An online hub has been developed by learning development specialist, MyKnowledgeMap (MKM) on behalf of Improve, the food and drink sector skills council for a £4.4m national skills academy (NSA) providing education and training for more than 28,000 employees of UK food and drink manufacturing over the next four years.
The academy is one of three core projects launched by Improve, constituting the development of a sector skills agreement providing an industry-wide plan to deliver key skills; a new qualifications framework providing the industry with the skills needed; and the NSA providing the platform for delivery.
The MKM-developed portal will enable the academy’s network of specialist training providers to advertise their services and help both food industry employers and individuals to locate relevant, local training to support their business or personal development. Users can access a wealth of free tools and resources as well as industry-specific e-learning courses and general business information.
MKM has also produced an e-learning course in Production Management for the Improve NSA portal, authored by Grimsby Institute specifically for the skills academy.
Food and drink is the largest UK manufacturing sector; is second only to Canada in total global productivity, and is the only growing manufacturing sector (£67bn in 2003 to £74bn in 2006).
Improving sector skills is the industry’s response to potential threats to its stability from Holland, Germany and France, Eastern Europe and even further afield.
"Our skills academy is a vital step in meeting the skills challenges that the food and drink manufacturing sector faces," says Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve. "It has been designed by employers for employers, and will provide an effective and accessible system to deliver high-quality, relevant training through a mix of online, distance and site-based vocational courses."
Improve anticipates having 35 regional training centres operational within three years. The fourth government-sponsored NSA to launch, Improve is expected to help template more to follow in other industries.
York-based MKM is the UK's leading supplier of infrastructure systems for national skill academies with clients including Skillsmart Retail and SkillsActive now covering food & drink manufacturing, sport & active leisure, care, and retail sectors.
The company also offers e-Academies for commercial and local government sector customers.
Founded in 2000, MyKnowledgeMap (often known as MKM) is a dynamic company delivering web-based knowledge systems designed by individuals, for the individual.
Operating in the corporate, public and education sectors, MKM's range of products and services includes:
• Academies: MKM is the UK's leading supplier of infrastructure systems for national skill academies, including those in the UK for food & drink manufacturing, sport & active leisure, care, and retail. MKM's e-academy infrastructure helps learners and people with a stake in a particular skill to progress from entry to degree level. Working with the UK's national Sector Skills Councils (MKM's clients include Skillsmart Retail, Improve and SkillsActive), MKM has pioneered online academies that can help people with everything from day-to-day productivity to discovering and achieving relevant qualifications. MKM also offers e-academies tailored to the needs of organisations in the private and local government sectors.
• Skills diagnostics: MKM's Skills Diagnostic suite allows clients to build their own system of skills diagnosis and training regimens. Its sophisticated software tools are designed to meet clients' specific needs, and to facilitate, not impose, the required solutions.
• Learning: MKM's e-learning solutions, including e-learning content, delivery systems and teaching aids, are used by a worldwide and growing range of organisations from Lloyds TSB to the RSPB; from manufacturing to retailing; from the police to local authorities; from the University of York to colleges in Delhi, Bahrain and Nairobi. MKM produces inventive and versatile applications that are can be shaped and contextualised by their users to meet the rapidly-changing needs of contemporary work and training, either for use within an e-Academy environment or as stand-alone products.
Further Information from:
Rob Arntsen / Tom Holland, MyKnowledgeMap +44 (0) 1904 659465
Peter Muir / Bob Little Press & PR +44 (0) 1727 860405/ (0) 1296 715228