building a relationship with the public. Nevertheless witnessing the ways in Telcare presents itself to current and potential customers through competitions, exhibitions, news letters, their website, social networking sites and of course this blog allowed me to appreciate the reasons why businesses invest in marketing and the response that they receive.
It was after completing my second period of work experience within Telcare that I decided to read Business Management at university level. As I began revising for my AS exams I read and re-read my Applied Business textbook, however in hindsight it was my work experience that contributed most to me gaining an A in the exam. Amongst other questions the paper asked to give examples of financial programmes and their function/importance as well as name and describe various methods of advertising and the ways in which a business utilises them. Whilst many of my peers could name ‘Sage’, the financial programme mentioned in the textbook, I was finding it difficult to condense all of the information I had learnt from being taught how to use the software by the staff at Telcare.
My work experience continued to aid me during my final year and without a doubt contributed to me gaining an A in each of the three coursework modules. I believe that work experience is a vital tool to be used, whether it helps an individual like myself confirm their ambitions or allows them to realise that the type of job isn’t suited to them. I am extremely grateful for the time I have spent with the team at Telcare and can’t wait to let them all know how I’m finding university life!"

Wow thank you Katherine! We are all very proud of you and wish you a great time at university. Come back and see us soon!