Are your systems Locked Down?

Criminals are using the Coronavirus as a cover story to trick you into parting with your business’ money or information. Always take a moment to Stop, Challenge and Protect before making any payments or sharing any information. STOP CHALLENGE PROTECT With phishing emails pretending to be from government departments offering Covid-19 financial assistance to text messages impersonating your CEO, it’s never been more important to not let your guard down and keep your business safe from fraud and scams. Criminals are experts at impersonating people, businesses and the police.

They spend hours researching your business for their scams, hoping you will let your guard down for just a moment. Follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and Stop, Challenge, Protect when being asked for your business’s money or information. Avoid clicking on links within text messages or emails and always log into your business’s bank account to update information or make any legitimate payments If you think your business has fallen for a scam, contact your business’s bank immediately using a number you know to be correct, such as the one on the back of your business’s bank card, their website or on a statement You can forward suspicious emails to uk and suspected scam texts to your business’s mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726.

If a scam text claims to be from your business’s bank then you should also report it to them Be cautious of unsolicited approaches presenting your business with financial assistance. You can check the British Banker’s Association for a list of accredited lenders Confirm urgent payment requests directly with the sender in person or over the phone Question uninvited approaches and contact companies directly using a known email or phone number Don’t give anyone remote access to your computer following a cold call or unsolicited text Confirm supplier bank details directly with suppliers using their established on-file details before any payments are made

Make sure you don’t step outside your usual payment method even if it’s urgent When paying someone for the first time, transfer a small amount first and check payment has been received directly by the company Where possible, send confirmation of payment to service providers once their invoice has been paid. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT TAKEFIVE-STOPFRAUD.ORG.UK

To help protect your learners against fraudulent online activity, why not offer one of our digital skills / digital technologies programmes, visit or call 01257676457

Overhaul the English post-16 education system through the upcoming FE White Paper to secure a better future for young people, adults and businesses

As more evidence of the biting pandemic effects on young people and adults comes to light, the new report from the Independent Commission on the College of the Future calls for colleges and skills to be made central to COVID recovery plans in England. Last week, the latest unemployment rate revealed the number of people out of work was at its highest since 2016 – at 4.8%, with thousands of others worried about losing their jobs in the coming months. 

Currently, the post-16 education and skills system is not set up to empower colleges to offer the full range of opportunities needed for people to reach their potential, especially for the 50% that do not go to university. Nor does the system enable colleges to best meet the needs of businesses facing enormous change and challenges.

Today’s report, The English College of the Future, sets out recommendations, that if implemented through the government’s upcoming FE White paper, will put employer voice at the heart of the system to help people find the right courses or qualifications to transform their lives. This requires sufficient funding to support upskilling and retraining as jobs change. Those made redundant will gain skills for good jobs, learning will be opened up to people on benefits and those in insecure work, and businesses will have advice and support to find and develop the skilled people they need as we recover from the ongoing pandemic. 

Central recommendations for the anticipated FE White Paper to create the post-16 education and skills system needed for the future include:

  1. Introducing a legal duty on colleges to establish networks across appropriate economic geographies – which must be matched by a duty on all other post-16 education providers – to collaborate in the interests of students, communities and the economy.

  2. Forming a cross-departmental ministerial taskforce/ body to oversee a new UK Government 10-year strategy for education and skills to drive the industrial strategy and other priorities, with DFE, BEIS, DWP, MHCLG and others represented, together with employers and other key stakeholders.

  3. Funding colleges to deliver specialised and targeted business support, creating employer “hubs” in key sectors and occupational pathways, especially in digital, construction, engineering, and health and social care. This includes a new, refreshed genuine strategic partnership between colleges and SMEs to get people back into secure employment quickly and drive innovation. 

  4. Creating a statutory right to lifelong learning by making lifelong learning accessible and financially viable to all through offering equal loans and grants across further education and higher education so that everyone can access the training they need, no matter where they come from, their circumstance or their background.

  5. Investing in colleges through three-year grant settlements to give colleges the confidence and funding to deliver strategically for people, productivity and place in the economic rebuild.

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Detail magazine x Project Bounceback

We are delighted to announce the launch of two new exciting developments, Project Bounceback and detail Magazine.

detail Magazine is our new quarterly publication giving you exclusive news and updates of all things eta and the wider industry! Our first feature: Project Bounceback.

detail Magazine available HERE

Project Bounceback is a package of support and brand new qualifications to augment our centre service levels and added value as we move towards a new normal – from bespoke assessment materials to 1 to 1 admin support, eta are committed to helping you and your learners bounce back.

More information HERE

O’Neill & Brennan keeping ahead of the curve!

“Construct a career” trailblazers O’Neill & Brennan have been quick to respond to the ever changing landscape at present by adding the ETCAL Level 2 Award in the Responsibilities of a Social Distancing Compliance Officer to their COVID-19 Training provision – the first of its kind to be accredited.

The HSE announcement that any case of COVID-19 on site in the construction industry is to be treated as a RIDDOR incident has reinforced the urgent requirement to have all sites and projects fully COVID-19 compliant, meaning our new award is the perfect response to urgent industry need.

It must be noted however that the qualification, along with our new Level 1 Award in Social Distancing Awareness, is applicable across all sectors including Hospitality, Transport and Engineering to name but three.

The  Level 2 Award in the Responsibilities of a Social Distancing Compliance Officer, written in conjunction with a number of experienced multi-sector professionals, provides staff with the opportunity to have a fully qualified Social Distancing compliance marshal on site, with the Level 1 Awareness award ideal for remaining staff in support. The Compliance Officer award provides health and safety guidance on social distancing, how to sanitise sites, and how to spot coronavirus symptoms.

As Social Distancing becomes the norm for the foreseeable future, the construction industry would greatly benefit from robust preparation for changes in the policy moving forward, with the qualifications written to be adaptable to what is set to be a fluctuating policy throughout its lifespan.

 O’Neill and Brennan head of quality, health, safety and environment Colin Gears has thrown his support behind our development in creating the course for O’Neill & Brennan, stating in ‘Construction News’ that: “The course has been designed to provide an awareness mechanism for recipients to provide a supervisory support element to site and office management. The practical information provided is aimed at providing a supervisory and marshalling observer capability to guide and engage all work colleagues in working together, understanding and following the necessary rules and procedures with the aim to save lives and protect the NHS.”

For further information, CLICK HERE or call 01257 676457 to initiate the addition of these qualification to your existing offer.

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