Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Age Concern BTEC pilot launched in Greater Manchester

The implementation of a National Training Strategy to fulfil the training needs identified across the Age Concern federation is now underway, thanks to a unique collaborative pilot project established between Age Concern Training (ACT) and

Following the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) carried out across the Age Concern federation in 2003/2004 to determine the training needs of Age Concern Groups and Organisations, ACT published ‘Training for Excellence – a National Training Strategy for Age Concern, the federation’ in October 2005 which identified key areas for action.

It confirmed the need to formulate a strategic response that can capitalise on the strengths of Age Concern and be pro-active in making and grasping opportunities in workforce development.
It was acknowledged that Age Concern Members have a crucial role to play in promoting continuous improvement in quality standards, through appropriate and effective training and professional development of Trustees, Volunteers and Staff. This led ACT to research training currently available in the sector and identified a new management training programme which over a 12 month period results in a recognised qualification, the BTEC Professional Certificate in Voluntary Sector Management with a pilot group now established to support the personal development needs of people working for several Age Concerns across the Greater Manchester area (see picture above).

In the meantime, Paul Hemingway of Age Concern North Lincolnshire is one of the first people in the country to begin studying for the BTEC Professional Certificate in Voluntary Sector Management after joining an open group on Humberside made up of learners from different charities throughout the region. Having reached the half way point in the course, Paul reflects on what he has got out of his studies so far –

“The course is challenging, but enjoyable too”, says Paul, “There is a lot to take in, and some of it is new to me, but with a consistently high standard of presentation, the tutors - who are all enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the sector - are able to support the group in their studies.

This training has a practical link to what we’re doing at Age Concern in Scunthorpe and I am looking forward to continuing the course and achieving my qualification.”

For information about the BTEC Professional Certificate in Voluntary Sector Management, visit


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