Tuesday 1 November 2011

New website launches today!

StoneTrain, Stone Federation GB’s official training arm, has launched a new website packed with information about training opportunities and sources of funding for those undertaking eligible courses.
The site can be found at www.stonetrain.org.uk.
StoneTrain was formed in 2007 to provide training for the natural stone industry and in particular for members of Stone Federation Great Britain.  Its proud claim is that it is run “for the industry by the industry.”
Originally formed to provide and administer opportunities for NVQ training, StoneTrain has more recently developed a much broader base including apprentice and management training.
The new website ensures that all the relevant information on training within the industry is now available in one place.
Separate parts of the site explain why training is necessary, lists available courses and includes a section on the impact of Skills Cards.
There is also general information on the Natural Stone Training Group (NSITG) and advice on careers in the stone industry.
The site points out that many courses are eligible for ConstructionSkills grants and that StoneTrain is happy to provide information on those grants.
In addition to the web site the organisation is also introducing a blog and twitter service.
“We understand that day-to-day pressures make it difficult for people to engage with training” said StoneTrain’s Ian Major.  “Although the training we currently provide has been developed with the input of stone industry professionals and is very affordable, it does need a time commitment.
“We ensure that we keep up to date with new training needs and opportunities, but we can never lose sight of the commercial and time constraints on companies”.
Jane Buxey, Chief Executive of Stone Federation, welcomed the launch of the website saying “training is essential if the natural stone industry is to maintain the skills and expertise of our Craftsmen and Managers.  StoneTrain does an excellent job and the introduction of the new site can only improve the service it provides.”

Monday 1 August 2011

Why train?

Q. Why train your employees?
A.  For success in business

In today’s business environment success means providing quality products and services at prices the customer is prepared to pay.  Developing and maintaining a reputation for quality and value involves keeping up with new materials, tools and techniques in order to stay ahead of your competitors.  To do that, you need skilled and motivated people who are proactive, know the job thoroughly and understand your business priorities.

Which means they deserve quality training.

A skilled, trained workforce can dramatically improve your bottom line performance, adding value to your products and services and making it easier to compete nationally and internationally.  Satisfied and motivated staff will lead to higher levels of productivity, profit and loyalty.

So, who should you train?

In short, everyone.  Everyone will benefit from raised skill levels whether it’s a new recruit who needs some basic training to contribute effectively to the business or an experienced worker who will profit from a refresher course.  In many businesses the employees are the single biggest expense thus it only makes sense to invest in this asset to maximise the return.

But, to get the best value from an investment in training, the training needs to be tailored closely to your people’s needs and to your business objectives and that’s where StoneTrain can help.

Employees want training that:
· they can readily put into practice
· develops them as individuals
· allows them to learn at their own pace
· fits in with family and lifestyle commitments
· is tailored to their learning style

Employers want training that:
· is affordable
· is easy to understand, identify and book
· doesn't take the employee out of the workplace for too long
· can be put into practice immediately
· has measurable results

StoneTrain’s direct relationship with Stone Federation GB and the Natural Stone Industry Training Group ensures that all its training products are developed in close consultation with member companies and are tailored as closely as possible to match the needs of employers and employees alike.

Welcome to our new blog

Thank you for taking the time to visit our new blog.  Over the coming weeks and months we shall be taking to our blog to tell you a little more about ourselves and what we can do for you. Why should you train your employees? What impact has Skills Cards had on the stone sector? What are Specialist Apprentice Programmes? Check back regularly to find out!

So who are we?

StoneTrain was formed to provide training for the natural stone industry and in particular for Stone Federation Great Britain members.

It is run for the industry, by the industry.

All the training provided is realistically priced to reflect today’s market place and StoneTrain is dedicated to supply training on a flexible basis and in formats best suited to the needs of employers and employees alike.

Those involved in providing the training are leading authorities in their field and are fully aware of the commercial realities and challenges faced by the stone industry.  Regular research undertaken by Stone Federation, who administers StoneTrain in partnership with the Natural Stone Industry Training Group (NSITG), ensures that StoneTrain is aware of new training needs and opportunities and is thus able to provide for these ahead of the competition.

StoneTrain certificates endorsed by Stone Federation GB are awarded at the end of courses when candidates are successful.

Crucially, many courses are eligible for ConstructionSkills grants that limit the investment needed from employers.  Our close relationship with ConstructionSkills means that we are always aware of funding availability and thus in the best position to advise you.  We ensure that our training can be delivered to you as affordably as possible.

Stone Federation GB is committed to maintain a highly skilled and trained workforce and regular, open dialogue with the Federation’s members and others working in the natural stone industry.  This ensures that the industry as a whole feels engaged and fully involved at all times.