Adastra Training locally, nationally, internationally and now online

We provide personal development training for a diverse range of organisations and people: individual

We provide training and personal development for a diverse range of organisations and people: individuals, small and large organisations, in the public and private sectors, in Britain and as far afield as the Middle East.

Operating as usual


Today was a very good day - I fulfilled a long outstanding commitment! Back in mid 2019, I agreed to give a presentation to the Kingswinford Group of the University of the Third Age (U3A) on the topic of my RAF career. I've delivered a range of talks to a variety of organisations from Rotary, Round Table, Masonic groups of different types and other charitable organisations.
Sadly Covid seriously interfered with this one but today I finally managed to fulfill my task and delivered a talk entitled, "The Royal Air Force and my part in its downfall (with apologies to Spike Milligan)."
The fifty plus members of the U3A group were an attentive audience and clearly enjoyed the experience, as did I! I did explain that I was unable to fit all of my 28 years worth of anecdotes into one hour and offered to come back for Part Deux (with apologies to Leslie Neilson) if they would like me to return. My offer was accepted unanimously and so I am looking forward to getting another date in the diary to return to Kingswinford soon.
I heartily recommend this type of public speaking to those 'professional speakers' out there as a way of sharpening your skills, especially after a long period away from the role. There are plenty of groups out there looking for speakers on a vast range of topics. so why not put your self out there?


I've just added a new page, specifically for promoting the Career-Fit Profile - Family Careers UK - please have a look and let me know how to make it better!



Your children are four times more likely to come to you for careers advice that to anyone else! Are you ready to help them with the expert advice that they will undoubtedly need?
Help is available through the Career-Fit Profile, an online assessment that provides:
• An 18-20 page report
• Identification of the preferred interest areas in order of interest
• A personality profile linked to job requirements for each individual
• A measurement of the following transferable and in demand skills:
o Mental toughness
o Emotional intelligence
o Adaptability
o Achievement orientation
• Occupational Routes Indications Chart
• Detailed analysis of primary and secondary key interest areas
• For any career path identified as being of serious interest a detailed breakdown is provided for every aspect of that career.

For a free sample report, please contact me at [email protected]

Part 2 of Essential information for parents of teenagers 12/07/2021

Part 2 of Essential information for parents of teenagers

Part two of my article containing essential reading for the parents of teenage children is now available:

Part 2 of Essential information for parents of teenagers Essential information for the parents of teenage children (Part 2) How to guide your children through the careers maze Welcome to Part 2 of my article ‘Essential information for parents of teenage children.’ Having introduced you to Career Certainty, Career Alignment, Career Ambition, I would no...

Essential information for the parents of teenagers | by Paul Stephen Brennan | LinkedIn 07/07/2021

Essential information for the parents of teenagers | by Paul Stephen Brennan | LinkedIn

If you have teenage children, Check out my latest article: Essential information for the parents of teenagers

Essential information for the parents of teenagers | by Paul Stephen Brennan | LinkedIn Essential information for the parents of teenage children (Part 1) How to guide your children through the careers maze By way of an explanation of why I think that you should read this article, let me say that I am a parent and a grandparent with four of my five grandchildren in their mid-teens. I a


Career - to wander aimlessly from side to side with neither control nor direction????
A couple of years ago, I responded to a call from our local authority’s Youth Employment Team to volunteer to participate in their ‘World of Work’ programme. They sought ’businesspeople’ to visit local secondary schools and talk to groups of students about their own experiences of higher education. The programme comprised a series of short talks to groups of Year 9 students about different aspects of further and higher education as well as apprenticeships and university life. Between these presentations, the businesspeople spoke for a few minutes about their experiences and their own careers followed by questions from the students. After this period, the businesspeople moved on to the next group of students in rotation.
I opened my chat with the observation that I was fortunate to have decided on my career at the age of six years. I was determined to become aircrew in the Royal Air Force, achieving that ambition, later than planned, at the age of twenty-three! I then asked the students if any of them had any specific career plans. The responses were much the same in every group, not just in that school, but in every school that I have visited over the past two years. Apart from the occasional blogger, vlogger, influencer, Youtuber and of course the occasional professional footballer! There were of course some with a clear idea about their futures, but they were a tiny minority of the many hundreds of students that I have spoken to.
Around this time, I reconnected on LinkedIn with a former RAF colleague, who worked for a large international psychometrics publishing company. He told me about an exciting new product called the Career-Fit Profile. I quickly followed up with the company, visiting them and their UK HQ, and talking to the MD at length about the profile and what it had to offer young students.
I learned that the profile had been developed with the support was having a significant support from Solihull College of FE and the JLR Plant in Coventry. At the college prospective students were asked to complete the assessment to make sure that their choice of courses was consistent with their true preferences. As a result of the use of the Profile, course ‘churn’, the number of students wishing to change courses within six months of having begun their studies has dramatically reduced, which saves both time, money and disruption in the students’ learning. In JLR, applicants for the several hundred apprenticeships on offer each year, complete the profile to identify which of the 24 different apprenticeships is the best one for each candidate. A similar saving is made because the apprentices are far less likely to seek to change programmes after they have begun. In short, ‘square pegs were being fitted into square holes’!
Keen to explore the profile for myself, I invited my 15-year-old grandson to try it. He is typical of his generation, seeming more interested in online gaming that anything else! He had no real career plans other than ‘probably’ looking at a BTEC linked to sport – he is a good rugby player! It took him less than twenty minutes to complete the profile online and we arranged a further session for me to feedback the results shortly afterwards.
The report, running to some 18 pages, comprises four interlinked sections. Firstly, it shows the level of interest in the following broad career themes:
• Artistic
• Scientific
• logical
• Managerial
• Administrative
• Persuasive
• Practical
• Nurturing

The second part is in effect a personality profile, indicating preferences between
Introverted Extraverted
Emotionally changeable Emotionally stable
Conventional Open to possibilities
Suspicious Agreeable/trusting
Spontaneous Conscientious
Intrinsically motivated Extrinsically motivated
Doubting Optimistic
Cautious Excitement

The third part of the report was the biggest surprise for me as it measured and graded levels of ability in the following critically important transferable skills:
• Mental toughness
• Achievement orientation
• Adaptability
• Emotional Competence

The final element of the feedback is to create an individual profile which is then compared with ‘ideal’ profiles for a range of specific career paths. The student is presented with a primary interest set of career paths plus a secondary interest set of career paths, each with a percentage match to the respective choices. Additionally, each choice on the report has link to a database of information about the specific role listing:
• Type of tasks associated with the role
• Technology skills required
• Knowledge base
• Soft skills required
• General ability level
• Work activities
• Work context
The third career on my grandson’s profile was lawyer – a 68% match. I drew his attention to it asked him how he felt about law as a career. His facial expression could be interpreted as hm telling me that I had lost the plot completely! However, I persisted and asked him to consider what a lawyer did at work. We looked criminal law, commercial law, property law among others, and eventually he indicated that he wished to comment. His question was simple: “are you telling me that I could get paid a lot of money for having arguments with people?” When I replied in the affirmative, he added, “I’m in!” Our subsequent discussion covered the options given that, at that time he didn’t want to go to a ‘conventional’ university, which focussed our attention on a degree apprenticeship enabled through a local firm of solicitors. Subsequently, he has reviewed that choice and is more actively considering a conventional three-year university degree course in law. I should add that my daughter is delighted in the changes in her son’s outlook on his future!
I plan to bring the Career-Fit Profile to a much wider market looking to help the parents of young adults get the absolute best guidance as to where their children should look to find their ideal career options.
My offer is to make available access to the online assessment plus a comprehensive online feedback session for a one-off payment of £75. Feedback is delivered via Zoom to the student plus one or both parents or a suitable adult, approved by a parent.
For your information I would add that I have a Masters’ degree in Education from Brunel University, have been qualified to use a full range of psychometrics for over twenty years and hold a current Enhanced DBS certificate.

I believe very strongly that the definition of career, used in the title of this article can be changed entirely by the use of the Career-Fit Profile, by giving both control and direction to a young adult’s career aspirations.

Paul Brennan MA FLPI Chartered FCIPD
Adastra Training
[email protected]


There has been much comment in the media about the youngsters of today, who are frequently referred to as the 'Swipe generation', a reference to the act of dismising an entry on a smart phone or tablet if it isn't what you want, and the now overused term 'snowflake!

What if you could prove that you or your child deserves neither of these derogatory terms?

One of the innovations in the Career-Fit Profile is a section on 'Transferable skills and attributes'. Each profile assesses the following skills/attributes:

Mental toughness
Achievement orientation
Emotional competence

Eacth topic is graded on a scale from one to nine and additionally there is a narrative supporting the grade with an inidcation of potential strengths and challeges is also provided.

The overall profile provides a wealth of positive information which could easily be used in a CV or job application to enhance the possiblity of success.

Please contact me for more information, including a full sample profile.


Over the past two years, I have been a volunteer working with the Telford and Wrekin Youth Employment Team, visiting most of the secondary schools in the area, talking to students in Year 9. The programme, called World of Work Days, consists of a number of short presentations about apprenticeships, higher education generally and especially university. The students sit in groups of 10-12 and after each short presentation, a 'business volunteer' provides a 10 minutes talk on the impact of further and higher education on their lives. After the ten minutes is completed, the volunteers move on the next group for the next presentation and the next ten minute talk and so on until all of the formal presentations have been completed.

I must admit to being surprised that around 95% of the several hundred students I have meet so far, had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives in terms of a career path to follow. Sometimes, a group would have a would-be professional footballer, a Youtuber or a Vlogger but by and large, the response to my question about their future plans, was met with a collective shrugging of the shoulders.

I was also surprised when the Youth Team Leader told me that, statistically, these young aduts would be four times more likely to go to their parents for careers advice rather than teachers or specialist advisors at school!

During this period of time, I reconnected with a former RAF colleague, who told me about a new product being developed by his company, an international publisher of psychometric assessments. Having investigated the product, called the Career-Fit Profile, I can advise that it is a real breakthrough in terms of providing accurate and reliable guidance on how to chose the right career path.

It is used by FE Colleges to make sure that students opt for the most appropriate course for them which cuts down on the number of them that change their minds 3 or 6 months into the course.

Companies such as JLR, who recruit over 500 apprentices a year, use the profile to match each individual with most appropriate of the 24 different apprenticeships they offer.

I believe that it can provide parents with the best possible guidance for their young children.

My final observation is that, once the current crisis is over and we all learn what the new normal for empoyment in this country will look like, many peple will, as a result of their experience in lockdown, be looking for a new job or even a new career!

If you would be interested in knowing more about the profile, please PM me for more information including a copy of a sample profile.


In the early part of the summer, I decided to update my 'strapline' - "Personal and Corporate Development". In July, the new business cards arrived bearing the new 'strapline' "Training locally, nationally and Internationally".

Between the first of August and the end of the year, I will have spent 67 days either in Kuwait training or travelling out and back. Is there a link between the change to my business cards and the sudden arrival of the work overseas? My only regret is that I don't get travelling time on this contract - but having now achieved silver on the Emirates Rewards programme, the four hour wait 😎in Dubai is a lot more bearable in the business class lounge!

Work at home is looking up with a continuation (on a very small scale) of the Capita/CSL contract and the promise of more work similar to the CSL courses in the New Year on a new contract with Knowledgepool.

An old contact from my days delivering training to the Ford Motor Company is working hard to get me into a number of new clients and I have a trial with a London based organisation that specialises in training delegates from the Middle East - a case of Mohammed coming to the mountain perhaps!


Freelance training has always been feast of famine! This year has been a famine so far but I got told last Sunday evening that I've got a contract for seven courses with my old friends at Kuwait Oil Company. One small issue though - I need to fly out on Saturday and it's been a panic to get the manual written in time to get it to the printers. Objective achieved this evening so time to relax before the flight to Kuwait via Dubai. There's also the possibility of another set of five courses - bring it on😀


Next week on Tuesday 29th November, I am once again running my successful one day course - 'Presentation skills for Nervous Networkers' at the Shropshire Chamber office on Stafford Park 4 in Telford. It will cover how to create and deliver effectively a one minute pitch and longer presentations at network meetings of any type. Timings - start at 0915 and end at 1630. Investment is just £75 plus VAT which includes the training materials, a comprehensive course manual and of course lunch and refreshments all day! I also offer a full refund if you are not satisfied with your experience! There will be no more than six delegates to ensure that all delegates get the maximum benefit from the learning experience.

To book or for more info, please call on 07703-261812 or email at [email protected].


The Chief Finance Officer of Facebook announced very recently that Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the social media of choice among teenagers - and that comment wiped $18 billion off the value of Facebook! Oops! (Financial Times)

Most women are more scared of public speaking than they are of death 30/10/2013

Most women are more scared of public speaking than they are of death

Interesting snippet from the Daily Mail online:

Most women are more scared of public speaking than they are of death, it was revealed yesterday.

Researchers who polled 2,000 women found many are far more at ease with meeting their maker than they are of standing in a room talking to an audience hanging on their every word.

The study found women loathe the thought of making a spectacle of themselves, and feel more nervous about stuttering, tripping up and looking foolish than going to an early grave.

I can help! Please have a look at my course on overcoming your nerves and fears about public speaking - you can book directly from this page.

Most women are more scared of public speaking than they are of death Women loathe the idea of making a spectacle of themselves and rank it just under being buried alive in their list of fears.


Young adults in England have scored among the lowest results for literacy and numeracy in the developed world in an international study. England’s 16 to 24-year-olds rank 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy, out of 24 nations. It found that England is the only developed country where those approaching retirement are more literate and numerate than young adults, and that 8.5 million English adults have the maths skills of a ten-year old. Figures from the OECD.

What the hell went wrong and when exactly?


Adastra Training locally, nationally, internationally and now online

Places on my courses are now bookable through this page! Please follow this link:

Adastra Training locally, nationally, internationally and now online We provide personal development training for a diverse range of organisations and people: individuals, small and large organisations, in the public and private sectors, in UK and in the Middle East.
Watch for a new project on career guidance for 15-18s


Lack of presentation training hurting UK profits

Does your organization lose out because of poor presentation skills? It does seem that many do - #.UezmDqxTHms

If you need help to improve presentation skills at all levels within your team, please get in touch. UK organisations are losing out on new business due to a lack of proper presentation skills, according to the ‘Art of Presenting’ report from Casio Projectors.


Attended the Shropshire Chamber Networking Club meeting at the 100 House hotel in Norton yesterday. Some familiar faces but a lot of new business people to interact with. Great presentation by Holly from FraggleWorks - lots of very useful information received and noted for future use - Thanks Holly, much appreciated.


I will be celebrating my birthday on 14th March with another presentation skills course at the Shropshire Chamber offices. Why not make a small investment in yourself?


One place on my Presentation Skills for Nervous Networkers course for Wednesday at Shropshire Chamber 0915-1630. Fifty pounds inc vat and refreshments!


Paul, great to see you getting to grips with Facebook for your business, remember the Welcome tab (or 'HubTab app' as we're going to brand it!) can easily be refreshed with new content via your 'Engine Room' CMS. If you need any further tips on this log on to my Facebook business page and navigate to the 'Videos' section where there are short instructional videos on changing any content that you need to. Or call me!

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