Training for all ages
Richmond Valley Council invested more than $500,000 in training and professional development in the 2014–2015 financial year, including a program aimed at fostering intergenerational learning.
The peer-mentoring program, introduced last year, aims to promote intergenerational interaction within Council, and is already producing positive results.
Younger, IT-savvy employees sit down with older, more hands-on employees, learning skills from each other; the mentoring also provides youth with extra attention, guidance and support.
The program grants older employees a more productive work life, which contributes to a greater sense of purpose and allows them to feel more connected to their younger colleagues.
It empowers all employees by engaging in cooperative problem solving, as well as fostering an appreciation for traditions and work histories.
The advantages of investing in training and development for Council have proved manifold, and include increased job satisfaction and morale among employees; improved efficiency and effectiveness; and reduced employee turnover.
Training starts at induction, and new employees are introduced to their mentors and supervisors on day one.
Council provides a dedicated training room for all employees, as well as a dedicated Training & Development Officer, who meets with trainees and apprentices monthly, and keeps in regular contact with supervisors and educators.
Council also has strong apprenticeship and scholarship programs in place.
In partnership with Southern Cross University, North Coast TAFE and VERTO Apprenticeships Centre, Council has provided training to over 150 employees.
In addition to training required by Council, employees are encouraged to undertake personal study for professional development and financial study assistance may be available.
In a statement, Council said it is a great believer in nurturing new employees straight from high school as “it will not only generate a great talent pipeline into the organisation, and provide valuable progression opportunities from within, but will also ensure knowledge is transferred, and skill loss is managed.”