Category Archives: Employee Training

Make 2017 your year of personal and professional fulfilment


As 2016 draws to a close, the dark Winter nights provide the ideal opportunity to plan your personal and professional goals for 2017.

For many people, choosing goals that will enhance both their professional and personal lives is high on their agenda.

Leadership and management are two of the most sought-after skills in employment across the private, public and third sectors.

As well as equipping you with valuable skills for the workplace, a qualification in leadership and management can help increase confidence and assertiveness outside of work.

At Fircroft College in Birmingham, we offer the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management qualification which provides the skills and knowledge to lead, organise and motivate teams.

The ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management is ideal if you have management responsibilities but no formal training and want to develop your abilities further, or if you aspire to work in management and are preparing to make the step up. It has a particularly successful track record in training public sector and third sector employees.

Getting the right mix of inspirational leadership and effective management skills and practices can have a significant impact on organisational performance in terms of profit, sales, growth and survival. 93% of employers see tangible increase in their managers’ capability after an ILM qualification.

This nationally recognised qualification consists of two taught day-long sessions delivered on 16th January and 13th February 2017 at Fircroft College, together with online resource learning.

Benefits to the learner:

  • Gain a range of key management skills
  • Put new skills into practice in your own role
  • Build your leadership capabilities
  • Motivate and engage teams, manage relationships confidently
  • Develop your leadership skills using your own knowledge, values and motivations.

Benefits to the employer:

  • Effective and confident first-line managers
  • Better relationships and communication in teams
  • Measurable results: workplace-based assessment ensures new skills are effectively transferred to your organisation
  • A broad range of optional units – qualification can be tailored to your organisation’s learning and development needs


Matt Lloyd a former student of the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management gives his feedback on the course:

“My time at Fircroft College on the ILM course was invaluable to my professional development and helped enhance my management skills. Having recently been promoted to a more senior managerial position, I enrolled at Fircroft in order to learn new exciting leadership techniques and theories to assist me my new role. The tutors were incredibly engaging and were always prepared to go the extra mile. I have benefitted so much from achieving my ILM Award courtesy of Fircroft”. 

To learn more about the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management at Fircroft College, course cost and the entry requirements, please click here.








How third sector training can equip you with skills for work and life


There’s no shortage of training provision for people employed in the private sector, but those working in the third sector are not so well accommodated for.

This is surprising given around 800,000 people are employed in the voluntary sector alone. Finding a suitable third sector training provider can equip you with the knowledge and skills to enter a wide range of careers.

At Fircroft College of Adult Education, we have a training facility dedicated to the third sector. Many of our trainers have worked in third sector organisations and pass on their real-world experience to students.

We offer a range of key skills courses covering all the essential skills required for third sector employment including:

Train the trainer – Specifically designed for the third sector, this course gives you new skills to train people within your organisation. The two-part course leads to Open College Network accreditation at Levels 2 & 3.

Bid writing – A broad introduction to basic fundraising techniques, concentrating on identifying the different sources of funds and how to access them.

Public speaking and presentation skills – This very popular two-part course equips you with the skills to deliver presentations confidently, using a range of media, including PowerPoint. Few people relish the thought of speaking in front of large groups of people, so this course teaches you composure and communication techniques.

We also offer courses in customer services, communications and diversity.

Our experience in the third sector has led us to develop a range of tailored training courses including ‘Residents in Action’, ‘Peer Mentoring’ and ‘Lay Assessors’.

After completing one or more key skills courses, many of our students progress to employment within the third sector. One such former student is Jeanette Siret, who set up her own community interest company. Jeanette explains how she did this in the video below.

Our third sector training programmes are designed to fit the specific needs of your organisation which we feel works more effectively than ‘off the shelf’ courses.

If you’re interested in learning more about our third sector training please visit our website.


Help us to secure the future of Fircroft College

Fircroft College is an educational success story that has helped, supported and transformed the lives of many thousands of adults during its 106 year history.

As part of the government’s current spending review, the college is facing potential funding cuts of between 25% and 40%. Such a huge cut in funding would have a devastating impact on the services we work hard to provide to our learners. It would also place the entire future of this inspirational college at risk.

Learn how you can help us secure the future of our wonderful college by visiting our website.


How work skills courses can put you on the fast track to employment…


Work skills courses can prepare you for a wide variety of paid and voluntary employment roles.

The workplace can be a challenging but very rewarding environment.

Considering many of us will spend a third of our lives at work, it’s crucial that we’re equipped with the skills and knowledge to make it a fulfilling experience.

If you’re aiming to enter the world of work for the first time (voluntary or paid), or returning to work after some time out, we’ve compiled some tips to help you on your way.

1) Match your passion to the position

It sounds obvious, but whether you’re starting work for the first time or having a career change, you need to think about where your interests and passions lie. These may be helping people, selling, voluntary work or animal welfare for example. If you can match your interests and passions to a career, then you’re likely to have a much more rewarding experience. Of course, many of us do not have this luxury and have to look for what’s available, whether we’re passionate about it or not. Whatever your situation and career goals, the majority of people will benefit from attending work skills courses before entering the workplace.

2) Communicate to accelerate

Good communication skills are one of the main attributes employers look for in an applicant. The first place these will be tested is at an interview and employers take first impressions seriously when it comes to recruiting. If you’ve never worked before or are returning to work, you should consider attending a communication skills course. This will help you with assertiveness, meeting and presentation skills and how to deal with differences of opinion.

3) Be a problem solver

As with any area of life, the workplace sometimes presents challenges and problems. These issues need not become entrenched if you have the right problem solving skills. Think about how you deal with problems outside of work; do they make you feel overwhelmed for long periods or are you quick to nip them in the bud? You may be a good problem solver at home but you may benefit from more knowledge of problem solving in the workplace. If so, you may want to consider  a work skills course that covers problem solving and conflict-resolution.

4) Make your CV work harder

A CV should contain much more than just a dry list of personal and professional details. It’s your first opportunity to attract the attention of an employer and leave them with a favourable impression. Your opening statement should ‘sell’ your personal and professional qualities. If haven’t worked before, focus on voluntary work or leisure pursuits where you’ve demonstrated leadership and team work. If you need help on how best to put together your CV, consider a CV writing course.

5) The interview

The prospect of an interview can make many of us feel anxious, but you can turn an interview into a very positive and even enjoyable experience! The key, as always, is preparation! There are a few obvious questions you need to prepare for e.g.

  • ‘Why do you want to work here’?
  • ‘What makes you think you’re suitable for this role’?
  • ‘What are your strengths’?

As is often the case, practice makes perfect. An interviewing with confidence course will help to ensure you’re well prepared for anything an interviewer may throw at you.

If you would like to know more about our work skills courses please contact Fircroft College on 0121 472 0116 or read about them.


The ILM Award in Leadership and Management – the road to successfully managing people needn’t be ‘long and winding’.


At Fircroft College you can study ILM Levels 3, 4 and 5 at our Birmingham training centre or at a location to suit you.

The ILM Award in Leadership and Management enables professionals from all sectors to become effective leaders and managers.

Most managers would agree that the key to maintaining a successful organisation is keeping its people well trained and motivated (as well as keeping customers and stakeholders happy of course).

However, planning and executing the most effective training programme for individual roles requires careful consideration, whether it’s performed in-house or externally.

There’s a wealth of training and development resources available for all disciplines, but choosing the right one can be a confusing and time-consuming affair, particularly for inexperienced managers.

Sourcing suitable management training provides staff with the skills to lead and manage their team from the outset.

Many professionals continually develop their management skills with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

The ILM offers the widest range of leadership and management qualifications and accredited training in the UK.

At Fircroft College, we have been successfully delivering the ILM Award in Leadership & Management at Level 3 for several years. Building on this success, we now offer Levels 4 and 5 as non-residential courses.

These qualifications provide the natural next steps for managers to broaden their skill-set and prepare themselves for a more senior management role. The awards are relevant to every sector, though Fircroft has particular experience in voluntary sector training.

ILM Levels 3 and 4 helps new and aspiring managers to get to grips with leadership and management and equips them with the skills to lead effectively at this level.

ILM Level 5 is targeted at practising middle managers preparing for senior management responsibilities up to Board level.

As well as offering ILM qualifications, Fircroft provides tailored management training courses to suit the needs of your organisation and your people. We run programmes from our training centre in south Birmingham or we can deliver courses at a location to suit you. We also offer one-to-one coaching to develop your management skills or general effectiveness at work.

To learn more about the ILM qualifications and the bespoke management training we offer, please visit our website or call one of our friendly team on 0121 472 0116.

10 Reasons To Choose Fircroft For Voluntary And Third Sector Training


We tailor our third sector training courses to the needs of the individual organisation.

Voluntary and third sector organisations usually have very differing training needs to other sectors, particularly when it comes to areas such as finance, governance and HR.

Training for these sectors almost always needs to be tailored to the individual organisation. For example, a large national charity will have very different needs to a small community trust.

If you’re considering approaching a training provider, it’s wise to check up on their credentials and previous work in the voluntary and third sectors.

At Fircroft College, we have several years’ experience of delivering tailored voluntary and third sector training in Birmingham, the West Midlands and across the UK.

Here’s 10 reasons why you might want to consider us for your training and development requirements:

         1. We provide a thorough initial analysis of your training needs to create a truly bespoke training programme.

2.  We can design a training programme, including content and format to suit your specific needs.

3. A choice of residential or non-residential training.

4. Our clients include well know names such as Mencap, Swanswell and Midland Heart.

5.  Our trainers have extensive experience of working and training in the voluntary and third sectors.

6.  Outstanding value for money – Fircroft is a registered charity so our pricing is very competitive.

7.  Modern facilities in a beautiful 6-acre garden setting.

8.  Flexibility on times and locations – train at our centre or we can come to your offices on weekdays, evenings or weekends.

9. We’re conveniently located just 4 miles from Birmingham city centre, with excellent road and public transport links.

10. Contact us anytime after your training has ended for guidance on further programmes.

To learn more about how we can tailor voluntary or third sector training to your needs please visit our website or call Zed Bhatti on 0121 472 0116.


Employer and employee training – get your people in tip top condition in 2015


Fircroft College offers a broad range of employer and employee training courses for all levels of seniority.

The late, business trouble-shooter Sir John Harvey-Jones once said “if you stand still in business, you’re dead”.

A very blunt, but true statement, entirely in keeping with the eminent business guru’s business philosophy.

In business, or any organisation, whether it operates for profit or social benefit, it’s people who will ultimately determine its success or failure.

All staff, no matter what their level or specialism, can benefit from continual employee training and development to progress their personal development.

If every employee is continually developing and improving their skills and knowledge, the organisation can only benefit as a result, and most importantly, its customers or stakeholders.

At Fircroft College we deliver tailored employee training courses at all levels from administrator to senior management and Board level.

Some of the employee training courses we offer include:

–          Voluntary and Third Sector training including Lay Assessors, Quality Champions and Equality & Diversity.

–          Essential Work Skills Training – improve your Maths, English and IT skills.

–          Communication Skills Training – become a more confident and effective communicator at work – improve presentation and meetings skills.

–          People Management & Support Training – learn coaching and trainer skills to maximize your team’s performance.

–          Institute of Leadership and Management Level 3 – Understand the role of a leader and  learn how to motivate your staff.

In addition to training and development, we have a long and successful track record of providing other business support services including equality and diversity consultancy, bid writing and facilitation services.

We have a state-of-the-art training facility in South Birmingham, which is easily accessible by car and public transport. Alternatively we can train your people at a location and venue to suit you.

Please visit our website for more information on our employee training and development services or call us 0121 472 0116.