Smarter learning cultureOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today With no face-to-face customer contact, Intelligence Finance realised earlyon that staff development had to be central to its operationWith no high street presence, Intelligent Finance has to work harder thanmany banks to cultivate the right relationship with its customers. One badexperience on the phone could mean a lost customer in an extremely competitivefinancial services marketplace. The telenet bank – customers can access its services online or via telephone– was built 18 months ago and had to recruit and train more than 1,200employees for launch. Intelligent Finance now employs 2,500 staff, across threesites in Edinburgh, Livingston and Rosyth, and with the inaugural work out ofthe way, its next priority was to put in place an ongoing developmentprogramme. From the outset the executive management team at Intelligent Financerealised people would be its greatest asset and agreed that learning would playa vital role in the values and vision of the company. In March 2001 a team was created to research organisations that were alreadyaward-winners as a result of their training strategies and best practices wererecorded and incorporated within the Intelligent Finance learning model. The rationale behind the model came from a desire to be an employer ofchoice as much as from a need to gain a competitive edge. Linda Mortimer,director of HR, says: “People don’t come to work just to do a job anymore, they come to learn and develop their careers. “As more players continue to enter the financial services market, thequality of career development opportunities will become more important to thosecoming in and will play a crucial part in their employment decisions,” sheadds. Intelligent Finance’s broad aim was to continuously improve customerexperience. Drawing from research conducted 12 months ago, it introducedAspire, an interactive learning centre, based at its Livingston premises, whereemployees can access a range of learning options within a relaxed environment.Aspire has a set of clear-cut objectives, to: – Promote a learning culture throughout the company – Encourage staff to improve their self-development in relation to a rangeof skills and competencies to the benefit of themselves and the company – Equip individuals with the necessary tools to facilitate this – Provide a blended approach to learning – taking into account the differentlearning styles of individuals – Deliver training in a timely and cost-effective manner Individuals can select from videos, audiotapes, books, journals, WhitePapers and online learning, and a learning and development consultant is alwayson hand to advise, coach and support. The e-learning element is a vital component in developing the learningculture and is crucial in the company’s objectives because it puts personaldevelopment at the fingertips of every employee, 24 hours a day. Initially, learners had access to 30 SkillSoft courses, covering mainlycustomer care and general management, and these proved to be so popular thatjust six months later, these were refreshed and extended to 40. Fundamental tothe success of the programme is the support and encouragement provided from theIntelligent Finance management. One in four employees have already registered with Aspire and more than 50per cent have completed one or more SkillSoft courses. In total, more than 440SkillSoft courses have been completed to date. Two further learning centreshave been opened in Rosyth and Edinburgh. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
Genetic data support independent glacial refugia and open ocean barriers to dispersal for the Southern Ocean sea spider Austropallene cornigera (Möbius, 1902)
The diversity and distribution of Antarctic life has been strongly influenced by climatic events, in particular by large scale extension of ice sheets onto the continental shelf during repeated glacial cycles. It has been suggested that populations of benthic marine biota in the Antarctic were limited to very few refugia because the Antarctic shelf was covered with ice. Using the broadly-distributed pycnogonid Austropallene cornigeraas a model, in this study we tested different hypotheses for possible locations of glacial refugia ( ex situon the peri-Antarctic islands or in situon the Antarctic shelf). We sampled 64 individuals of A. cornigerafrom peri-Antarctic islands, the Weddell Sea and East Antarctica. The phylogeographic structure was analysed using partial sequences of the nuclear ribolomal genes 18S and 28S and the mitochondrial cytochrome coxidase subunit I gene (COI). The 18S and 28S sequences were highly conserved. Sequences of the COI were variable and revealed highest haplotype diversity for populations on the Antarctic shelf and lowest for the population from the remote island of Bouvetøya. In addition, the data showed clear genetic distances between the island and shelf populations. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis of survival in situ. The results also suggest that gene flow within A. cornigerais limited, hinting at possible speciation processes acting independently on the Antarctic continental shelf and the peri-Antarctic islands.
Bakery company Finsbury Food Group says it is finalising new premium cakes ranges for Morrisons, the Co-operative Group and Asda, following premium relaunches with Somerfield, Sainsbury’s and Tesco last year.The company, which announced a half-year sales growth of 5% in its Memory Lane Cakes business compared to the same 2005 period and an 18% year-on-year increase for its Nicholas & Harris subsidiary in a trading update this week, said it is working on new ranges for launch in March to April. Finsbury’s chief executive Dave Brooks told British Baker that its Memory Lane and Campbells businesses are making most of the products concerned.Meanwhile, Finsbury’s California Cake Company bakery is awaiting official organic certification and is expected to launch its first organic cake slice in late January 2007. Brooks said: “Six months ago, we decided to go for organic certification so we could produce organic cakes at the site.”The first quarter of 2007 will also see a push on its Nestlé range as well as new celebration cakes being introduced.
Canada Bread Company, the parent company of the UK’s biggest bagel supplier Maple Leaf, is investigating allegations that an employee at its UK bakery operations, Maple Leaf Bakery, may have sought to influence the pricing of a competitor, Mr Bagel. These allegations have led to the suspension of the employee, while an investigation is carried out with the support of external legal counsel.Lynda Kuhn, senior vice president, communications and consumer affairs at Canada Bread told British Baker: “We certainly see these as serious allegations and we’re treating them as such. We’re proceeding very quickly to understand the facts and would like to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”When asked how long the investigation was likely to take, Kuhn said “it would premature and unfair to speculate on the conclusions of the investigation, but we’ve certainly made it clear they are serious allegations and it is certainly not how we operate this company.”Canada Bread, which is 89.8% owned by Maple Leaf Foods, entered into negotiations to acquire Mr Bagel in October this year, and the main terms of the transaction had been agreed upon in principle, claims the firm. “However the asking price changed materially at a very late stage in the process and at that point the negotiations broke off,” explained Kuhn, “and subsequently this incident occurred”.According to a report in The Mirror newspaper, an executive at North London-based Mr Bagel, secretly filmed a meeting in which the Maple Leaf employee appears to urge his competitor to raise prices. Mr Bagel then contacted the Office of Fair Trading with allegations of price fixing.According to a statement released by Canada Bread: “Consistent with normal acquisitions process, the company had received detailed information from Mr Bagel under the terms of a confidentiality agreement and was involved in intensive due diligence, which appears to have extended to the discussion of pricing strategies to be implemented after the acquisition. Negotiations ceased in early December when Mr Bagel sought to significantly raise the selling price of the business late in the process.”Richard Lan, president and CEO of Canada Bread, commented: “We have been operating under the premise that we were in the late stages of acquiring this business. While these allegations are unproven, they are serious, and we are taking all precautionary steps to fully investigate this matter and determine the facts.” Kuhn added that so far the company has not experienced any negative effects from the allegations in respect to its relationship with its customers.A spokesperson from The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) told British Baker that “it would never get into individual discussions on individuals and whether we are investigating or not. We consider all complaints, but beyond that we do not go into any detail.”Manufacturers Maple Leaf Bakery, based in Rotherham, supplies around 85-90% of ambient bagels in Britain.Mr Bagel manufacturers and supplies frozen bake-off and ambient bagels to the retail and foodservice markets. Check out the link for the official statement released by Canada Bread: http://investor.mapleleaf.ca/phoenix.zhtml?c=189491&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1233301&highlight=
Last night, Les Brers, a group made up of former Allman Brothers Band members and extended family led by Butch Trucks, played a rocking show at Brooklyn Bowl. The band – which features Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quiñones and more – formed after the Allman’s official retirement shows last year, and has only performed a handful of times together, making last night’s performance even that much more special.Gregg Allman Band guitarist Scott Sharrard, also made an appearance at the show and will head his own Allman’s inspired show next week at NYC’s Marlin Room with Jackie Greene, Scott Metzger, Peter Levin, and more. The show is a benefit show for the 20th anniversary for the Songs of Love Foundation. Get more info here.Check out video of Les Brers performing “Dreams” and “Mountain Jam > Whipping Post” from the show, courtesy of Rusted Televisione:Les Brers is:Butch Trucks – DrumsJaimoe – DrumsOteil Burbridge – BassMarc Quiñones – PercussionJack Pearson – GuitarPat Bergeson – GuitarBruce Katz – KeyboardsLamar Williams Jr – VocalsScott Sharrard – Guitar (special guest)
On Monday, Grammy Award-winning Michigan-bred rock outfit Greta Van Fleet announced a three-week North American fall leg of their March of the Peaceful Army Tour, set to kick off at Kansas City, MO’s Starlight Theatre on Saturday, September 21st. Shannon and the Clams will offer opening support on all dates.Following Greta Van Fleet’s tour-opening performance in Kansas City, the quartet will continue on with stops at Morrison, CO’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre (9/23); Las Vegas, NV’s The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel (9/27); San Diego, CA’s Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre (9/29); and Irvine, CA’s FivePoint Amphitheatre on September 30th.Moving into the month of October, the band will offer up performances at San Francisco, CA’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (10/2); Los Angeles, CA’s Hollywood Palladium (10/5); Sugarland, TX’s Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land (10/9); New Orleans, LA’s UNO Lakefront Arena (10/11); Nashville, TN’s Municipal Auditorium (10/13); and Philadelphia, PA’s The Met on October 15th.Greta Van Fleet—comprised of twin brothers Josh Kiszka (vocals) and Jake Kiszka (guitar), younger brother Sam Kiszka (bass/keys, 20), and longtime family friend Danny Wagner (drums)—kicked off 2019 with a series of sold-out shows on the band’s first-time tours of Japan, Australia, South America, and Mexico.A pre-sale for Peaceful Army Fan Club members begins this Wednesday, May 15th. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 17th at 10 a.m. local time.See below for a full list of Greta Van Fleet’s 2019 tour world tour dates. For ticketing and more information, head to the band’s website.Greta Van Fleet 2019 Tour Dates (newly added fall shows bolded):MAY13 Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA15 Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC16 Red Hat Amphitheatre, Raleigh, NC18 The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park, NJ19 Kerfuffle, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (DC101 Radio show)21 MECU Pavilion, Baltimore, MD22 Rochester Dome Arena, Rochester, NY24 Boston Calling Festival, Boston, MA25 Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, NY28 Echo Beach, Toronto, ON CANADA29 Echo Beach, Toronto, ON CANADA31 Bunbury Music Festival, Cincinnati, OHJUNE1 Bunbury Music Festival, Cincinnati, OH2 Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, Cleveland, OH4 Breese Stevens Field, Madison, WI(June 27 – September 10 – Europe, Australia and New Zealand dates)SEPTEMBER21 The Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO23 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO27 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV29 Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, San Diego, CA30 FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CAOCTOBER2 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA5 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA9 Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, Sugar Land, TX11 UNO Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, LA13 Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN15 The Met Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA View Tour Dates
Examples of modern-day slaves could be the workers who make our cotton shirts, pick cocoa for our chocolate, and harvest shrimp for our dinner plates while imprisoned aboard ships at sea. Enslaved prostitutes — more than 1.3 million worldwide — also provide the labor force for much of the world’s sex trade.Modern slavery’s ubiquity — and our collective responsibility for it — were two of the messages driven home in an Institute of Politics lecture on Thursday (Feb. 18) at the Harvard Kennedy School’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.Co-sponsors were Harvard College for Free the Slaves, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, the Committee on Human Rights Studies, and Harvard College Human Rights Advocates.The man behind the messages was Luis CdeBaca, who directs the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. When he was a federal prosecutor, he sent more than 100 traffickers to prison and freed 600 sex and garment workers kept in involuntary servitude.Trafficking in humans “is a crime akin to murder,” said CdeBaca, who seasoned his 40-minute talk with case studies and statistics. “It’s a crime akin to rape, and to kidnapping.”Worldwide, there are more than 12 million people who exist in some form of slavery, he said, part of a shadow economy that turns a $32 billion annual profit for traffickers. About a tenth of those are in what experts call “commercial sex servitude.”Yet in a typical year, nations around the globe initiate only 3,000 prosecutions against traffickers, “an unforgivably low percentage,” said CdeBaca.Nations all over the world have to get to the root causes of human trafficking, he said, including understanding what creates the markets that make the practice viable. (So far, 136 countries have signed on to a decade-old U.N. protocol against slavery.) Stepping up criminal prosecutions is still a prominent key, said CdeBaca, along with a range of other strategies to “rescue and punish.”He outlined a “3-P paradigm” for addressing human trafficking: prosecute, prevent, and protect.CdeBaca was introduced by journalist E. Benjamin Skinner, a Carr Center Fellow this year and author of the 2008 book “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery.”Skinner’s research, conducted both in public and underground, took him to child markets, trafficking networks, illegal brothels, and other slave venues in a dozen countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America. Even suburban America, he discovered, contains its own parallel universes of hidden slavery.CdeBaca’s office every year rates nations around the world on their measures to fight slavery. The 2010 ranking — called the Trafficking in Persons, or TIP, report —will include the United States for the first time. That announcement drew a brief burst of applause in the crowded hall.To illustrate the problem in the United States, consider the case of Shyima Hall, whose story was outlined in the 2009 TIP report. She was a teenager from a poor family in northern Egypt who was moved by a wealthy Egyptian couple to work in their California home. In exchange for up to 20 hours of labor a day, Shyima was locked in a windowless garage and paid $45 a month.CdeBaca mentioned another case, one of an “escaped slave” who fled from virtual imprisonment in an Arlington, Mass., home. Her passport was locked in a safe.He told other American stories: about the illiterate garment workers who studied the boss’ dictionary one word at a time to compose a note that they threw over a high wall. (They were rescued.) And the woman who rushed up to a policeman in a Dollar Store with a desperate plea to escape domestic servitude: “Arrest me.”Modern slavery will prompt “the next great abolitionist movement,” said Skinner. He provided a chilling definition of modern slaves, who are so inadequately uncovered and protected: “Those forced to work, held through fraud, under threat of violence, for no pay beyond subsistence.”Skinner acknowledged that slavery is a “contentious term” that some Westerners even sometimes equate to the drudgery of corporate jobs, mortgages, and credit card debt. But the world’s real slaves are “people that cannot walk away from their work.”And the commercial enterprises that underlay slavery, Skinner said, potentially involve every consumer. To address the slave trade, he said, “takes all of us.”Understanding modern slavery also invites comparison to the U.S. war on the drug trade, which has more resources and prominence, said Skinner. The annual budget to fight slavery, he said, is the equivalent to what is spent in a single day to combat trafficking in illegal drugs.Without disparaging the need to target drugs, Skinner asked a rhetorical question about which is more important: “Is it a 15-year-old selling pot on the street corner, or is it a 15-year-old being sold on the street corner?”Prosecution alone is not enough to stop modern slavery, said CdeBaca, who called for protection that extended beyond the courtroom, including provisions for social services. Ignoring the victim after the crime, he said, would only “replicate” the way the victim was treated by a trafficker.Meantime, there is the third “P,” said CdeBaca: prevention, which remains “an afterthought” to most nations. Real prevention means more than policy pronouncements, public-awareness advertising campaigns, or “interesting documentaries,” he said. It means stopping human trafficking at the source, in part by understanding the demands behind forced labor and commercial sex.Stopping trafficking at the source is also a matter of awareness, said CdeBaca in discussing the imprisoned shirt-makers and shrimp fishermen. Just as people are now aware of their carbon footprint, he said, they should be aware of their “modern-slavery footprint.” That means taking a critical look at the goods and services they buy.“The prevention-P,” said CdeBaca, “is where every American can play.”
H. Stephen Leff, an assistant professor of clinical psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has received the Carl Taube Award from the American Public Health Association. This award recognizes scholars who have made important contributions to the field of public mental health. Leff will present the Carl Taube Award Lecture on Nov. 4 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.
President Obama has nominated former Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Cherry A. Murray to be director of the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy, a key administration post.The announcement was made at the White House on Wednesday. The nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Murray, who concluded her five-year tenure as dean at the end of 2014, is currently the Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and professor of physics. She came to Harvard in 2009, after a distinguished career as an experimental scientist and administrator in two of America’s leading basic and applied research organizations, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Bell Laboratories.The Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences, supporting more than 25,000 Ph.D.’s, graduate students, undergraduates, engineers, and technicians at more than 300 U.S. academic institutions and across all of the DOE national laboratories. The Office of Science is the steward of 10 of the DOE national labs and has an annual budget of approximately $5 billion. The mission of the office is to deliver scientific discoveries and tools that transform our understanding of nature and advance the energy, economic, and national security interests of the United States.Murray has significant federal energy and science policy experience in addition to her service as principal associate director for science and technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a DOE-managed national lab. She served as chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council Division of Engineering and Physical Science from 2008 to 2013. She has served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board since 2013, was appointed in 2014 as commissioner on the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories, and was a member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.Murray was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, and to the National Academy of Engineering in 2002. She has served on more than 80 national and international scientific advisory committees, governing boards, and National Research Council panels, and as president of the American Physical Society. She was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by Obama in 2014.
BERLIN (AP) — Munich prosecutors say a German woman has been charged with preparing a far-right attack and other crimes on allegations she was in the process of building a bomb to target Muslims and local politicians in Bavaria. Susanne G., whose last name wasn’t given in line with privacy laws, also faces charges of making threats and violations of weapons laws, among other things. Prosecutors alleged Wednesday that the woman started planning a firebombing attack no later than May 2020, motivated by her xenophobic and extreme-right views. She’s alleged to have downloaded information on bomb building online and have gathered materials for the construction. She has been in custody since her arrest.