PRESS RELEASE: Man Utd legend kicks off Highfield conference in winning style

Doncaster education firmA Doncaster education firm kicked off its biggest ever conference earlier this month – with an assist from football legend Denis Irwin.

The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland star was guest of honour and star speaker at a pre-conference charity dinner hosted by the Highfield Group to launch its conference, held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, on 13 November 2014.

The conference, which was headline sponsored by Marks & Spencer and ProTrainings, brought together nearly 600 delegates from across the training and education sector in the UK to discuss the latest changes to vocational learning and apprenticeships.

Speakers and sponsors included names such as ASDA, City of London Corporation, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT), Food Standards Agency (FSA), Laing O’Rourke, MITIE, New Scotland Yard, Security Industry Authority (SIA), Serco, Staples, Superdrug and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The dinner, held the evening before, helped to raise funds for Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA), which supports blind and partially sighted people under the age of 29. Guest of honour Denis Irwin, who was a key part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering Manchester United team in the 1990s and early 2000s – making over 500 appearances between 1990 to 2002 – spoke about his career and took questions from the audience.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield Chief Executive, said, ‘It was a great honour to have one of modern football’s true legends and gentlemen as our special guest and to kick our conference off in wining style. We raised over £4500 on the night for VICTA, which is a fantastic achievement, and welcomed nearly 600 delegates to our conference the next day to discuss the numerous changes and issues affecting the training and skills sector. It’s testament to how far we have grown that we were able to attract some of the biggest and most recognisable names in industry to either speak at or sponsor our conference, and we have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback received’.

The Highfield Group, which publishes training books, materials and e-learning solutions, and develops vocational qualifications and apprenticeships, has expanded rapidly to become one of the country’s leading educational companies, employing nearly 250 staff at three sites across Doncaster with a further office in Dubai.

ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. The Highfield Group offers hundreds of publications and titles, with over 2 million sales per annum. It has developed over 200 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including customer service, health and safety, licensing, security, stewarding, retail, logistics, catering and hospitality through its awarding organisation arm, Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance Ltd.
2. The money raised for VICTA will go towards helping the charity in its work to provide equipment, services and events that support blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of assistance andinformation.
3. Denis Irwin’s honours during his playing career include 7 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups, 1 League Cup, 4 Charity Shields, 1 UEFA Champions League title, 1 Cup Winner’s Cup, 1 European Super Cup and 1 Intercontinental Cup, as well as 56 appearances for the Republic of Ireland, including 2 starts at the World Cup USA 1994.

‘1 in 6 workers need mental health support from bosses’ warns expert

mental health support1 in 6 UK employees will experience a mental health issue during their working life – and need support from their employer to tackle it – will warn one of the UK’s top mental health support experts at a conference this autumn.

Poppy Jaman, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), will tell delegates at the HABC National Conference on 13 November 2014 at Old Trafford Stadium that employers should train staff in mental health first aid so conditions such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks can be better identified and supported by appropriately trained employees.

Mental ill health covers a range of conditions, each with specific signs and symptoms. Mental health first aiders (MHFAiders) are trained to be aware of these and guide the affected person to relevant support. Ms Jaman will argue in her speech that mental health first aid and physical first aid should go hand in hand, and that all businesses should have employees able to provide support in both areas.

poppy-jaman1‘With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health condition in any one year and depression and anxiety affecting 20 per cent of the UK working population, it seems sensible that mental health first aid should be considered as important as physical first aid, both in the workplace and in society generally’, said Ms Jaman.

‘Very sadly, in recent months the media has reported a number of high-profile people completing suicide – each as a result of poor mental health. These serve as stark reminders of the tragic consequences that mental ill health can have on an individual and those around them’.

She added, ‘Raising awareness of mental health and the risk of suicide continues to be as important as ever, but much like physical first aid, the situations that an MHFAider might encounter are not always life threatening. Put simply, if an employee breaks their arm in the workplace, the first point of call will be the trained physical first aider. If the same person showed signs of having a panic attack, who would be qualified to support them?

By training people in mental health first aid, we are teaching participants how to spot the signs and symptoms of the most common health conditions and how to guide the affected person to appropriate support. With 77,000 people in the UK already MHFA trained, our mission is to train 1 in 10 people in England to be qualified MHFAiders’.

Christian Sprenger, HABC Managing Director, said, ‘Sadly mental health in the workplace is a growing issue, but one that employers are able to contribute to positively. Having staff appropriately trained so that they can help their colleagues, support them as necessary and point them to professional help can contribute to the overall wellbeing of both employees and businesses as a whole. Poppy Jaman is the UK’s leading advocate for mental health first aid, and her presentation will be of huge interest to anyone involved in the issue of employee welfare and mental health’.

ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) is one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations for vocational qualifications.
2. The first aid seminar is one of seven that make up the HABC National Conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, fire safety/health and safety, food safety, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.
3. Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.
About Mental Health First Aid England:
4. MHFA England is a Community Interest Company, established in 2009.
5. MHFA is the mental health equivalent of physical first aid training and provides participants with the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support services.
6. As well as the standard MHFA course, the organisation runs a number of bespoke courses including Youth MHFA, MHFA Lite, Armed Forces MHFA and MHFA Workplace.
7. More information about MHFA England and its courses can be found here or by emailing info@mhfaengland.org

‘Embrace food safety culture to tackle foodborne illness’ warns top expert

embrace food safety cultureOne of the UK’s top food safety experts will warn a conference this autumn that businesses must embrace a positive food safety culture if they are to tackle the UK’s estimated half a million cases of foodborne illness each year.

Professor Chris Griffith, who is editor of the British Food Journal and one the world’s leading consultants on food safety, will tell delegates at the HABC National Conference on 13 November 2014 at Old Trafford Stadium that businesses have both a moral and financial imperative to produce safe food, but that this cannot be achieved without a positive food safety culture.

Since the Pennington report into the South Wales E. coli outbreak, food safety culture has jumped to prominence as the industry recognises that safety management systems in themselves do not necessarily lead to the production of safe food.

Speaking at the conference, Professor Griffith will explain how a management system must be accompanied by a positive food safety culture if it is to ensure food handlers follow correct practice. He will also explain how every business has a food safety culture, and that it is the function of owners and managers to ensure that this is positive towards food safety.

Other areas covered in his presentation will include the concepts and definitions of food safety culture and its increasing relevance to auditors and inspectors, an introduction to the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) approach to assessing food safety culture, and comparisons to other different approaches. There will also be an explanation of how businesses can construct a food safety culture improvement action plan.

Professor Griffith, who has recently authored a book on the subject – Developing and Maintaining a Positive Food Safety Culture – said, ‘For too long, food safety has been treated simply as a microbiological problem. However, there is now a growing recognition that there is a major human behavioural component.

When known food-safety practices are not followed it is all too all too easy to blame the individual food handler, yet the real underlying causes are often management failures. I know many managers who claim to be supportive of food safety and how it is their number one priority, but when I dig deep into the organisation’s culture I discover this is usually not the case.

Producing a positive food safety culture is easy to say but much more difficult for most businesses to prove. I hope by attending the conference and implementing the measures described, managers will be much better able to do this’.

RS at LITD Food Safety Bahrain Event 1Richard Sprenger, HABC Chairman and international food safety expert, said, ‘With the recent food safety stories in the media, it is becoming increasingly recognised that food safety culture is one of the most important factors in preventing foodborne illnesses, and it is something that inspectors, auditors and bodies such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are focussing on.

Professor Griffith is one of the leading experts in the world, and his presentation will be of huge interest to anyone in the food industry whether they are from a catering, manufacturing or retail background’.

As well as Professor Griffith, the food safety seminar at the HABC National Conference will also feature presentations from:

ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) is one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations for vocational qualifications.
2. The food safety seminar is one of seven that make up the HABC National Conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, fire safety/health and safety, first aid, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.
3. Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.
4. Developing and Maintaining a Positive Food Safety Culture by Professor Chris Griffith is available from Highfield.co.uk. For more information, see the website.

Apprenticeships4England to warn of ‘decrease in apprenticeship opportunities’ at conference

Apprenticeships4EnglandOne of the UK’s leading voices on apprenticeships – Apprenticeships4England – will warn conference delegates this autumn that proposed funding reforms will lead to a decrease in apprenticeship opportunities.

Lindsay McCurdy, Chief Executive of Apprenticeships4England, will tell delegates at the HABC National Conference on 13 November 2014 at Old Trafford Stadium that over half of businesses believe they would be forced to decrease the number of apprenticeship places they offer when the funding reforms come into place in 2015/16.

The stark statistic comes from the Apprenticeship4England Impact Funding Reform Survey conducted earlier this year, which asked businesses and training providers for their views on the proposed changes.

Key findings from the report show that:

  • 51% of businesses respondents think their organisation will see a decrease in apprenticeship uptake;
  • Over half of training providers believe engagement with businesses will decrease by 50% or more;
  • That 42% of businesses plan to walk away from apprenticeships completely once the new funding reforms are implemented;
  • 84% of respondents believe that employers should be able to choose whether they handle funding or not; and
  • 88% of all respondents believe that apprenticeship opportunities will be reduced overall.

Apprenticeships4EnglandLindsay McCurdy said, ‘What the proposals mean for the apprenticeship training sector, businesses and learners remain to be seen, but the statistics are there to see and reflect the deep concern across every part of the sector. I very much look forward to being part of the discussion at the HABC National Conference in November, and to hear if the opinions of the delegates match those of the Apprenticeship4England Impact survey’.

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘We have had 12 months of significant change in the apprenticeship sector, with more to come in 2015 and 2016. Out apprenticeship seminar at the HABC National Conference 2014 will bring clarity and insight to a range of issues from current and future apprenticeship developments, the constraints that providers find themselves facing, the support available and leadership training for deliverers – all within the context of the recent changes’.

As well as Lindsay McCurdy, the apprenticeship seminar at the HABC National Conference will feature speakers from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), the UK Commission for Education and Skills (UKCES), the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), One Stop Stores, Superdrug parent company AS Watson and Whistl (formerly TNT Post).

ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) is one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations for vocational qualifications.
2. The apprenticeship seminar is one of seven that make up the HABC National Conference covering a number of sectors including fire safety/health and safety, first aid, food safety, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.
3. Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.

HABC National Conference – Spotlight on Staples and Pendle Leisure Trust

With just weeks now until the HABC National Conference in Manchester on 13 November 2014, we asked Robin Clayton, UK Health and Safety Manager at Staples, and Karen Bracewell, Training Manager at Pendle Leisure Trust, to explain more about why both their organisations are getting involved.

Spotlight on Staples

Spotlight on Pendle Leisure Trust

Last chance to book your place at the HABC National Conference 2014

National ConferenceIt’s less than three months now to the HABC National Conference on 13 November 2014 at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester.

And whilst places are rapidly filling up, we still have a few discounted tickets available – but for a limited time only!

With seven seminars on the day, top industry speakers and an expected 600 delegates, the HABC National Conference is promising to be one of the must-attend events of the year.

Covering apprenticeships, fire safety and health and safety, first aid, food safety, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security, you’ll hear from some of the top speakers in the world of training and business as they provide you with all the latest updates, tips and insights on the most important issues facing you and your organisation today.

Plus, a number of our seminars will also cover changes in the training landscape – from funding and legislation to apprenticeships and employer involvement – explaining the why and when of the changes, and where you fit into the bigger picture and can make the most of those changes.

Discounts and options still available include:

  • Paying by instalments;
  • Buy one, get one free; or
  • 30% single booking discount.

And if that’s not enough to tempt you, our staff have even put together a little video inviting you to come along!

So what are you waiting for?

To take full advantage of these last-minute discounts and talk to us more about the options available, just drop us a line at events@highfield.co.uk or call us on 0845 226 0350.

HABC Conference – The Video

It’s just three months now until the HABC National Conference at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on 13 November 2014.

And to get you all (and ourselves) into the spirit of things, we created a staff video inviting you along!  So watch the vid, put some faces to names you’ve possibly only ever talked to on the phone, and find out why you should definitely come along and see us this autumn.

Press Release: Safety first with the HABC National Conference

Stadium Promo 2Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) will be putting safety first at its conference later this year with a line up including Marks & Spencer, Laing O’Rourke and the City of London Corporation.

Held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on 13 November 2014, the HABC National Conference will feature a seminar – sponsored by Staples and ProTrainings.eu – on health and safety and fire safety, with insights and updates on training, law and compliance from some of the UK’s top experts and educators.

Confirmed speakers so far include:

• Tom Armstrong, Laing O’Rourke;
• Steve Bethell, Laing O’Rourke;
• Mark Lewis, Head of Trading Safely & Legally, Marks & Spencer;
• Dr Jim Marsden, Director, Ignis Associates Ltd;
• Lukas Rootman, Nabarro LLP;
• Oliver Sanandres, Corporate Health and Safety Manager, City of London;
• Martin Woodsworth, Head of External Quality Support, HABC; and
• Wendy Nixon, HABC Consultant.

Christian Sprenger, HABC Managing Director, said, ‘There are still many businesses that dismiss health and safety or fire safety as red tape, yet when done properly it contributes to the overall effectiveness and efficient running of a business and shows staff and clients alike that their welfare is being looked after.

Our seminar features experts and educators with a proven track record in getting businesses not just onside, but in turning them into the biggest advocates of good health and safety and fire safety practice’.

The conference is expected to attract an anticipated 600 delegates including blue-chip corporate clients and brand names, leading industry experts and educators and trainers.

The fire safety/health and safety seminar is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, first aid, food safety, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.

Press Release: Free conference for lifeguarding qualifications

Lifeguarding QualificationsOne of the UK’s top qualification bodies will be hosting a free pool lifeguarding qualifications seminar for sports and leisure professionals later this year as part of its national conference.

The Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) National Conference takes place at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on 13 November 2014, and will feature a day-long seminar focusing on the HABC Level 2 Award in Pool Lifeguarding (QCF).

Since its launch in 2011, a number of organisations have switched to the qualification, including Lifespan UK, which provides training for Virgin Active, as well as Holgates, Sport Central Northumbria University and Aquafyn Training Ltd.

The qualification has also proven popular with leisure trusts across the country, including Carlisle Leisure Trust Ltd, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, Jesmond Community Leisure, North Country Leisure and Pendle Leisure Trust.

Christian Sprenger, HABC Managing Director, said, ‘The free seminar will be an ideal opportunity for sports and leisure professionals to find out more about the qualification and us as an organisation, especially in terms of the support and materials we can offer, and the expert team we have. We’ll also be able to help any organisations not already offering the qualification but wanting to do so’.

Attending the seminar will allow pool lifeguard trainers and assessors to deliver the HABC Level 2 Award in Pool Lifeguarding (QCF), providing they meet all the nominated tutor and assessor requirements. Delegates will also receive complimentary copies of The Pool Lifeguard Handbook, A Question of Pool Lifeguarding and the First Aid Handbook.

The pool lifeguarding qualifications seminar – sponsored by sponsored Carlisle Leisure Ltd, Jesmond Community Leisure, North Country Leisure and Pendle Leisure Trust – is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering the apprenticeships, fire safety and health and safety, first aid, food safety, licensing and security sectors.

Press Release: Richard Sprenger leads line-up for food safety conference

HABC Logo

Respected food safety expert Richard Sprenger leads a line-up of some of Europe’s foremost food safety authorities at a national conference this November.

Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) – the UK’s leading provider of compliance qualifications – will be holding its conference at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, on 13 November 2014.

And for food safety practitioners, there will be a seminar – sponsored by Marks & SpencerDoncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and ProTrainings.eu– throughout the day, featuring:

Richard Sprenger, HABC Chairman, said, ‘I am delighted that so many respected and authoritative figures will be joining me to speak on the day. The seminar is a must-attend event for anyone with food safety responsibilities, and will cover everything from the role of retailers and improving food safety culture to FSA initiatives and implementing good practice in the hospitality sector’.

The conference is expected to attract an anticipated 600 delegates including blue-chip corporate clients and brand names, leading industry experts and educators and trainers.

The food safety seminar is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, fire safety/health and safety, first aid, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.

Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.

For more information on the food safety seminar, click here.