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Holly Lombardo, Director NRTF sat in on a DCMS round table meeting – UPDATE

Posted on: 15th May 2020

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Live & Local Warwickshire

Useful insight overall Holly.

Regarding the supporting others opportunity.

This does seem an opportunity but I suspect it would take some sort of ‘resources’ soon (not necessarily money) to take advantage of what is a reducing opportunity as the furlough scheme is time limited (at the moment).

It chimes with the RT network’s original method of cost effectively supporting each other as there was (is) a vast amount of knowledge to be tapped across the schemes. The NRTF has helped facilitate CPD of staff and organisations through directly subsiding training in specific areas that are best delivered by training providers. However to my mind the most successful examples of support were those when the NRTF facilitated a ‘match’ that has been negotiated between two schemes by providing resources (and I do mean money here) for the ‘visiting’ scheme and for the ‘hosting’ scheme. Clearly the current situation may call for a different response in detail, but in principle it is what used to happen a lot more.

It may require proactively enabling people who are on (or potentially on) furlough and who want to offer virtual mentoring/ CPD/ training/ sharing/ sounding board services to others (schemes or individual staff) to indicate this and also enabling schemes to indicate what they want. It’s up to schemes and individuals to negotiate the details. At this stage all the NRTF does is provide some form of ‘dating’ page! I do not think anything would happen spontaneously.

Regarding volunteering for other schemes to do activities that would (or could) otherwise be carried out by someone on furlough, that should be avoided. It could beg the question as to why the person is on furlough and also cause employment contract issues.

However training has always been explicitly allowed for furloughed staff, so I can’t imagine that being a provider of training/CPD/support would be an issue. Indeed, if that ‘providers’ terms and conditions of employment at the organisation from which they are furloughed allowed them to work for another organisation (e.g. if they were part time), then they could potentially be remunerated for that training/CPD/support activity.

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