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Great British service

European companies may generally be lambasted by their US counterparts for their attitude to information technology, but according to research from EDS, UK organisations are better than their European rivals. The computer services and outsourcing specialist claims that UK companies are more focused on improving customer service through investing in IT, and better at training senior staff, outsourcing and - with Swedish companies - far superior at offering customers and suppliers the chance to communicate on-line.

Training monkeys

More than three-quarters of the UK's largest companies do not have satisfactory means for measuring the effectiveness of training, claims the international training and consulting firm Forum Europe. The survey, of training directors at FTSE 100 companies, illustrates how few companies view training as integral to the results the business is trying to achieve - despite the fact that Government estimates put the UK's annual investment in training at more than pounds 10bn.

Interactive initiative

Comedy stars John Cleese, Dawn French and Richard Wilson are among the Video Arts trainers taking part in a Manchester pilot for a nationwide learning initiative that enables clients to access its computer-based interactive training programmes. The scheme is designed to test users' understanding of key points in courses covering areas such as customer care, basic finance and sales and telephone skills.

Can you manage?

Recruitment company Baines Gwinner has launched a consultancy, offering expertise in the increasingly talked-about field of career management, to individuals in banking, financial, legal and other City fields. BG Careers will provide the service along with more traditional outsourcing activities to employers looking to assist the career planning of their employees, ranging from general manager to board director levels.

Friendly relations

City University Business School has teamed up with the Investor Relations Society to offer what is claimed to be the first ever investor relations' course as a full elective on its day MBA programme. The course, running from this month, will cover such topics as the role of the analyst, international accounting and corporate governance.