From education to employment

Local constabulary visited by Skills Minister

A police station has been praised by the government for its approach in adopting a cultural shift in attitude towards race and diversity.

Phil Hope MP visited the Derbyshire Constabulary, concluding his “Summer of Skills” initiative which saw him tour the country and attend different events in celebration of work-based learning.

He praised Long Eaton police station for their unique approach to race and diversity training.

Derbyshire Police, in conjunction with Skills for Justice, the Sector Skills Council, developed the first National Occupational Standards in race and diversity.

Manager of the project Sergeant John Coxhead said: “What’s needed is a culture change, not just another course. This programme is designed to ensure that diversity becomes a living, breathing part of the daily work of each Derbyshire Constabulary staff member, and not merely a “bolt-on”.

The approach, which claims to embed a “culture of awareness and respect” through continuous training, has been highlighted as an example of best practice by the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI).

Further, two appointed “Champions” help engineer these cultural solutions into the workplace for those candidates struggling to apply them.

Theresa Peltier, “Diversity Learning Champion”, says: “We see our role as a coaching one. We don”t do the work for the students; we help them to come up with their own solutions to the problems they”ve identified. It doesn”t take long for the penny to drop, and for people to see how they can integrate diversity into their daily practices and behaviours”.

Mr Hope said of his experience with the force: “Spending time with Derbyshire Constabulary has given me a real insight into the work they are doing with Skills for Justice to implement National Occupational Standards in race and diversity and its potential benefits for the Justice sector”.

“Going out on patrol on the front line with the Police convinced me that training for their highly demanding work can only ever be the best. I am pleased to see Skills for Justice, like the other SSC’s in our new network, is helping to meet employers training needs and close skills gaps”, he added.

Irene Watt.

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