Archive | September 2011

LifeWorks Taster Day

We were recently visited by 14 guests from various organisations including TRBL, SSAFA and Regimental Associations.  Some had travelled to Aylesford from as far afield as York to take part in the LifeWorks Taster Day (Vocational Assessment) which was organised and delivered by Sharon Patmore and her team.
‘an important opportunity to spread the word about the importance of vocational assessment’
The day began with an opportunity for the guests to mingle and get to know one another before the hard work began.  All were put through their paces, participating in a number of tests and sitting the same assessments as our beneficiaries.  Sharon tells me that there were no dramatic surprises and our guests all left comfortable with their career choices!
This was meant to be a fun day and I am sure that everyone that attended enjoyed themselves.  However, it was also an important opportunity to spread the word about the importance of vocational assessment in the overall mix of support to our veterans.
Well done to everyone involved in the planning, preparation and delivery of the day.

RAF Visit

I was delighted to welcome to our village site Garry McCormack from the RAF Benevolent Fund and John Hickman from the Personnel Holding Flight, the unit that supports wounded, injured or sick airmen and women.
LifeWorks & Social Enterprise

Our visitors were very keen to understand a little more about the work we do and were particularly interested in the LifeWorks programme and the work of Social Enterprises.  They were extremely impressed by what they saw and commented on the professionalism and dedication of our teams.
Increasing our LifeWorks Referrals
It was very important to me that we were able to engage with the RAF as RBLI is a tri-service organisation and we need to ensure that our support services resonant with the whole of the Armed Forces Community.  As a consequence of this visit we can now expect to see more referrals to LifeWorks from the RAFBF, which is wonderful news and ensures that we can now reach more people in need.

Making the Work Programme Work in Crawley

Henry Smith MP Crawley

The local Conservative MP, Henry Smith, organised and chaired a meeting of organisations committed to making the Work Programme work.  The meeting was held in the RBLI/G4S Work Programme office in Crawley and included representatives from G4S, RBLI, Crawley Councillors, the Principal of Central Sussex College, Richmond Fellowship and Job Centre Plus, amongst others.
Sean Williams G4S

Sean Williams, Managing Director of G4S Work Programme, stated that Work Programme is the most ambitious plan to tackle worklessness that has ever been seen.  He went on to explain that it was aimed at not just finding employment, but sustaining people in employment.  Martin Derby, a RBLI consultant working in the Crawley office, related two powerful testimonies from his clients which demonstrated the breadth of support that we provide to our customers.

Lenny Walker Crawley Council
Lenny Walker, a Crawley Councillor, said that the Work Programme has a real need for partnerships and that our commitment to organising these events to bring people together was crucial to the development of those partnerships.
Overall the day was a great success and was well received by everyone that attended.


The UK has a long tradition of Apprenticeships and I am very pleased that RBLI will now be continuing this important tradition with the recruitment of a number of Apprentices, initially in Gavin Astor House and the marketing team.

‘We have developed a robust training plan’

Our Apprentices are here to do real jobs and develop their skills and experience, and we have developed a robust training plan for them to work through, which will ensure that they are able to develop personally and professionally within RBLI.
Helping youngsters take their first steps on the career ladder is a subject that is very dear to me and I expect to see the numbers of Apprentices within the organisation grow.  As ever, I’m sure that everyone will come behind this initiative and welcome our newest recruits to the RBLI family.

Training Courses

I have been most impressed by our newly updated portfolio of training courses.  Utilising RBLI’s expertise in employment solutions for both civilian and military customers, Emma, Sharon and the training team have designed, tested and piloted an extensive range of flexible training courses.  We are already using these courses for our own staff and the feedback is enormously positive.  I look forward to external feedback as our commercial customers begin to experience these new offerings.
The courses are all focused on improving outcomes for individuals and organisation and include:-
  • Chrysalis Motivational Workshop – Our specially designed personal development programme
  • Feeling Good Workshops – A series of workshop which help delegates understand how anxiety, stress, low mood can affect you at work and home, as well as how to manage physical health to cope at work
  • Coaching for Change – understand the stages of transitional change and how better to manage resulting feelings, thoughts and behaviours
  • Healthy Working Workshop – understand how some of the more common health and wellbeing topics can affect work
  • Managing Stress – Our workshop provides support and guidance to managers, ensuring that they are better equipped to identify early signs of stress and understand and manage staff with stress related illness
  • Disability Awareness – Workshop aimed at assisting participants to better understand what the terms disability means and its difference from ill-health
  • Managing DSE Assessments Bite sized training workshops, provided in house, designed to fully meet your employee DSE training obligations
  • Workplace Ergonomics Workshops designed to identify ergonomic support to individuals and teams in the workplace
Well done to the team for producing these exciting new courses to such high standards.  These are exciting times and developing our people to meet the employment challenges of today and tomorrow is at the heart of our training division.

Access to Work Blog

I am absolutely delighted to be able to confirm that RBLI has been announced as the preferred bidder for the Access to Work contract in both London & The Home Counties and Southern England.

This represents a fantastic win for RBLI and is confirmation of the quality of service that is already provided by our current team in the North West.  We will now begin the process of negotiation of the final contract with DWP.  The implementation team has been formed and the process has been started with a view to delivery beginning in November 2011.

However, this news is also tinged with sadness as our current North West team will be leaving RBLI under TUPE to join the new contract holder in the North West, Capita.  I’m sure that they will be a considerable asset to the Capita team and they will be sorely missed by us here.

Congratulations though to all involved in the Access to Work bid.  This really is excellent news and puts us in a great position to roll out new services across the whole of the south of England.