• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

North East Connected

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Free mentoring training is paving the way to important improvements for a local council community services team.

Thirteen members of Durham County Council’s Regulatory Services’ Environment, Health and Consumer Protection team, which provides health and safety regulatory advice to local traders, have undergone the training to boost core listening and communications skills.

The move is part of the national ‘Better Business for All’ initiative, which the council has adopted to improve relations with the local business community.

Although it’s early days, the training, delivered by provider Amacus, is helping to boost council officers’ awareness of local business issues and overcome language and communication barriers during inspection visits.

The team is mentoring others who work across the council’s frontline services to help them also improve their skills and personal performance.

Durham County Council undertook the training as part of the regional skills and enterprise programme, Go>Grow.

This is a scheme headed up by Gateshead College, which Amacus is a private limited company and subsidiary of, in partnership with over 30 local training providers. The initiative offers free training, which is designed to help the region’s businesses and individuals upskill.

Mentoring training is helping officers to breakdown some of the operational barriers they face from day-to-day, said Joanne Waller, head of Environment, Health and Consumer Protection.

She added: “Training has equipped our officers with a variety of tools and techniques to help them deal effectively with customers and businesses as part of their frontline duties.

“They have come away with a better understanding of the importance of being an effective mentor and coach, providing more effective guidance and feedback across different business areas.”

Sarah Ainslie, business development manager at Amacus, said: “Effective mentoring training is undoubtedly making a difference within the council’s team, who are seeing the benefits already.

“The training is ensuring they can support people and help them to achieve more while improving their own personal performances. Our training has embedded mentoring skills that they are using to help others across the whole local authority to be more effective.”

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, said: “Durham County Council is another good example of how organisations can tap into the free funding to address specific training requirements.

“It’s great to see the council’s team building on their new skills to deliver better, more effective services to local people and businesses.”

Go>Grow has the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the North East of England Chamber of Commerce. Experts in the Go>Grow team will work to develop training that meets individual needs of businesses, or offer those who wouldn’t ordinarily undertake training programmes, the opportunity to access bespoke packages specific to their needs.

A tailor-made programme is then developed and delivered at any of the Go>Grow training provider sites, or within the premises of the individual businesses.