Challenger teams with Cockburn to boost worker skills

With campuses across the southwestern metropolitan area of Perth, Challenger TAFE has partnered with the City of Cockburn to deliver onsite management training as part of an innovative workplace training initiative.

The initiative has already seen 30 City of Cockburn employees increase their workplace skills by completing certificates and diplomas in management through Challenger TAFE.

Located around 24 kilometres south of the Perth CBD, Cockburn covers 167 square kilometres and has 380 employees.

Challenger TAFE Business Program Manager Rowena Maling said the training was delivered in the form of onsite workshops tailored to meet the specific needs of Council.

“Challenger’s business lecturers delivered the training to City of Cockburn managers and first line supervisors who could benefit from qualifications in management, using their skills in the workplace,” she said.

“The employees were able to draw on the skills and knowledge of their working practices as evidence for recognition of prior learning.

“This enabled them to complete their qualification in less than 12 months, while working full time.”

Cockburn Mayor Logan K Howlett said the training was part of Council’s workplace development plan to build management capabilities of staff.

He said the success of the partnership was due to the professional standard of training provided by Challenger TAFE.

“Challenger TAFE was very open to suggestions about how the program should be tailored,” he said. “The structure of the workshops meant our managers could study while working, resulting in limited disruption to their personal lives.

“It is wonderful to now see our employees at the end of the program so full of confidence and trusting in their abilities.

“Everyone is very positive about using what they have learned in their day to day work activities, which will ultimately benefit the City of Cockburn as a whole, as those new skills transfer to helping people in our community as part of Council activities.”

Participating employees attended a series of workshops that equipped them with the knowledge and skills required for a range of management tasks.

Mayor Howlett said Council has agreed to run another Diploma of Management in 2010. A further 14 of Cockburn’s managers from a variety of service units, as well as two managers from the neighbouring City of Armadale will be upskilled.

“This partnership provides an opportunity for other councils to provide the qualification to their managers in a cost effective way,” Mayor Howlett said.

“We are also running an initiative for existing workers through a traineeship arrangement to provide them with nationally recognised qualifications, such as Certificate III in Civil Construction, Certificate IV in Horticulture, and Certificate IV in Government Investigations.

“These initiatives are investments into our employees’ future and provide staff with the confidence to competently perform their job. We currently have 35 existing worker trainees from a variety of areas.”

For further information contact Peter Yow, Council’s Learning and Education Coordinator, on (08) 9411 3689.