Tackling sexual harassment in the workplace

Research carried out in 2020 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows sexual harassment is still a serious problem in some UK workplaces:

  • According to the CIPD four percent of employees said they had been sexually harassed at work over the past three years.
  • Women are significantly more likely than men to report they have experienced both bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Almost a quarter (24%) of employees think that challenging issues like bullying and harassment are swept under the carpet in their organisation.

The Equality Act 2010 defines harassment as ‘unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual’.

Sexual harassment can take place online as well as in person and is always unacceptable.

But the CIPD findings show that regulation alone is not enough to stamp out discriminatory attitudes and behaviour towards women in the workplace.

The report highlights how every employee – particularly team leaders and line managers – needs to play their part in promoting dignity and respect at work.

As well as reading the full report on the CIPD website you can find further resources, including advice from Citizens Advice on what to do if you are being harassed at work.

There is also a link to CIPD research on managing conflict in the workplace.

We should all be prepared to challenge inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour.

If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual harassment please contact a member of the Training Now safeguarding team for support and advice.


On/off-the-job training explained!

At Training Now we have changed the name of ‘off-the-job training’ to ‘on-the-job training’. We want to make it clearer for everyone what this really is and means. You may also hear it called ‘OTJ’ for short.

An apprenticeship is a job with a formal programme of training. An apprenticeship is a work-based programme. The training is required to help the apprentice become fully occupationally competent in the workplace.

So it is reasonable that the apprenticeship should be delivered during an apprentice’s normal working hours.

Each month your TALC (Teaching & Learning Coach) will plan your OTJ for the month with your line manager at your monthly review. Working this way the OTJ is agreed and your manager can make sure that the service is covered should you need to attend a training or teaching session.

Many tasks in your role can be counted as ‘OTJ’. Your TALC will be able to advise you if a planned activity will be counting as your OTJ.

Read more about on-the-job training.


“I feel I’ve learnt so much”

We caught up with Liliana Macieira who shared her apprenticeship experience with us – thank you Liliana!

“I have worked in the care industry for over seven years. I am passionate about care and have been lucky enough to learn new skills and knowledge as part of my career progression.

“Training Now has enabled me to achieve my Level 5 diploma and complete my apprenticeship.

“I feel so much more confident in my career after this experience. I would like to express my gratitude to both Laura Lawson and my TALC and mentor, Gina Haines. Both have been an amazing support in my journey.

“Despite challenging times with Covid-19, over the last 16 months, Laura and Gina supported me to progress myself on both a professional and personal level, encouraged me to continue working towards my goals and enabled me to build my confidence in my job role.

“I feel I’ve learnt so much and can’t thank the team at Training Now enough.”


New report into reporting harmful online content

The UK Safer Internet Centre has published ‘Through These Walls’, its annual report into harmful online content.

The report sets out that 2020 saw a steep rise in harmful content during the coronavirus pandemic.

It also highlights that more and more people are aware of how to identify and raise incidents with an official dispute resolution service, such as Report Harmful Content (RHC).

RHC is provided by UK Safer Internet Centre and operated by SWGfL.

From January to December 2020 the RHC website received 17,406 visitors and dealt with 644 unique cases, a 292% rise on the previous pilot year. 

According to the ‘Through These Walls’ report, the age group most likely to report to RHC was 19–30 (268 reports), followed by 31–50 (209 reports).

The report highlights that:

  • One in three incidents of the harmful online content reported involved bullying or harassment 
  • There was a 225% increase in ‘hate speech’ reported 
  • Domestic abuse trend finds 75% of perpetrators were personally known to the victim, and three-quarters of reports were made by women

The report also sets out the the most common types of harmful content flagged to the a safe, impartial and effective platform:

  • abuse
  • bullying and harassment
  • threats
  • impersonation
  • unwanted sexual advances
  • violent content
  • self-harm/suicide content
  • pornographic content.

RHC acts in a mediatory dispute resolution role with a number of industry platforms, including: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Roblox, TikTok, Discord, Twitch, Match Group (which includes Match, OK Cupid, Ourtime, Tinder, PoF and Twoo), Microsoft (which includes LinkedIn, Bing, Xbox, Skype and Minecraft) and Google (which includes YouTube, YouTube Kids, Google Search and Blogger ).

Read or download the ‘Through These Walls’ report and find out more about reporting harmful online content through the Report Harmful Content website and the UK Safer Internet Centre website.


The sky’s the limit! Hearing from two of our apprentices

We love catching up with our apprentices, hearing how they’re getting on, and making sure they know about all the support we can offer them…

We caught up with Adela Sandu who spoke to us about her experience on the apprenticeship programme.

‘I am working hard to finish my Level 2. This apprenticeship with Training Now has been really good for me, because it has taught me so many things about dementia. Not only that, it has really helped me with my professional career and also in my private life. I want to thank Jo-Anne Mackay, my Teaching & Learning Coach, for all the support.’ 

We asked Adela what her goals for the future were… 

‘First I want to finish the Level 2 I am on currently so that I can start the Level 3, and who knows, Level 4? When I think of my career I always say, “Sky is the limit.”

For those who have already started the apprenticeship, I can tell them to keep going it is really helpful in your job. 

For those who haven’t decided yet, start your apprenticeship today, don’t wait too long – it is really important to know and be prepared in any of the situations that may occur at work.’ 

Thank you, Adela, and good luck, with the rest of your apprenticeship!

Helping improve your communication skills

We also caught up with John Rampton-Walker, who is currently undertaking his level 2 Adult Care Worker apprenticeship with Training Now and works at Falcon Court extra care scheme in Bristol.

John said that he is enjoying his apprenticeship and that one of the things it has helped him to improve is his communication skills.

John’s long-term goal is to become a nurse and then a midwife. We reminded John that he can book a careers advice session with Luke Hall at any time to discuss his future goals further.


Need careers advice? We’re here to help.

We’re encouraging all our apprentices to book a session with our careers adviser, Andrea Sanchez.

Whether you’re starting from scratch with your CV or could just do with a few pointers on your interview technique, Andrea is here to help you. You’ll benefit from Andrea’s extensive careers advice experience and his friendly, supportive approach.

It’s all part of the service

Our careers advice support is an integral part of what Training Now offers you as an apprentice – it’s embedded in our service, it’s not an add-on that you have to pay extra for.

An initial phone call with Andrea generally lasts an hour. The session covers a skills check and a discussion about your career aspirations, likes and dislikes, plus your strengths and where you feel you could do with some extra support.

Let’s hear from Andrea…

Supporting people and seeing them find their feet, gain self-belief and flourish gives me a real boost. Everyone has skills and positive attributes, but sometimes they lack confidence and need a helping hand to be the best they can be.

Impartial advice on courses

I can help you research a course or other training to move you forwards in your career.

Sometimes a discussion can open up unexpected career opportunities for an apprentice. Many skills are transferable to a variety of sectors, it’s often more a case of being open to ideas and suggestions. Talking through options and possibilities can lead to new and exciting plans.

I will always give unbiased and objective advice on courses, qualifications and universities. I’ll set out options for you, helping you come to a conclusion, but leaving you to ultimately make the decision yourself.

Help with your personal statement

If you’re thinking of applying to university, your personal statement is a really important part of the application process. It will set out your experience and qualifications, your background, what you want to achieve and your UCAS points. You need to get it right – I can help you hone your statement to be the best reflection of you.

Helping you write a successful CV

Starting from a blank sheet of paper to create a CV can be daunting – I have years of experience with CV-writing and know how best to present yourself on paper.

I won’t write your CV for you – it has to be your CV, but I can coach you through the process, and help you create a CV that stands out from the crowd.

If you’ve already got a CV I can give you constructive feedback on where and how you can make it even stronger, so that it gives you a better chance of getting an interview.

Building your confidence in your interview skills

Of course, having a top-notch CV is only the start. You need to be able to come across well in an interview – something that many apprentices find daunting.

But I truly believe that interview skills can be learned. A little bit of coaching and some practice in useful techniques can go a long way.

It always gives me great pleasure to work with people who start with zero confidence in their abilities and go on to build belief in what they can achieve.


Safer Internet Day 2021

Today is Safer Internet Day and we’re sharing tips and advice on how you and your family can stay safe online.

Globally, extremists use misinformation to influence, groom and recruit children and young and vulnerable people.

And in the past 12 months, the coronavirus pandemic has really brought home to us how easy it is to spread misinformation through social media and websites.

Various stories containing false information about coronavirus vaccines have fuelled health scares, false accusations and potentially damaging hoax stories.

That’s why it’s really important that we use the SHARE checklist before sharing news online.

Reliable online safety resources

Our online safety page shares lots of really great resources for checking where information comes from, together with tips for parents on talking to children and young people about staying safe online.

Take the safer internet quiz

The internet has an amazing range of information and opportunities online, but how do we separate fact from fiction?


First Aid for Mental Health training courses

We are now offering First Aid for Mental Health training courses and qualifications.

The courses cover an overview of different mental ill-health conditions and how to provide support to individuals who are having a mental health crisis.

The FAA Award in Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health – Level 1 is a four-hour (half-day) course

The FAA Award in First Aid for Mental Health – Level 2 is a six-hour (one day) course

If you would like to know more about these courses – either for yourself, or for your teams – please take a look at the course content for Level 1 and Level 2 or contact Laura Lawson to find out when the next course is due to run.


Connecting with young people this Christmas

This has been a most peculiar year, particularly for our mental health. We’re living under tight restrictions on seeing people face-to-face, and have had to adjust how we keep in touch with people – our family, friends, and work colleagues.

Some people have found a transition to FaceTime or Zoom calls and conversations easy to make. But others have found it more of a challenge. In the run-up to Christmas, and among changing tiers and restrictions, we’re thinking about how we connect with people. And young people in particular.

You Matter

A wave, a Christmas card left at someone’s door, a call to say, “I’m thinking of you – how are you doing?” – they can all make a massive difference to people.

We’re also loving these virtual ‘You Matter’ cards that you can download and send to someone through email or on social media. Simply letting a friend know that they’re in your thoughts can mean a lot.

How young people can cope with feeling lonely

The Red Cross has researched how loneliness affects young people. And this year, COVID-19 has meant that many young people have spent less time seeing people in person, and a lot more time online.

On the Red Cross website you can find lots of links to top wellbeing tips and links for young people. You can listen to people talk about their experiences of loneliness, and the role technology has in making us feel less, or more, lonely.

There’s a feel-good playlist created by a Red Cross volunteer. She invited people to add their favourite songs that helped them feel better when they felt lonely or sad.

The Red Cross ‘Happy songs for lonely times’ playlist on Spotify

There are also videos and activities on managing worries, and who you can turn to for support.

Help for young people feeling the emotional strain over Christmas

Of course, COVID-19 restrictions have meant many households are having to spend more time together. We have fewer outlets and opportunities to see and mix with other people.

Even before coronavirus, research from relationship support charity Relate has found that more than half (55%) of UK adults think Christmas places an added strain on relationships (2018 statistics). Relate offers relationship counselling for couples and individuals as well as family counselling, young people’s counselling and mediation. And it traditionally sees an increase in enquiries every January after tensions come to a head over Christmas. Some families are pushed to breaking point.

Remember, you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to during the festive period you can contact a member of our safeguarding team at any time.


Standing together against terrorism in our communities

At Training Now we take the safety and welfare of our apprentices seriously.

Read how we support the Government’s Prevent strategy on our Safeguarding page. We also set out our commitment to providing an environment that values our apprentices, learners, visitors and staff.

Our commitment to safeguarding

We are committed to ensuring that you are safe and know who to turn to if you have a concern about your own welfare or that of a fellow apprentice. You can contact one of the safeguarding team or your teaching and learning coach at any time to report a concern or to ask for welfare support.

What are the signs that someone may be at risk of being radicalised?

The threat of far-right extremism and terrorism has risen considerably in the last few years there are also risks from other groups and ideologies and conspiracy theories. With everyone spending more time online because of Covid the risk of being radicalised through online media is also increasing.

It’s important to be able to spot the signs that someone maybe be at risk of being radicalised. These signs can include:

  • a change in behaviour
  • changing their circle of friends
  • isolating themselves from family and friends
  • talking as if from a scripted speech
  • unwillingness or inability to discuss their viewss
  • a sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
  • increased levels of anger.

If you have concerns that someone you know has been radicalised please contact Laura Lawson on: 07738892289

Counter Terrorism Policing Winter Vigilance Campaign

The coronavirus pandemic has changed all our day-to-day life routines. So the threat from terrorism might not necessarily be at the front of your mind. But sadly the threat of terrorism has not gone away.

The national Counter Terrorism Policing Winter Vigilance Campaign encourages the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

National and regional COVID restrictions mean our city centres and public locations will no doubt feel different over the festive season. However, there have been recent terror attacks in Europe. The UK’s terrorism threat level has been changed to SEVERE – meaning an attack is highly likely.

We all have a part to play

The Winter Vigilance Campaign was launched by Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi. She reminded us that just like in the fight against coronavirus, we all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and others against the threat of terrorism.

“With COVID-19 still casting a shadow over everyone’s lives, it is understandable that terrorism isn’t something most people are thinking much about right now,” she said.

“But recent attacks across Europe have shown us that the threat of terrorism has not gone away. In fact the UK’s terror threat level has just been raised to SEVERE – meaning an attack is highly likely.

“I must stress that there is no intelligence to link those attacks in Europe to the UK. But as we move out of the tightest lockdown restrictions into a busy shopping period in the run-up to Christmas, we want the public to be vigilant against more than just the virus.

“Similar to tackling Covid-19, defeating terrorism requires a collective community effort – where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attack.”

If you see or hear something suspicious while out and about, trust your instincts. Report any concerns to police, shop security or staff. You can also reports concerns in confidence at In an emergency always call 999.