Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust has worked with SkillsActive to upskill aspiring and existing managers with innovative, cost effective training and secure extra staff to deliver its community programmes.
Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust is a charitable trust set up to manage and operate Doncaster Dome Leisure Complex. Head of Leisure Jon Whiteley says the Trust had always been good at providing staff with mandatory training such as first aid, health and safety and pool plant operation, but it wasn’t as strong on softer skills like management, sales and customer care.
Supporting staff stepping into management
A SkillsActive account manager started working with Trust managers to understand the results of their appraisals, and to source suitable training providers to fulfil their training requirements.
Jon says many staff at the Trust progress to duty management positions through internal promotions, and while this means they have good knowledge of their field, they often lack management skills: “We wanted to support them make the step up from the front line.”
SkillsActive presented the Trust with a number of training options using its recognised training provider network. In September 2010, 16 current or aspiring managers from the leisure, conferencing, catering events and cleaning teams attended Developing Duty Managers training.
Jon says the feedback was extremely positive: “The delivery was really innovative. They learned about effective communication, being assertive, formal and informal feedback mechanisms, and how to motivate staff. I’m certain this has made them better managers.”
FJF employees extend programme reach
SkillsActive also encouraged the Trust to sign up to the Future Jobs Fund programme. The government programme, which has now closed, provided 5000 young unemployed people with jobs in the sport and active leisure sector. In January 2011, the Trust took on three recruits as Assistant Community Engagement Officers.
“This was a really good business decision for us as it provided us with the wages and training grant to take on three new employees to help deliver our community outreach schemes, such as the 50 plus and Play Rangers community activity programmes."
The Trust is also now investigating opportunities to provide funded training to several other eligible staff in customer service, business administration, supervisory development and activity leadership through Apprenticeships.
Making a long term commitment to staff – and the Academy
In April 2011, the Trust will enter an exciting new phase as it extends to manage 10 more local leisure facilities. This means consolidating staff training from 11 different organisations. Jon says the Trust is committed to working with SkillsActive to continue the innovative skills development programme it has started.