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training

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culture change through 50:50 Vision 

RhysJones has been providing training programmes to the construction industry for many years, in the UK and abroad, on a wide variety of marketing, management and diversity topics which are detailed separately.

We run small workshops or give presentations and training for larger groups in areas such as project proposals, client presentations, marketing and sales, customer care, public relations and the internet. Our trainers bring a combination of experience in marketing, journalism, public relations, media, presentations and lecturing.

Some examples are given below.


culture change through 50:50 Vision



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Change the face of construction toolkits 

Paul Hodgkinson, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Simons Group, has set a goal of increasing the representation of women in the organisation from 10 per cent to 50 per cent. RhysJones has been retained to help deliver this programme, known as 50:50 Vision, looking at work/life balance issues, training, development, communications and customer focus.

The work has so far included delivering workshops, seminars and other activities for women and men in the organisation. Three employee-teams were formed to look at the different issues of career development, customer focus and work/life balance. The teams conducted research, produced case studies for best practice and particpated in internal and external events. A year into the project and the proportion of new employees has risen from 24 to 46 per cent women.

Sandi Rhys Jones and Ian Shaw, Personnel Manager at Simons, presented a paper together at the emap conference on recuitment and retention in construction in March 2003. Click here for a full report.

Simons is a privately owned construction, property development and consultancy group with an annual turnover in excess of 250m. It is based in Lincoln, and has offices throughout the East Midlands, South East, North East and North West England.

The company has three principal areas of business, construction, property and consultancy services, including design/architecture, environmental, mechanical & electrical design and project management/cost consultancy.


Change the face of construction toolkits


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action learning 

The Change the face of construction team has produced the first three toolkits, to help organisations put practical equal opportunities policy into practice.

Designed to give simple, practical guidance on two sides of an A4 sheet, toolkit 1 focuses on recruitment, toolkit 2 looks at how addressing diversity issues can help to retain the right staff, and toolkit 3 suggests how developing a more diverse workforce can improve customer satisfaction.


case studies illustrate the business benefits of diversity

Change the face of construction
launched 6 case studies last month, each of which illustrate the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace. They particularly highlight issues of motivation and retention of staff, and the benefits of diversity for employers, employees and customers.

From the example of a targeted training programme leading to one firm of contractors promoting a female civil engineer to their main board of directors, to that of an engineering company attracting and retaining apprentices, the benefits of positive action are clearly demonstrated in these case studies.


Action Learning

Training 
marketing clinics for local SMEs 

Change the face of construction, in conjunction with The Housing Forum, are supporting an Action Learning initiative in London. The project is part of the Race and Sex Equality in Construction project, led by UMIST and supported under the DETR sponsored Partners in Innovation programme. First piloted in the North West in 1998, the project aims to encourage diversity in the construction workforce.

Action Learning is discussion based. The London set will comprise of representatives from private contractors and housing associations on the basis that whilst they work in similar fields and have similar business interests, their social outlook is usually quite different. Through discussion of the social issues surrounding recruitment and retention of staff within the construction industry, it is hoped that members will develop their own ideas of how best to encourage diversity, and the benefits of this for their own business interests.


marketing clinics for local SMEs

Training 
marketing training programme 

During research undertaken by RhysJones Consultants for South London Manufacturing Challenge, a need for affordable marketing support and advice was identified amongst small to medium sized manufacturing companies. Put off by the perceived cost of professional marketing advice, many manufacturers rely on price slashing and cold calling to make sales.

Responding to this need, RhysJones Consultants has developed the concept of marketing clinics offering professional, industry specific marketing advice at an affordable price. The clinics are designed to help identify specific problems, discuss possible solutions as well as giving a general understanding of basic marketing principles.

The marketing clinics are complemented by a number of workshops focusing on specific marketing issues. These include new product development, customer service and satisfaction, creating a marketing strategy from scratch.

Supported and funded in South London by South London Manufacturing Challenge, a partnership initiative funded by South London Training and Enterprise Council, the marketing clinics can also be provided independently by RhysJones Consultants to other sectors and regions.


marketing training programme

Training 
project proposal seminar 

Responsible for developing and giving a two and a half day seminar on marketing strategy and planning to managers of Euro Info Centres from throughout the European Union for DG XXIII of the European Commission. This highly interactive course was designed to allow participants to work in syndicates to produce a marketing plan for one of them. At the request of the Ministry of Trade and Industry the programme was repeated in Greece. 


project proposal seminar

Training 
window on St Petersburg 

Responsible for developing a two day seminar module on the preparation of project proposals for international development bank staff to give to consultants in member countries. The seminar was developed to improve the opportunities for a wider range of consultants the banks procurement and to make the task of assessment of tenders easier and to reduce costs. 


window on St Petersburg

 
Training 
mediation in management 

“By nature we are fated here to cut a window through to Europe, ” said Peter the Great on 16 May 1703 cutting two pieces of turf and laying them across each other in the birch swamps in the North West corner of the Tsarist empire, or so Alexander Pushkin would have us believe in his description of the event. 

Peter the Great, the man who mastered the skills of instrument maker, shipbuilder, jeweller was ruthless in the promotion of his new city. The aristocracy was forced to move households and many foreigners were invited to bring in their skills from the West. He saw it as the way to progress and trade. 

Three hundred years later St Petersburg is rediscovering that role, offering opportunities to Westerners that seek them. The opportunities are vast but to many the difficulties are even greater. In an effort to improve the chances of success for Western companies, RhysJones has been involved in an initiative to set up the St Petersburg Construction Partnership, to act as conduit for the development of commercial relationships between Russia and the West. 

Located in the prestigious Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering headed by Professor Pannibratov, the centre can provide office accommodation, lecture facilities and workrooms. The objectives are to: 

  • provide training for Russian construction managers 
  • provide information, translation, interpreters and other support services for Western companies interested in developing business in Russia 
  • identify projects and introduce possible partners 
  • carry out market research to identify opportunities and reduce risk 
  • train Western managers in Russian law and business methods. 
The centre has been set up as a partnership between University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UMIST, and Continental Construction Europe. It is the logical conclusion to the work that UMIST has been doing in training Russian construction executives in management practice, funded by the European Commission. Roderick Rhys Jones has been involved in the programme for two years, lecturing groups on marketing issues, and is advising on marketing at the centre.


mediation in management

Training 
Research and Strategy 

“The process worked well in that it is extremely doubtful if both parties could have achieved a negotiating position without the influence of an independent mediator. ”

“I have subsequently heard from both solicitors that their clients have saved themselves many thousands of pounds which would have been spent over the next two years in litigation. ”

Sandi Rhys Jones is working with the Centre for Dispute Resolution, CEDR, to develop a number of mediation courses for industry and commerce. She believes that this increasingly popular method of resolving disputes can be applied in the work place long before things get out of hand.

Mediation is used increasingly to resolve disputes instead of seeking remedies through the courts, where the results are not predictable, costs are high and the process time consumng. Business relations are rarely preserved after a dispute.

Mediation introduces a new dynamic into the dispute: an independent third party committed to helping parties in dispute settle, but who has no stake in the dispute. The mediator’s primary function is to manage the settlement process in order to help the parties reach an agreement voluntarily. It is an agreement that is not imposed on them by an adjudicator or judge.

The course Mediation for managers is particularly useful to managers who are managing change in company structures, location or processes. A number of courses have been run in the construction industry and for government departments. If you would like more information please contact Sandi Rhys Jones.

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