Business in the Community expands their Cafe Culture learning initiative for the support of informal training and professional development in the workplace
Skills gaps in British companies cost the national economy billions of pounds each year and undermine competitive advantage according to Business in the Community, a charity for the mobilisation of business support and development schemes.
Today Business in the Community launched Learning to Connect, on the behalf of the Department for Business Innovation to Skills, to provide support and guidance to employers wishing to boost their business and make a positive impact on the communities around them through focusing on learning and skills development in the workplace.
The Cafe Culture learning initiative is part of Learning to Connect and encourages organisations to learn from and connect with pro-active business peers to facilitate adult learning and skills development. Cafe Culture was in fact initiated in 2009 but today marks an escalation in its activities as 64 UK companies pledged to act as ambassadors of Cafe Culture learning.
Skills Minister, John Hayes, who has long been a vocal advocate of lifelong learning has leant his personal support to the scheme. Hayes said today “Businesses have a pivotal role in promoting adult learning, and so have a unique opportunity to change, and indeed improve, people’s lives. In turn they can reap the harvest of a productive and engaged workforce.
“The Cafe Culture campaign, which has been running since 2009, has involved a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, finance, construction, utilities and food and drink companies.”
Manufacturing companies which have promised to support the growth of the Cafe Culture learning campaign include Ginsters, Northern Foods and United Biscuits. They will lead best practice for informal learning in the workplace as a part of everyday business activity.
The Cafe Culture Learning initiative was inspired by broader social cafe culture trends where people meet informally to share ideas in a fun and relaxed environment. By translating this to an office environment, the intention has been to encourage people to work together as teams to support creativity and improve skills.
To learning more about the details of the Cafe Culture campaign and how it might apply to your workplace visit www.bitc.org.uk where you can download a pdf of the Learning to Connect report. This report gives back ground on the motivations of the initiative as well as case study information on businesses who have participated so far.