Innovative Alliance partners with Skillsfirst to promote workplace well-being

Earlier this year, Adult Education training provider Innovative Alliance, approached awarding organisation Skillsfirst Awards about developing a new qualification around the Five Ways to Well-being. The step was born out of the lack of recognised, accredited training around mental health well-being, and the genuine desire by staff members at Innovative Alliance to address this growing issue.

A few months on, and two qualifications have sprung out of the partnership – one aimed at those who are looking for work and the second targeted at those who are already in or about to enter the workplace. For Danielle Kershaw, Delivery Manager at Innovative Alliance, this venture was personal, speaking about the motivations to create these new qualifications, she said:

“I’ve been passionate about improving personal and workplace well-being since I had my own experience of poor mental health a few years back. After leaving my job at the time, I found myself delivering well-being and mental health improvement training. Five Ways to Well-being was researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation and is approved and advocated by numerous organisations such as the NHS and Mind, a mental health charity. However, when I came to deliver this bespoke training, I struggled to find anything readily available that met the criteria. In addition, I found it really disappointing that the courses I delivered weren’t accredited nor Government funded, which meant the people who needed them most couldn’t access them and wouldn’t go away with a certificate from an awarding organisation.”

Innovative Alliance, an organisation dedicated to improving well-being and supporting individuals into the workforce, decided to take action. Having a working relationship with award winning organisation Skillsfirst, they took the opportunity for the new venture to Ian Sugarman, Head of Product Development, to help bring Danielle’s vision to life.

The duo has since worked collaboratively to develop two meaningful and robust qualifications, one for those who are looking for work, and the second for those who are already in or about to enter the workplace. Both qualifications aim to address the misconceptions around mental health, provide tangible advice and guidance for promoting good mental health and provide a nationally recognised accreditation around this.

Evidence suggests that a small improvement in well-being can help to decrease some mental health problems, and also help people to flourish. These qualifications set out five actions to improve personal well-being: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

Developers of the qualifications and awarding organisation , Skillsfirst Awards commented:

“Skillsfirst Awards are delighted to announce two new qualifications designed to promote personal health and well-being in the workplace and life in general.

The qualifications, which explore the benefits of healthy eating, mental well-being and positive behaviour, were developed following an initial approach from Danielle Kershaw at Innovative Alliance. Danielle felt that a qualification would be of high value to their learners and employer partners, particularly as organisations respond to evolving welfare requirements and increased awareness of mental health.

Since these funded qualifications launched on October 1st, we have received significant interest from employers and providers. To support delivery, Skillsfirst have also produced a free workbook for approved centres.”

Innovative Alliance are thrilled to begin delivering these courses as part of their offering, with their first one, scheduled to start on Tuesday 19th November in St Helens, now open for enrolment. To enquire or sign-up, get in touch today. To find out more about the courses, click here.

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