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CAKE PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT takes on eras ltd people development consultancy.

Welcome to our news and blog page.


Here will share what's new and happening in the world of CAKE People Develeopment and all things Learning and Development.

By CAKE PD, Mar 31 2020 12:33PM

A few weeks ago, we were happily working away delivering and facilitating development solutions and consultancy services to our clients across the country.

Fast forward to today. We are confined to barracks, struggling to come to terms with the ‘new normal’ and a different way of working.

These days we have become increasingly reliant on social media as a tool for making our forced isolation a little easier to bear and for connecting in new ways.

On top of this devastating pandemic, businesses are bracing themselves for another recession, operating in business survival mode.

The coming weeks and months will be tough, really tough but it’s a wonderful opportunity, a real ‘golden’ moment for us to become better people, better corporate colleagues, working together, to collaborate and explore new ways of working for the benefit of all of us.

Our way of working is changing and will have changed forever once this dreadful situation is over. Our digital team are working tirelessly to ensure our clients are supported and our learners can continue to learn.

But we are here to help and support our wider community. We can help your organisation in so many ways.

Our CAKE team are experts in managing and supporting change. We have specialists in mental agility and resilience; this is what we do.

The world of work will be changed forever, a real shift in culture. Our team can support culture change, helping you to successfully embrace and embed the new way of working.

We can enable your remote teams to be effective and productive. We can make a real difference to your business in this critical time by supporting you, your leadership and wider teams.

We are in the middle of a global crisis, but we will get through this stronger together.

Get in touch, let’s talk about how we can help you. Call the team on 01603 733006 or email

By CAKE PD, Mar 19 2020 12:39PM

We are all in the most challenging of times. The worsening situation surrounding Covid-19 is constantly changing, we would like to reassure our clients and delegates that we have plans in place and are planning more to ensure CAKE continues to provide of our expert service and support.

As always, our values here at CAKE are ‘putting people first’. That includes our CAKE team, our delegates, and our clients, plus all those within the CAKE community who we work and partner with.

No one knows how this will all end and we don’t have all the answers but we do have appropriate continuity plans in place to minimise the risk to our team, and those close to them, while still providing the ongoing support and expertise you would expect from the CAKE team.

We remain committed to the continued delivery of our high-quality Learning and Development Solutions. Our team have the technology and support in place to continue working remotely and are working hard to support clients and delegates on current programmes. They are also busy designing and developing new programmes to enable CAKE to continue to deliver quality Leadership & Management, Coaching & Mentoring and Learning & Development solutions.

The wellbeing of our team and the duty of care to our clients and delegates is of the utmost importance to us all here at CAKE. We pride ourselves on working across our CAKE community as one big team, sharing knowledge, resources and expertise for the benefit of our clients, this will not change. Our continuity plans go beyond ensuring our teams can work remotely. They also include strategies to keep our CAKE community engaged and supported, so they can continue to focus their energy on delivering great solutions and expert advice.

We have a business continuity plan in place and will continue to check and update our plans in accordance with Government advice and share any further updates via our website and social media channels. We will also use these digital platforms to share any advice and tips which we think are particularly helpful during these uncertain times.

And finally, on a personal level, we know first hand how an act of kindness can make a world of difference in very difficult situations, so if there is anything that we can do for you, then please don’t be afraid to ask, we are all in this together.

Stay safe and well,

All the very best from the CAKE team.

By CAKE PD, Mar 13 2020 12:35PM

The world is in the middle of a major crisis; we are facing levels of uncertainty and heading into unchartered waters, never experienced before.

Never before has leadership been tested in such away. The way you, as a leader, behave and act now will determine whether you are a good or poor one.

Every sensible business right now is continually planning for the worst-case scenario. There isn’t a manual or how-to guide to get you through this. While there may be specific set protocols in place, the current situation is unique.

While striving to keep your business running as smoothly as possible, the health and wellbeing of your employees are paramount.

Here we look at some factors that will hopefully help you respond personally to each challenge.

You may find yourself in a stressful and tense atmosphere; this can put enormous pressure on your mental and physical wellbeing leading to an agitated state.

It’s time to stop and take a breath and know that you are in more control than you think. Take charge of your thoughts and your emotions; don’t let your employees lose faith in your abilities.

Stay positive; it may feel like a tsunami is heading straight for you, now you can choose to get swept away or decide to make something positive out of it… there’s always a choice at the end of the day.

Your employes are looking to you for guidance; if you show a positive demeanour, they will feel inspired and productive. With the right approach, even the worst complainers can become your best problem solvers.

As best you can, manage expectations. We know the worst is yet to come, you need to share the seriousness, and the potential impact it may have but prepare your employees for the long term, and remember, it’s not your fault. This is unprecedented; there will be decisions made that you have no control over. It’s essential to keep your composure.

It’s time to be brave and shows no fear… fear itself is contagious, your employees, clients and all stakeholders may feel scared. Show confidence, face the reality of the situation and as much as is possible plan ahead.

Collaborate, seek advice, look at the strategy, revisit and adapt it regularly, to allow sensible decision making, but always be decisive.

Draw on your network, your community. No one is an island, support your peers, help other leaders to cope, bringing you together promotes a feeling of ‘we’ll get through this together.’

We can’t predict how the next few months will unfold, but we can identify behaviours, share tips, techniques and tools that can best support you in coping effectively… learning from others is a great way to start.

Our experience and network are wide and far-reaching, and we are here to listen, support and help where we can.

We are all in the same boat – it would be great to talk – call 01603 733006

By CAKE PD, Mar 9 2020 04:29PM

Establishing a culture of continuous learning within an organisation isn't the exclusive responsibility of leaders, managers or employees. It takes full commitment from the whole team. Each member of the team has their part to play.

By providing a blend of formal learning opportunities with a varied range of resources and experiences, organisations can appeal to different styles of learning.

Employees want to perform better and develop new skills. So, by committing to developing employees, organisations minimise the risk of losing top talent.

L&D must be made a priority. Building development discussions into manager-employee check-ins, employees get the support and feedback they need to ensure they're acquiring relevant skills and are continuously updating their knowledge. By putting employees in the driver's seat of their own development, organisations can ensure their engagement, active participation and it empowers them to take charge of their own career path.

We are excited to be partnering with several clients creating tailored, fully blended development programmes, delivering leaning in different ways, on different devices and at the point of need. Whether it’s facilitated workshop sessions, webinars, or curated content from TED talks, articles, journals or youtube videos, we are designing programmes that enables all employees to learn anywhere and at any time.

If you would like to know how we can support your organisation's culture of continuous learning and development, contact the team at or call 01603 733006.

By CAKE PD, Feb 18 2020 02:18PM

Last week, CAKE People Development presented at the launch of the Elena Baltacha Foundation – Sports Skills for Business Development Programme at Suffolk New College. By taking part in this pioneering initiative, aspiring athletes are being given the tools to prepare for life after sport.

We are proud partners of the programme, working to support the education and personal development of the athletes as well as developing the coaching and mentoring skills of the businesses involved.

Sport Skills 4 Business (SS4B), which aims to bring the two worlds of sport and business closer together, is the brainchild of Nino Severino – chairman of The Elena Baltacha Foundation and former British Number One and Olympic coach.

The charity was set up to continue the legacy of Elena Baltacha, who lost her battle with liver cancer in May 2014.

Continuing on the success of the Foundation’s work in giving children, from all backgrounds, the opportunity to learn to play tennis, Nino launched the SS4B initiative.

He said: “Many athletes, across all sports, often do not make it to levels where they earn a living, and so need a parallel career. “This is where Sports Skills 4 Business emerged as a concept.

“By creating a unique development programme of skills honing, mentoring and industry visits, to enable talented athletes to learn how their transferrable skills, will ultimately support them finding a career in or out of the sporting world.

“The tennis world governing body, the WTA supports the initiative, offering an Arena of Opportunity element to the programme, where all the SS4B athletes can identify job roles within the global operation. Whether that is physiotherapy, psychologist, media, finance or sports law, among others, they will also be offering remote mentoring from their base in Miami for the athletes.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to access a particularly motivated talent pool both through support and volunteer mentors.”

Around 40 athletes ranging from county through to world-class are already involved with the SS4B athlete development programme which will give them an understanding in team integration, the athlete switch from in and out of sport, mental strength and goal planning.

At Thursday’s launch, the first module of the programme, The Champion Blueprint, was unveiled along with the CAKE People Development platform CAKEconnect, in which athletes can access each module and communicate in a safe place with their fellow SS4B members.

Nino added: “These athletes will be supported and educated throughout with their business mentors.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the companies that have already come on board with SS4B including CAKE People Development, Prettys Solicitors LLP, Ashton Legal, Gallagher Insurance, Birketts LLP, Ensors and The Adecco Group.

“In the years to come, they will all help many of our athletes become business owners or chief executives of corporate companies.”

Any businesses interested in finding out more about SS4B, how to get involved and benefit from the programme should email Nino Severino

By CAKE PD, Oct 21 2019 11:24AM

Organisations have been using employee satisfaction as a benchmark for employee engagement for many years. Often completing survey’s every year trying to improve their scores, looking to improve productivity, reduce turnover and attract new talent.

Employee engagement should always be a top priority, but organisations who want to stay at the forefront in the workplace of the future need to consider another step.

The modern-day employee requires more… they expect to be fulfilled; they expect to have a sense of belonging, where collectively they are working towards a common goal, an environment where they can grow and develop their role placing more emphasis on learning and development functions. The potential in the modern workforce is just waiting to be discovered.

Having a robust, sustainable employment development plan future-proofs your organisation and creates the workforce of tomorrow. By promoting a learning culture, helps your employees uncover what they are really good at and by giving them the opportunity to excel has a considerable impact on employee fulfilment, productivity and ultimately organisational success.

Contact us to discuss how we can help your organisation flourish, and we’ll help you achieve lasting results. Tel: 01603 733006

By CAKE PD, Oct 14 2019 02:57PM

The way in which organisations develop people is forever changing; new trends are emerging all the time. The apprenticeship levy has meant that more businesses are focusing on upskilling their teams which can only be a good thing, but what about the leaders and managers who aren’t suited to an apprenticeship programme?

We have been delivering high-impact Leadership and Management Open Programmes for many years.

There are huge benefits and added value to be gained with this type of development that many organisations fail to see. For the right delegate, open programmes can offer even more than an in-house or apprenticeship development programme.

Some of the benefits are:

• Networking with peers from other organisations

• Peer to peer learning

• Safe environment away from the workplace

• Knowledge sharing with people from other companies

• Giving and receiving feedback from leaders and managers with similar seniority and experience

• Smaller groups allow opportunities for 1-2-1 coaching

• Learners gain valuable insights from different industry sectors

• Delegates learn and develop powerful techniques

Each programme is supported by our online learning community CAKEconnect, enriching the learning experience through sharing additional learning material, online discussions and work-based challenges. Our facilitators are experts Leadership and Management, a range of assessment methods and tutoring and expert in creating an environment for learners that is supportive yet challenging.

We are passionate and committed to making a difference, whether at an individual, team or organisational level and we pride ourselves on our reputation and business relationships.

For further information on our open programmes or to book your place, call the CAKE Team on 01603 733006 or contact us here.

By CAKE PD, Sep 18 2019 12:00AM

Coaching Culture – It is proven that coaching delivers considerable impact on organisations, particularly when coaching skills are developed in managers and applied as part of their day to day role.

However, investing in coaching for the sake of it will never get results!

A coaching culture means supporting your employees so that they learn new skills and become a greater asset to the company. A management culture that emphasizes training, regular feedback and opportunities for growth creates a more engaged and energised workforce.

To develop a coaching style of management and to establish a coaching culture requires a focused, cohesive approach. For real culture change to happen, managers need to be taught coaching skills & receive support while they put it into practice.

CAKE creates tailored coaching programmes designed to fit your business perfectly. Many ‘off the shelf’ programmes can provide a few useful generic tips to improve members of your team, but the CAKE approach delves deeper - For more on how we can support your culture change, call 01603 733006 or email

By CAKE PD, Aug 5 2019 03:44PM

Did you know that organisations with spare apprenticeship levy funds can transfer them to your charity? Here we give some hints and tips to show charities how to make the most of this golden opportunity.

As a charity, you may not be paying the apprenticeship levy, but did you know that there is still a way in which you could benefit from it? From April this year, employers can transfer up to 25% of their annual apprenticeship service funds (an increase from 10%) to another organisation. These transferred funds can then be used to fund an apprenticeship. This is a golden opportunity for charities.

Organisations who aren’t spending all their levy are looking for ways to do so. and supporting charities in this way may also fit perfectly with their corporate social responsibility policy. Any employer can receive a transfer, so charities of all sizes can benefit from having an apprenticeship funded by another organisation.

For example, we’re currently working with a local charity, The Feed in Norwich, which helps homeless and disadvantaged adults, training them in catering skills to increase their employability and self-confidence. The Operations Manager is about to enbark on our Leadership and Management Apprenticeship Programme funded by Kettle Foods.

Kettle Foods wants to really make a difference locally, and it already funds places on its catering training programmes, provides training sessions with its chef and helps raise awareness of The Feed’s valuable work. It made perfect sense to use its available levy pot to support its partner charity further. It’s definitely worth approaching and asking your supporters if they have any leftover levy that they’d be willing to transfer to you.

How to benefit from a transferred apprenticeship levy:

The transfer process itself is simple to do, but I’d recommend watching the Education & Skills Funding Agency videos.

Before a transfer can be made, both the sending and receiving organisations must be registered on the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). The levy-paying organisation initiates the process. The receiving charity confirms and then adds the details of the apprenticeship. More details can be found on the website.

Practical tips & hints

If you’re going to receive a transfer, there are some things that you should bear in mind:

The transferred funds can only be used for apprenticeship training and assessment

The funds can only be used for apprenticeship standards

You will need to create an account on the DAS portal

An agreement must be signed with the Educations Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

The transfer of funds occurs monthly from the sending employers to your apprenticeship account

If the apprenticeship stops for whatever reason, so will the funding

You WILL NOT be required to pay back the funds

If the sending employer runs out of funds, you’ll be required to make a 5% contribution towards the programme; the government will pay the remaining 95%. The is called co-investment. Further information is on the website

The cost of any training should not go above the funding band for the apprenticeship programme. For example, the funding band for the Leadership and Management Apprenticeship is £7,000. In the unlikely event that training costs exceed this amount, your charity would be liable for the outstanding amount. This shouldn’t happen but is something to be aware of if suppliers suggest adding extras to their programmes that won’t be covered by the levy.

If you’re being funded by a training provider, that provider cannot then deliver the training for that funded apprenticeship

If you have any questions about the apprenticeship levy transfer process, or would like to talk to us about our apprenticeship programmes could support you, contact the team on 01603 733006, email or visit

By CAKE PD, Jul 31 2019 11:31AM

It's our team meeting at CAKE HQ today and it got us thinking about why we have them.... We came up with our 8 reasons why:

1. Team meetings give us a place to, build relationships, to help each other and offer support.

2. They’re essential in understanding our colleagues’ aims, concerns, hopes, challenges, etc. Sometimes face to face is the only time you can really share it.

3. Team meetings provide us offer a ‘safe’ environment – it’s a chance to discuss things we may not be happy sharing by email.

4. A team meeting is an open forum where we have equal opportunity to talk and listen. Everybody gets the same chance.

5. Conference call is useful but can’t fully to replace a physical meeting. Of course, if there are no other options, conference calls will have to do, but if you are able to get together in person, then it’s invariably it’s much more rewarding to do so.

6. Team meetings allow all of us to lift our head out of day-to-day operations; it’s so easy to stay focused, head down. Team meetings are a chance to head up and focus on something else and work on cross-functional projects together.

7. Team meetings are a learning, development and improvement opportunity. Meetings are a crucial part of business and organisations and are a good place to learn about the wider organisation, how to work together towards our objectives, and share, and discuss what improvements we can achieve together.

8. The team meeting is a great reminder that we are in fact, in a team – and not alone!

These are our thoughts, we'd love to hear yours.

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