Broxbourne Council has been awarded second place in the region’s 2007 Workforce Development Awards for its commitment to staff training.
The award, presented annually by the East of England Regional Council, recognises good practice that encourages and enables employees to continually improve their workplace skills and capabilities.
At the start of 2007, the Council extended its ‘Skills for Life’ programme to the whole Council, building on the pilot scheme for staff at the Council’s service organisation, Broxbourne Services, which started in 2005.
The Council’s ‘Skills for Life’ programme is based on the Government-led national strategy to improve adult literacy and numeracy skills. In Broxbourne this comes under the banner of ‘Get on at Broxbourne’.
Improving essential literacy and numeracy skills will allow staff to access other development and learning opportunities in place to ensure a continued high quality of service for residents.
‘Get on at Broxbourne’ guarantees all Council staff free help from volunteer ‘signposters’, paid time off (on a matched basis) to attend training, free initial screening tests and/or diagnostic assessments, free training classes or study online, and financial support to attend classes.
Staff have the chance to take free tests or assignments which lead to a nationally recognised qualification.
In March 2007, the Council added a Learning and Skills Council initiative, ‘Train to Gain’ to the learning opportunities offered in the ‘Get on at Broxbourne’ scheme.
This offers staff the opportunity to obtain an NVQ level 2 qualification in customer services, team leading, ICT or business and administration; areas which directly relate to the Council’s key skills requirements.
By October 2007 a total of 23 two-hour Get on at Broxbourne training sessions had been delivered. These were attended by a wide variety of people including a trolley collection supervisor, planners, personnel staff, and leisure operations staff.
The Council hopes that the recent workforce development award will help keep the momentum going and encourage yet more staff to take advantages of the learning opportunities available to them.
The Council also successfully completed its ‘Investors in People’ review this month. The ‘Investors in People’ standard, developed in 1990 by a partnership of leading businesses and national organisations, helps organisations to improve their performance and realise objectives through the management and development of their people.