Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Trainers (FETAC) Level 6

Hi Trainers, or those of you who would like to be Trainers.

Why bother?  Well, just take some time to talk with a Trainer who has been training others in their own area of expertise for a while and see their reaction!  'A job is a job' you sometimes hear quoted, but why not make it something you absolutely 'enjoy' doing.

Maybe your area of expertise is an interest or hobby - it doesn't have to be the area you work in.  Your choice should be from whatever makes you happy, otherwise you won't survive in that area - you've got to exude enthusiasm for that subject.  You've got to be creative and practical as well - who's going to attend your class or training course?  Is the market flooded with Trainers in that area?  What makes you different?  What's your particular U.S.P. (unique selling point)?  Maybe you just want to get employed by a Training Centre as a Trainer, where do you go?  What do you need to have?

These are just some of the questions Learners have before they enrol on our Train the Trainer FETAC Level 6 course and that's what why Lir Business Services & Training Centre offer this course.  Our experience comes from 25 years of training experience, business management, promotion/marketing, and HR/Recruitment.  That is why we rarely advertise - it's recommendations and word of mouth.  What better form of advertising!  Think about it and if you want to speak to someone about your options then contact me.  Frances Gallagher (Lir Business Services & Training Centre), 42 Mount Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ph: (044) 93 42754 training@lirbusinesscentre.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year to you all in 2011

The 'Trials and Tribulations of a Roving Trainer' didn't exactly lend itself to the title last month mainly due to the weather. What's that saying 'make hay when the sun shines' - never a truer word, but then again people don't necessarily like going to training courses on the odd occasions when the sun is beaming.  So note to self, have to complete my year's work in approximately ten months to avoid getting caught out in the bad weather again.

In the meantime, we have a lot of training courses to keep you busy - from complete beginner courses (single classes to full courses, Equalskills, Computer Literacy, ECDL etc.) to more advanced FETAC courses.  Speaking of which, our next Train the Trainer (FETAC) Level 6 course starts on Thursday 13th January 2011, so book your place now.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weather, weather, weather ...

How was I to know that the bad weather was going to hit us so badly when it came to training courses all over the country. When you schedule these courses little do you think that weather such as we've had in the last two weeks could in any way interfere with travelling. Over twenty years training and travelling now and this has to go down as a 'first'.

It's the first time we had to cancel so many classes at our Centre because both trainers and learners were stranded, or just couldn't travel out. With schools closed, others didn't know until the morning whether they had their children at home or not. It was odd being there last week with no one in the Centre except ourselves.

It's the first time I've had to train others over the internet - using skype, email, phone and to some extent, by post. It's been a learning experience to say the least. Mind you, when talking to a Learner using Skype the whole family seems to invariably wander into the room for a chat, and even a neighbour or two ... "who is it?" I hear in the background. "Oh, it's the one from Lir".

In the middle of explaining something, you have Mum coming in with a cup of tea for her son or daughter, the dog jumping up on another Learners lap and licking his face off while we're talking. Several times a stray hand appears at the bottom of the screen with a little voice saying "who's that talking Mammy ... let me see ... let me see, please." Mind you, no one enters my room with a cup of tea or coffee so have to leave and make it myself when I can.

On a personal note, I've had so many grateful comments about the service we provided this time, even though the weather had many of us all tucked up at home. Mind you, it took a few days before 'cabin fever' set in, I think, and then after a few emails, texts and calls I suggested using Skype, email, phone etc., and it has been an absolute roaring success. Well done everyone who chose to carry on their course regardless of the weather! That's more the fighting spirit. I remember Billy Connolly making a comment one time when he was in the County Hall in Mullingar, a good few years ago now, he said "there's no such thing as bad weather ... just people wearing the wrong clothes!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ding, ding, ding ... it's that time of the year again!

What a year so far? Who would have thought our economy would hit an all time low? I'm probably being a cow now, but I absolutely hate listening to the Irish news first thing in the morning. I can read it on-line, on a Twitter feed - but that unmerciful, dead-pan, dreary, hang-me-high-now voice of the newsreaders in the morning just wants me to get back into bed again and forget about the day ahead - what's the use? Seriously ... we all know its bad, but surely there's someone who might add a chirpy "well, that's how it is, but let's get out there and make today count!" Note to self ... that's obviously me talking to myself again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

That's a fair slice of the FAS funding pie!

€1.3m ... that's a huge slice of the FAS funding pie ... and all to one company!! Do I feel jealous, like every other trainer or training company in the midlands - "yes I do!"

Judging from the response I've received personally from various Trainers, Training companies and clients in the Westmeath area, there is a justified sense of unfairness about this. I'm sure the thousands who read the Independent on the 9th July'10 all felt the same.

Lir Business Services & Training Centre is in business for 20 years, and other training companies almost tipping up the same number of years. We all went through the various tendering processes, quoting fair course fees to run courses to the best of our ability and to best practice, giving the learner, the trainers and the funding agency itself (FAS) good value and return on their investment. Instead, we all have filing cabinets bulging with letters "I am writing to inform you that you were unsuccessful in your tender".

In my opinion, and with the standards we set for best practice, if you went any lower, you had no option but to 'cut corners' and where exactly would that end? If I told you that there are trainers out there who are being paid weekly (not properly contracted, but with all the responsibilities of having to pay their own PAYE/PRSI at the end of the course they are giving, with classes of 20 learners) at the rate of €8-€10 per hour around the country? Would you believe me? €8 is clearly below the hourly minimum wage! Is that fair to the trainers?

Nor are many of these trainers listed on the FAS NRT, which, to be fair, is not exactly all their fault because there seems to have been no movement since last year on applications. It is no wonder shortcuts are being taken by these training companies to come out with a profit.

Did no one in FAS look at the numbers and say "lads, we seem to be giving a huge slice of our funding to (what seems to be, if I'm not mistaken) one training company in the midlands". Maybe this happened all over the country, maybe its still happening.

Did no one look at the FAS NRT (National Register of Trainers) and see that there were other companies only too happy to quote fair, justified fees for their services because they are professionals - not there to 'rip off' FAS but to provide a professional service that they could take pride in and gain the respect and repeat business of the learners? Was it a case of the "lowest tender" applied?

Anyway, enough of that ... all seems to be well again and business goes on the same as usual except if we spare a thought for those other training companies in the midlands who closed this year, possibly due to the downturn in the economy, who knows.
Are there any lessons to be learned for the remaining trainers and training companies in the future? Maybe, but I say, 'stick to your guns' and do what you have been doing and doing best - running training courses and centres to the best of your ability and to best practice - quoting fair course fees and keeping to standards that you and your staff are proud to say you are part of, and remember ... at the end of the day, if it's still millions the rest of us are after ... there is still the lotto!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Newsletter - May 2010

Our May 2010 Newsletter for Lir Business Services & Training Centre (t/a Lir Business Centre) 42 Mount St., Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland is out now. If you go to http://www.lirbusinesscentre.com/ and enter your email address we can email Newsletter and future Newsletters to you.

Snipbit from the Editorial for May 2010:

Welcome to our May 2010 Update

If you choose to believe that the economy is supposed to be on the cusp of a turn as I do, then let's get started now. If you were unfortunate to get caught up in redundancies, having to close your business etc., then it's time for a good re-think, speak to like-minded people and get yourself and your business back on track.

So what makes Lir different?

Working with experienced people who are in business. Being cautious of well-meaning people who may never have taken a risk in their lives is a start. You see, even having 21 years experience behind us, like you, we are clawing out way out of this recession too and feel we are making some headway.

We are doing this by providing very affordable full colour printing and confidential secretarial services, certified training courses with flexible payments and class booking times (note, you may qualify for some funding) and we are continually looking at new ways to improve. We are looking for ways in which you can sell yourself better and position yourself better. So, all in all, we have to dare to be different and approach all opportunities in a different way, for example ... for Newsletter in full, enter your email address on http://www.lirbusinesscentre.com/

"Remember, if you keep doing things the same way - hey presto - you keep getting the same results!" Hard to swallow sometimes ...

At the Festival of the Fires - Hill of Uisneach last weekend:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"There's no way you'll get me to stand up to make a Presentation!"

How often have I heard that phrase 'There's absolutely no way you'll get me to stand up in front of a group of people and make a presentation or sell an idea for my course."

How many of us have sat back and compared ourselves to other people who we thought were so entertaining, calm, smart, witty and so on, thereby convincing ourselves that it would be impossible for an average person like ourselves to carry off a convincing performance and make a presentation. We all have. Believe me, your audience does not expect perfection. As your Trainer, I'm not looking for perfection. So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves?

I am stunned at the variety of performances I have witnessed while running Train the Trainer (FETAC) Level 6 courses. I have seen grown people, very confident people, work themselves into a complete frenzy just before the actual skills presentation and voila, what happens, a perfectly good presentation and some are excellent. Even if you feel you are about to pass out peacefully, get tongue-tied or say something you'd rather not have said during your presentation, your audience doesn't mind as long as the message is received and your audience walks away with something of value. Then you've done a great job.

As a trainer of some years now (painful as it is to think of the number of years) I still return to the office (or home) and feel so proud of the individual achievements of the Learners who complete their Skills Demonstrations. No matter how I try to get individuals to calm down, to think of the Presentation as being just another class activity - "remember, it's only a skills demonstration" I often remind them, stories filter through during the day of individuals still going to bed late the night before - only getting three hours sleep with the help of partners, sons, daughters and friends being secunded into (sometimes reluctant) mock audiences to help out the day before, potions and so on being discussed as an alternative way to calm themselves down just before their alloted time slot. Then like a bright star, they shine and I know only too well the wonderful feeling of having it all over - the audience genuinely smiled, they participated, they asked questions, they were genuinely interested and the feeling of elation for a brief time until you get home and are asked "well, how did it go?" and you answer "I never thought for one moment that I would get up in front of a group of people and make a presentation or sell my course, but I did."

Yes, you did, and you should be very proud of what you accomplished because it took guts, it took preparation, it took you taking a long hard look at yourself, pushing that boundary just a little bit further, and you know what, you succeeded. I'm so glad I got the chance to witness it.