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 taken part in a free training scheme designed to boost core listening and communications skills.
The mentoring scheme is part of the national ‘Better Business for All’ initiative, which the council has adopted to improve relations with the local business community. It also forms part of the regional skills and enterprise programme, Go>Grow.
The training, delivered by Amacus and Gateshead College, is helping to increase council officers’ awareness of local business issues and overcome language and communication barriers during inspection visits.
The team is also mentoring others who work across the council’s frontline services to help them improve their skills and personal performance as well.
Mentoring training is helping officers to address some of the operational barriers they face, said Joanne Waller, Durham County Council 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.”
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.”
Go>Grow has the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the North East of England Chamber of Commerce. It is designed 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.