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Communication Etiquette

While we might be used to texting or Whatsapping, when it comes to the world of work, you’ll need to communicate with other people in different ways. Here’s how: 

Emailing Someone

Find out who your email is for – if you aren’t sure many companies have contact details on their website.  If you can’t find this then you can begin the email with “To whom it may concern” 

If you know the person’s name, make sure to spell it correctly or use the name they prefer to be known as (for example, if a person’s name is Christopher but they prefer to be called Chris, use Chris)

Something else to be mindful of when emailing employers lots of names can be used for different genders, so make sure not to assume that someone called Taylor is a man, or that someone named Aubrey is a woman. 

Emails shouldn’t be too long, say what you need to say briefly. Nobody likes reading paragraphs upon paragraphs of text!

End the email with Regards, Kind Regards, Yours Sincerely, whatever you think suits best and your name. Leave other forms of contact if you won’t be able to access that email address for a reply.

Using the Phone

If you get nervous on the phone then you can have a script prepared for what you are going to say. You can rehearse this if you like.

Make sure to have a pen and some paper nearby whenever on the phone to take down notes, numbers, etc. 

Introduce yourself on the phone when answering or if a call has been transferred to you. If someone has helped answer a question for you, remember to say thank you and always say goodbye at the end of a call!

If you are in a new job, ask to find out how the phone works, how to put the phone on hold, how to transfer a call to another phone, how to put it on speaker etc.

Face to Face Interaction

Face to face communication is one or thee not, most important forms of communication. It is extremely important to maintain a high level of professionalism during business conversations. Address the other person with their proper name. Remember the name and do not ask the name repeatedly. 

Posture is key in a face to face meeting as you a representing yourself and the business you work for. Make sure you are not slouching or fidgeting a lot as this can become distracting to the others in the meeting. Foul language should never be on the mind in a professional face to face meeting as you are representing a business, stick to the subject of the meeting and do not drift off to general chit chat to the other members of the meeting, only do this is there is time after the meeting.

Posting a Letter

Write the name and the address on the recipient on the front of the envelope. If you already have stamps then the stamp goes on the top right-hand corner of the front of the envelope. You can put a return address (home/company address) on the back and the post office will send your letter back if it wasn’t delivered to the recipient.

If you already have your envelope stamped then just pop it into your nearest Post Box.

If not, pop into your Post Office who will calculate the cost of posting your letter/package. They’ll also ask if you want to send it first or second class. First means they aim to deliver it within the next working day, second means they aim to deliver it within 2-3 working days. If your letter contains expensive/important things there are different versions of recorded delivery you can use to make sure it’s delivered to the right person – plus some offer compensation if anything happens to your package. 

Think Before You Tweet!

Millions of people tweet every day and the consequences of over-sharing on social networking sites may lead to serious matters with colleagues, your boss, and in serious cases, the police. Below, are some examples that you should consider thinking about before you send it out for the world to see!

Inviting Twitter to the Party

Your parents are away and you’ve got the house to yourself for the night. You might have thought of having a couple of people over or perhaps your friends have convinced you to have a small ‘gathering’ of people from school. However, putting an invitation out there on social media can, unfortunately, end pretty badly.

In 2012, a girl on Facebook created an event for her 16th birthday. Having not made it private, it resulted in over 30,000 people turning up to a small village in Holland to celebrate in what was classed as a ‘Project X’ style party, ending in riots and several individuals injured.

So, next time you’re planning on having some people over, make sure you invite the ones you trust and stress an invite-only policy if the word spreads. It’s best to stay clear of promoting your get-together on Twitter or Facebook entirely and remember to get your parents’ permission first to prevent serious consequences happening.

Posting a Tweet about your Boss

Your Twitter account may be private and may not mention the company you work for or follow any of your colleagues, but the consequences of being reported to your boss by a colleague can end badly and result in serious outcomes.

Keep in mind, once your tweet is public to others, they can easily retweet what you said or you might have forgotten that someone you work with follows you and they could easily pass it on.

Avoid tweeting about work troubles completely. If you are experiencing problems at work, make sure you speak to your manager or someone in your company’s HR department so that the issue can be resolved.

Alcohol on a Work Night

Although going out with friends after a long day at work can be tempting, going out and then posting a few tweets about it during or after the gathering when you’re supposed to be working could be regretful.

Doing this at a constant basis and turning up to work unwell or hungover can be a serious matter as it can affect your ability to work and could lead to disciplinary issues with your boss. 

Guilty of the Over-Share

If you’re chosen for jury duty, more than likely you’ll be desperate to tell your friends and family about your day in court, people will be asking you to give them the details of what went down, however, once you are a juror, the jury room is the only time you may discuss the case when every juror is present.

It is a serious criminal offence for anyone to try gather details from a juror about anything discussed by the jury surrounding a case, even when the trial has been concluded.

If there is anyone outside the jury that is trying to get information about the case, this should be reported immediately as this is also a criminal offence.

Tweeting or sharing your verdict anywhere online, even if it’s true or not, will not be taken softly by court officials or the police, so do not take any risks!

Apprentices’ Skills Become Priority

Apprenticeships are resulting in fulfilled employees and employers as the training has helped benefit their organisation and future-proof the business.

A survey designed for over 5.000 apprentices conducted by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has resulted in over 95% would recommend an apprenticeship to friends, family and others.

A result of the 79% of individuals that completed the survey, 8 out of 10 showed a high level of delight with their apprenticeship training and the overall majority of candidates that completed the survey are intending to continue working with their current employer. A previous SDS survey involving individuals at the six-month post apprenticeship stage supports this as the majority of the candidates confirmed they were still working for the same organisation.

Skills Development Scotland’s ‘In-Training’ survey was created to learn the current apprentices’ awareness of their experience in training and employment. The survey also resulted in the majority of individuals wanting to take on an apprenticeship as there is an opportunity to achieve new skills in the workplace rather than going to college or university.

The quality of the apprenticeship training was rated very highly by the majority of the apprentices shown by the results of the survey.

Continual Work Development

Katie Hutton, Director of National Training Programmes at Skills Development Scotland said: “The in-training survey forms part of our continuous improvement work, ensuring that we gain feedback from apprentices on their level of satisfaction and the quality of their apprenticeship.”

“The results provide some interesting insight into apprentices, in terms of aspirations and what motivates them. Most are satisfied with their job, indicating that apprenticeships can help businesses effectively manage employee retention.”

Conducted by Skills Development Scotland, an Apprenticeship Wellbeing Survey was launched at the beginning of 2019 to understand the former apprentices’ continual outcomes, the individuals completing the survey reported high levels of satisfaction and well-being.

Succeeding with the Correct Skills

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn has embraced the results of the survey and said: “I am delighted to see the results of this survey and the high satisfaction scores from Modern Apprentices which reflect the partnership between apprentices, employers, and training providers to ensure the success of Scotland’s Apprenticeship system.”

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for young people to achieve the skills and experience they need to succeed in the world of work and I am particularly heartened to read that 96% of Modern Apprentices would recommend Apprenticeships to others.”

Are you an employer that is interested in implementing this for your current staff members or looking to hire a brand new apprentice for your business? Or are you a young person that is looking to kickstart your career with a modern apprenticeship? We can make that happen! Get in touch on 01355 698011 and turn that consideration into a reality!





Interview Skills: Listening

One of the most important skills required in the workplace during a modern apprenticeship is active listening. Active listening means listening intently and responding to what the other person is saying. We have compiled some tips to help improve your listening skills. These tips are useful for both interviews and during your apprenticeship:

Be Relaxed and Calm

Women at interview listening to each other

Take a breath and try to imagine what the other person might be thinking and feeling before you respond. How would you feel in their position?

Remember, good communication is key for successful relationships and friendships.

 Let them Know You’re Listening

Listening Splash- Sixth Sense Training

Acknowledge the person speaking with a nod, a smile or a “yes” every now and then to let them know you are paying attention to what they are saying. 

Pay Attention!

 

Concentrate on what the person speaking is actually saying. It may change how you wish to respond when it is your turn to speak.

Give Eye Contact

Listening- Rainbow Room International Modern Apprentices

Try to maintain regular eye contact while they’re speaking, without continuously staring. You don’t want to intimidate or put off the person speaking.

Good eye contact is one of the most important tools for effective communication. 

Give the Speaker Regular Feedback

Chalkboard with "Feedback" written.

Show that you understand where the speaker is coming from by reflecting the speaker’s feelings such as, “I can see why you are frustrated” or “That is great you are so happy”

Make Sure You’ve Understood what they have Said 

A good way to ensure that you have understood the main points of a conversation is to repeat what they’ve just said in your own words. An example of this would be “So, what you’re saying is . . .”

Remember to only repeat what was said and not to form your own conclusions.

Wait for the Speaker to Pause to Clarify any Questions

If you don’t understand a part of a conversation, of course you should ask the speaker to elaborate or re-explain. However, rather than interrupting it is more effective and polite to wait until a gap in the conversation before speaking.

Don’t Interrupt

It is important not to interrupt the other person when they are speaking.You may strongly agree or disagree with what they’re saying but you should listen to all points made, let them finish, and then respond in a respectful, constuctive manner.

 

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What do the Managers Think?

Sixth Sense Training can only produce the outstanding modern apprentices that we do with the support of great managers. We spoke to some of these managers about their experience with apprenticeships in their business and the benefits they have gained.

Concept Northern – Barbara Borthwick

“Josh has settled in really well in his role at Concept Northern, he’s become a very integral part of the team, he’s very dedicated to his role and he’s absolutely loving his modern apprenticeship.”

“Sixth Sense Training has brought another dimension to Josh’s job role, as well as learning everything he has to within the tech workshop he’s also got the support of his assessors, the assessors have been fantastic.”

“We’ve seen Josh grow, his confidence grow, he’s much more proactive and he’s been putting himself forward for things he has never done before. It’s been an amazing difference to him.”

“We’ve found an ideal situation with Sixth Sense Training as they were able to recruit and place an apprentice with us, I would highly recommend them for any of your apprenticeship needs.”

 

The Art of Upholstery – Paul Mulrine

“I’ve seen a massive improvement in the business, it’s made a massive difference to us with Andrew just being able to tune into modern technology.”

“Sixth Sense Training made a massive difference to my business and I can’t imagine going back to the way we were before. I can’t do anything but recommend them to anyone else.”

 

Young Enterprise Scotland – Mark Armstrong

Our colleague, Scott decided to focus on videography when he started with YES and through Sixth Sense Training with his online courses, he developed a real skill base and focus on videography for YES.”

“As a training provider, Sixth Sense Training really focused on Scott’s requirements to assist him with his job at Young Enterprise Scotland, he got regular check-ins every couple of weeks from his assessor and helped him through his course work.”

“Working with Sixth Sense Training has really enhanced Young Enterprise Scotland’s knowledge of what they do, but also enhanced Scott’s opportunities for the future.”

 

Cailean Property – Colin Storrie

“I decided to take on a modern apprentice from Sixth Sense Training as we identified a gap in our team where we felt that we had to get ourselves up to the digital age that’s coming now and I wanted to get Mathew’s skills involved in the company.”

“I found Sixth Sense Training to be very helpful, I was very impressed with the candidates Sixth Sense Training supplied. Mathew has progressed very well with his apprenticeship training, he now uses the skills that he’s learned during his course in his day to day tasks.”

“Would I recommend Sixth Sense Training? Yes, I would and hopefully, we can find another good quality candidate by using them again.”


If you would like more information on implementing Modern Apprenticeships in your business, fill out the form below.

Trending on MyMA… Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation

When we talk about you or your organisation’s market, we’re talking about all customers and potential customers. This means that any time you’re doing or saying anything which could possibly promote your business, this is classed as marketing. It makes sense then that all types of marketing endeavors should be well planned and understood so that they are as effective as possible.

A Market Segment is a group of customers with shared characteristics. Market segmentation is the process of establishing different groups of customers and potential customers with a shared characteristic. For example, a sports retailer might segment their customers into different groups with a shared interest in specific sports like football, golf, tennis etc.

 

Other shared characteristics which are different from a business’ other customers are…

  • What they want from a product or service
  • The amount they are able to or willing to pay for it
  • The quantities they buy
  • The types of media that they use
  • The time and place that they buy
  •  
Market Segmentation

Customer Classification

Customer Classification is the process of assigning a label to your customer based on how ‘good’ they are. For example, a regular customer of yours might be classed as a ‘valued’ customer and is therefore eligible for certain benefits.

Customer Classifications are generally used at the discretion of each business, however, common types of customer classifications are Valued Customer, VIP, Premium Member,  Founder, Gold, New Customer etc.

It’s important to remember that these two types of groups are different and usually unrelated. For example, your own business may have many ‘good’ customers, but they are probably from a variety of market segments. Your valued customers probably live in different areas, buy different products and respond to different types of marketing. So, customers although in a different marketing segment, can have the same customer classification.

Identifying Characteristics, Motivations, and Behaviours of Potential Target Customers

There are many different ways of getting this information. Some companies ask for feedback after doing business with their customers. This allows the company to find out what made them buy from them at that point in time.

Another way of finding out what characteristics your potential customers may have in common is to hold a focus group. This is when a group of consumers are gathered together and then given the opportunity to share their opinions on a product or service. The information is then taken back to the company and analysed.

However, the most common way of gaining this information is to simply ask your customers for it! Surveys, or questionnaires are cheap and they allow you to find out exactly what your customer’s needs and expectations are.

 

These are all effective forms of market research and allow you to cluster your customers based on their characteristics.

For more information on our Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship or our short Marketing ITA courses, get in touch using the form below:



There’s No Wrong Path to Employment.

No Wrong Path

At Sixth Sense Training, we understand that everybody’s method of learning is different. There is No Wrong Path. We also realise that exam situations don’t always provide an accurate reflection of an individual’s ability, work ethic or willingness to learn. However, we’re also aware that many young people across Scotland have been left speculating what the future holds after receiving SQA exam results.   In a bid to ease fears and illustrate that exam results shouldn’t define the career of a young person, Glasgow City Council’s ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ (DYW) department implemented the social media campaign #NoWrongPath. The #NoWrongPath campaign celebrated the range of diverse career paths that employees throughout Scotland have taken since leaving secondary school. Participants were asked to post a photograph holding a sign with their name, what they were doing when they left school and what they doing now, along with the caption #NoWrongPath. The campaign coincided with Scottish Exam Results Day on August 8th. No Wrong Path trended across social media platforms upon launch. Successful organisations, business personnel and famous faces, such as Scottish singer KT Tunstall and STV weatherman, Seán Batty were amongst those showing their support for the campaign.

The Campaign

The campaign coincided with UK government plans to get more young people ready for full-time employment by 2021. This follows reports that young people leaving higher education are lacking the skills required to immediately go into the workplace. The Scottish government are promoting alternative routes to work as a result of this report. This is designed to help young people achieve the best possible chance of succeeding. College and university courses remain the favoured routes of school leavers. However, vocational qualifications, such as Modern Apprenticeships, are a popular route being promoted. Modern Apprenticeships appeal to both employers and employees as apprentices are trained in skills relevant to the workplace. The qualification is government funded and can be completed within one year.
Sixth Sense Training Louise Goodman

Modern Apprenticeships

Its clear there remains a degree of apprehension surrounding modern apprenticeships. College or university are often perceived as superior alternatives to apprenticeships. The perception of apprentices as being the ‘lackey’ still exists along with the assumption of poor wages and prospects.  The Sutton Trust carried out a recent study on career perceptions. The study found that 80% of young people believed that their career prospects would be greater enhanced graduating from college or university rather than completing an apprenticeship. This confirms apprehension amongst young people. Additionally, many people believe that graduates are more likely to earn better salaries when compared with modern apprentices. However, the study found this to be untrue and confirmed that apprenticeships often lead to similar career earnings as graduate jobs.

Contact Us

To apply for a Modern Apprenticeship, contact us now. Check out our current opportunities here. Let Sixth Sense Training guide you on the correct path.

If you would like more information on implementing apprenticeships in your organisation, leave your details and we will get in touch.


Digital Jumpstart- Booster tools for small businesses.

We are delighted to announce that we are launching our new Digital Jumpstart programme for small businesses. This additional service is designed to help the businesses that we work with prosper by offering the implementation of several technologies that are beneficial to the running and operation of your company in the digital age. These services are now available and completely free to any business that has a Sixth Sense Training Modern Apprentice working for their organisation. The service is designed to streamline the day to day running of your business as well as increase your business’s online exposure. Sixth Sense Training's Digital Jumpstart So now not only do you get 100% government funded training for your business’s new apprentice, with Digital Jumpstart you also get access to our business expert’s experience and tried and tested tools to help you grow your business. The following Digital Jumpstart services are now available to any interested business that employs at least one modern apprentice:

Professional Website Design

Studies show that between 70-80% of people research a company online before visiting the small business or making a purchase with them. Therefore, it is important that when potential customers search for your company they are impressed with what they find. A sleek, well-made website really highlights the professionalism of your business and offers the consumer confidence in choosing you. Our in-house IT team will create a functional website that is both aesthetically pleasing as well as automatically optimised for mobile browsers for any small business that we have an IT or Digital Modern Apprentice within. We will also provide the apprentice with the tools to maintain and update the site as required.

Online Coding Course

  We will fund an acclaimed external course that teaches your apprentice(s) the fundamentals. Develop insider tips to work quickly and efficiently with web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and Python.  The course also shows the apprentice how to build your own responsive websites using more advanced techniques such as iQuery PHP 7, MySQL 5 and Twitter Bootstrap. By then they’ll be developing blogs and eCommerce sites with WordPress, and learn smart ways to add dynamic content, using APls to connect to sites such as Google Maps and Facebook. “As we all know, the best way to learn is to do, so you’ll complete fun website challenges at every turn. Plus, as you fly through the course, you’ll use your skills to put a site together as you go. The final challenge is a full Twitter clone.”

Bespoke Database Design

 Free custom built, mobile-friendly database, to hold your customer records, track sales and projects, collaborate with colleagues and more.

Customer Relations Manager

 Make tracking your leads and sales as easy as possible. Combined with real-time communication and task management in one place we will install a fully customisable CRM your team will love to use.

Social Media Management Platform

We will set up a social media management platform for your apprentice to effectively manage all your accounts in one place. Facebook Monitor Multiple Social Media Streams in One Place. This will allow you to schedule posts in advance, easily view analytics data and share information easily. You can also use the platform for social media listening which helps to manage customer service on social media efficiently.

Online Accounting Software

 We will implement cloud-based accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses.  This software will allow you to manage invoices, payments, payroll and expenses far more efficiently. No more paper.

H.R System

Instantly access essential information, from key documents to contact details, with adaptable permissions to keep things secure. Individual logins mean your team can take responsibility for updating their own profiles. Team Members can request holiday days, unpaid leave and sick days, with a straightforward approval process for Team Leaders. See an overview of current and upcoming time off for your entire company. Personalise your working week and set restricted days in advance.
Modern Apprenticeships for a Modern Workplace

Sixth Sense Training’s Digital Jumpstart is available for all of the following courses:

Digital Applications SVQ
Digital Marketing SVQ
ICT Professional SVQ
If you would like to take advantage of these services and would like to upskill your existing staff or use our complimentary recruitment service to hire a modern apprentice, please contact [email protected] or fill out the web-form here.

If you would like more information on implementing apprenticeships in your organisation, leave your details and we will get in touch.

The Apprenticeship Levy And Scottish Businesses

What Is The Apprenticeship Levy?

The UK government announced an apprenticeship levy on employers with the aim of funding both foundation and modern apprenticeship schemes. Three million apprenticeships are targeted to be delivered by 2020.
The levy applies to all businesses in U.K and is set at a rate of 0.5% of the employer’s payroll. Businesses are entitled to a £15000 allowance for apprenticeship training in order to offset the payment. This effectively means that the levy will only be payable on a payroll in excess of £3 million per year. Smaller companies can still take advantage of available Government funding, which is likely to include an employer contribution.

What Does This Mean For My Business?

Many companies affected by the levy currently either have a small provision for apprenticeships or in many cases don’t provide apprenticeships at all at present. Therefore, many businesses will only be able to reap the benefit of the outlay by implementing a new or expanding their existing, apprenticeship programme. At Sixth Sense Training we have a fantastic record of taking young inexperienced candidates and, along with great employers, nurturing and training them into valuable assets to the businesses we work with. Who better to partner with and help you minimise the risks and maximise both the opportunities and the value of your businesses contributions that come along with the levy?
Apprenticeship Levy Splash

What Can Sixth Sense Training To Do Help? 

  • Upskill existing employees through the SVQ’s that we provide through the levy.
  • We can offer a free recruitment service to businesses to hire and train employees working towards a Modern Apprenticeship.
  • Help you define and create your company’s own personalised apprenticeship programme.
  • Advise on any additional funding that may be available.
Find Further Information At Skills Development Scotland’s Website Here.

If you would like more information on implementing apprenticeships in your organisation, leave your details and we will get in touch.

Digital Applications apprenticeship now available

Units May Include

Testimonial

Thanks to the success of recent training programs with Sixth Sense Training, we have recently asked them to deliver ICT Professional Diploma’s for all of our technical experts.
Louise TaskerConcept Northern

Entry Requirements

If you would like more information on implementing apprenticeships in your organisation, leave your details and we will get in touch.

If you have a question about Digital Applications, Get in Touch.