From education to employment

Regional partnership ‘Handyperson’ course helps to upskill Scottish Borders Council employees

Upskilling staff members is vital in ensuring that any business runs effectively, and this was the case for a number of Scottish Borders Council employees, who recently undertook the bespoke Handyperson training with Borders College Business Development Unit.

The College, in partnership with the Council, designed and delivered the training course, with the aim of increasing the flexibility of staff and enabling them to respond effectively with issues arising within the Council’s estates.

Funded through Flexible Workforce Development (FWDF), the two-day session saw 33 members of staff undertake training in various trades, including joinery, where they learned how to hang shelves, replace broken windows and adjust doors.

Other skills of the trade learned included, plumbing techniques, painting and decorating and an increased awareness of electrical issues – all vital to the upkeep of their premises.

The intended goals and outcomes was to provide increased resilience amongst SBC team members to help deal with practical emergencies, upkeep and repair within the Council estate, as well as the development of staff in terms of motivation, job variety and satisfaction.

The training helped broaden the skill set of the group to increase the potential for them to develop specialisms in the future. It will also help to reduce reliance upon third parties to deal with issues arising in the estate and reduce costs for the Council in maintenance and repairs.

The purpose of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) is to provide employers with flexible workforce development training to up-skill their existing workforce. This funding stream has been created in direct response to feedback from the Scottish Government’s consultation on the introduction of the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy.

John Gray, Cleaning and Facilities Manager for Scottish Borders Council, commented:

“It is fantastic to see over 30 members of staff complete the Handyperson course, which we hope will provide them with practical skills to aid them in the workplace.

“Many thanks to Borders College and the Flexible Workforce Development Fund for support for this course.”

The participants thoroughly enjoyed the session, and were each awarded certificates and toolboxes on their successful completion. They now hope to utilise their new skills within their roles.

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