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Issue Date:- 11 August 2008


NEW research into how the average person in the North West spends their time by the Learning and Skills Council to celebrate Skills and Apprenticeships, reveals the huge amount of time, an average of 40 days a year, which is wasted by people in the North West.

Today’s research reveals that 84% of people in the North West admit to wasting time, with just under half estimating that they faff for as much as 2-3 hours each day.  The survey also shows that 74% were annoyed at the amount of time they wasted in a day, with 77% stating that they would like to make better use of their time.

The LSC’s top 10 time wasting activities in the North West include:-

1.  Clearing up after other people – 14%
2.  Waiting for other people (children, colleagues, partners) – 14%
3.  Gossiping – 13%
4.  Queuing – 12%
5.  Being kept on hold while on the phone – 11%
6.  Traffic jams – 10%
7.  Shopping for unessential bits and pieces – 9%
8.  Waiting for public transport – 7%
9.  Chasing up people on jobs – 5%
10.  Waiting for the bathroom – 3%

Interestingly, when it came to identifying the main causes of wasted time, the results show that the 2 main reasons that respondents cited were clearing up after other people (14%) and waiting for other people such as children and colleagues (14%).  Gossiping (13%) and queuing (12%) closely followed.  Conversely, expected excuses like public transport, waiting for the bathroom and chasing up on people finished lower down in the LSC’s top 10 North West time-wasters.

When asked what they might do to put their time to better use, 57% of respondents said they would rather use the time they waste learning a new skill, with 70% of those surveyed stating that they thought gaining a new skill or qualification could help them to further their careers. 

Mark Forster, author and time management guru, says that not only is it essential for people to maximise their use of time but also manage their time better, all of which could benefit them in the long run.  He says:- “As a time management expert I am committed to making people understand the benefits of making the most of their own time.  We live in a busy world.  We’re working harder and juggling more than we used to – and, clearly, the nation is also spending more time ‘faffing’ than they should!  The only problem is that there’s only ever a finite amount of time in the day.  Of course, we’ve all been heard saying ‘I just don’t have time’, but today’s research from the Learning and Skills Council shows that we can all make the time if we manage ourselves more efficiently.  It also goes to show that there is no excuse for the third of Brits who cite a lack of time as being the main barrier to them learning a new skill.”

Chris Banks, Chairman of the LSC, says:- “It’s clear that people waste a lot of time, but it’s also clear that people are willing to make better use of their time.  If we all spent two and a half hours a day learning something new, we’d all benefit hugely.  Modern learning comes in all shapes and sizes, and with flexible courses on offer there is something out there for everyone.  There are also various funding options available to help you get on your way.  Learning a new skill can be a step in the right direction towards a career change, a foot up the career ladder or even a way to earn more money.”  He continues:- “There is also a global aspect - 2 out of 3 jobs in the future will require a higher level of skills and better qualifications.  Indeed, in less than 10 years, there will be very few unskilled jobs, so why not be the 1st to safeguard your future by learning a new skill?”

The Learning and Skills Council has a wide variety of training and funding advice available for people who are interested in updating their skills or obtaining a new qualification.  With so much support available, what’s stopping you from updating your skills? To find out more about training and whether there are any funding options available for the course you've chosen, talk to your employer or visit


24 young people from the North West area are among the 150 delegates to be hand-picked from 2,000 applicants to attend The Network, the prestigious free five day course held alongside the Edinburgh TV Festival this August bank holiday.

The scheme is aimed at helping talented individuals with a passion for TV gain a foothold in the notoriously competitive television industry.

The Network programme of masterclasses, workshops and careers advice gives delegates a comprehensive overview of the different aspects of the television industry - including production, directing, channel management, commissioning, PR and writing - and access to some of the top talent working in TV today.

Delegates from the North West include:
Jill Archbold – Hartlepool
Ben Blakey – Stockton-on-Tees
Sabrina Collins – Middleton St.  George
Kay Donnelly – Boldon Colliery
Philip John Kramarczyk - Middlesborough
Thomas Reynolds – Stockton-on-Tees
Charles Rogers – Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Sean Bradbury – Liverpool
Christiana Brockbank - Bolton
Jack Doyle - Stockport
Colette Flynn - Cheshire
Melissa Hussey - Cheshire
Tone Iversen - Salford
Marina King - Blackburn
Amie Laing - Formby
Ian Martindale – Congleton
Harry Matthews - Chorley
Emily Ryder – Bolton
Katherine Sharkey - Merseyside
Chris Smith - Blackpool
Colette Talbot - Cheshire
Jonathan Williams – Wrexham
Anna Berrington - Liverpool
Harry Garne – Manchester

Jay Hunt, Controller of BBC1, Julian Bellamy, Head of Programmes at Channel 4, and Paul Jackson, Director of Entertainment and Comedy at ITV are just a few of the broadcasting luminaries delivering masterclasses this year.  Key industry professionals from teams including Coronation Street, MTV and Sky News will run workshops, enabling delegates to gain hands-on experience to create their own films, scripts and programmes.

The Network has helped to launch hundreds of TV careers and past delegates now work across the industry in a variety of roles on shows including The Apprentice, Newsnight, Emmerdale, Big Brother and Blue Peter.

Past delegate Kathleen Beedles , Drama Producer at ITV says:- “Since working in the industry, I have realised that it’s both “who you know” and “what you know” that count, and this is why initiatives such as The Network are invaluable for young new talent starting out.  When I attended The Network it was the first time I’d met any industry professionals and I came away with the belief that ordinary people like me could get into TV.  It also taught me both practicalities and gave me an ‘in’ with industry professionals.  I had got that all important ‘foot in the door’ and now years later I can see the benefit of the initiative from a professional stand point, as a way of discovering exciting new talent.”

Thousands of applicants each year are whittled down to a lucky 150 delegates who get the chance to attend the FREE event, which this year takes place between 21 and 25 August 2008.

Delegates who have attended The Network are also given the opportunity to apply for a 6 month paid work placement at some of the most prestigious TV companies in the UK through the The Network at Work programme. 

Applications for this year’s event are now closed, but it is possible to register interest for next year via the website

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