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ESTA Learning Centre - Finalist in the 65th Victorian Training Awards for Large Employer of the Year

 
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ESTA Learning Centre - Finalist in the 65th Victorian Training Awards for Large Employer of the Year
by Casey Sharrock - Monday, 12 August 2019, 3:36 PM
 

The ESTA Learning Centre team is a finalist in the 65th Victorian Training Awards – Large Employer of the Year.

ESTA employs 1000 people, with 800 in operations and 200 in support roles. ESTA’s people undergo extensive training to ensure we have a strong community focus and adhere to high standards of conduct.

 
It’s our Learning Centre team that shapes our people into a dynamic, skilled and resilient workforce who deal with thousands of emergencies every day.
 
The ESTA Learning Centre employs 55 people, including specialised support employees who are supported by a cross-organisational network of workplace trainers to provide training support to our employees, and to develop our call-takers, dispatchers and our leaders.
 
In 2018, the ESTA Learning Centre delivered 48 accredited training courses, 9087 training packages (both face-to-face and eLearning), which is an increase from 6043 in the year prior. This equates to approximately 10.6 learning touch points per call-taker/dispatcher.
 
The use of the ESTA Learning Portal means we are able to use eLearning to more effectively deliver training in compliance as well as agency change and projects. We have delivered a total of 7416 eLearning courses in the last year in comparison with 5474 in FY16/17.
 
The Learning Centre also collaborates with the ESTA Quality Improvement team to use a comprehensive risk framework to assess adverse events, errors and near miss reporting and create training based solutions. IGEM - ESTA’s regulator, has reported:
  • there was an overall reduction of reportable adverse events by 28.7 per cent
  • ESTA’s most serious adverse event had an overall risk profile score 13.1 per cent lower than in previous years. This means the risks associated with ESTA’s most serious adverse events have also decreased.
  • there have been no ‘extreme’ events reported since January 2017.
The means we have improved our service delivery to the public and reduced the risk to our employees through effective and targeted training. This is extremely important when considering the optimal business outcome is to prevent loss of life and property.

Developing our people

Our training programs build capacity and meet the needs of the diverse groups at ESTA. Our operations employees have a volume of hours of over 1600 training hours invested in them to meet competency. This is above the recommended volume of hours specified by our regulator and are reflective of our groups individual needs. We offer training across multiple formats including face-to-face, classroom, online, and via 1100 training scenarios The range of educational strategies offers choice to learners, accommodates diversity in the workforce and reflects the diverse community that we serve.

Developing our leaders

Our leaders expressed a desire for a more contemporary development approach, with content that aligned specifically to ESTA’s daily leadership challenges and to drive employee engagement in leader-led development.
The Lead ESTA program began in October 2017, with a stronger focus on developing leadership capability and improving engagement, to support the successful launch of the People Strategy and People and Performance Framework.
Lead ESTA – which is led by our Organisational Development team – has delivered a range of benefits, as reported by participants:
  • a stronger sense of self awareness and emotional intelligence to better understand oneself and the impact of one’s behaviour on others
  • a broader understanding of the context of leadership vs operational management
  • improvement in capability, competence and confidence in leading others
  • preparing Assistant Centre Managers to deliver learning to peers and team leaders through group facilitation and to develop influencing capability in others.
The model has also demonstrated an improvement in performance statistics due to the increased focus on coaching.
During the implementation of our signature Lead ESTA initiative, we are driving a team culture that connects people to our workplace and our common purpose. We have an ambitious agenda and we want to equip leaders to shape a constructive people experience as they lead change at ESTA and continue to deliver on performance standards. We are investing in our people leaders to strengthen their capability to lift performance, build effective teams and lead change.

The ESTA Learning Portal

The 2018 implementation of the ESTA Learning Portal increased our capability to enhance learning at ESTA. Resulting in a 95% pass rate of internal audits for learners in their first six months of employment, classroom success rates over 80% and ESTA filling its budgeted headcount of call-takers for the first time in three years.
A significant milestone due to the high attrition rate attributed to the difficult nature of trauma and shift work that our call-takers are exposed to.

Commitment to equity in ESTA training

Diversity and inclusion is an important ESTA cultural attribute that is driven by inclusive recruitment practices and training designed to meet the needs of diverse learners. Cultural diversity outcomes are embedded in ESTA’s People Strategy reflecting the importance of it being in our DNA, rather than a tactical or event based approach.
ESTA is also guided by Victoria’s “Emergency Management Diversity and Inclusion Framework”, which encourages a culture of respect, cooperation, and innovation and a workforce that reflects the community it serves.
 
The emergency services industry has traditionally been dominated by able-bodied, anglo-celtic, heterosexual men. Research has also shown there remains some bias in the nature of roles predominantly held by men and women in the emergency management sector, for example the higher numbers of women in administrative and support roles and the higher numbers of men in operational and technical roles.
 
Integration of diversity mindset into our leadership development is achieved through the Lead ESTA training program, and senior management development initiatives and all ESTA employees undertake mandatory training in bullying, safety and wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion. There is strong evidence of the impact of these training initiatives, with our most recent staff engagement surveys demonstrating a positive trend in relation to diversity acceptance (up 13% to 52%) particularly in relation to respecting individual differences. Our strongest positive outcomes relate to acceptance of sexual orientation with higher than sector and general market results. Two thirds of women (68%) and two thirds of those born overseas (68%) responded positively when asked about equal employment opportunity at ESTA. This is above sector expectations and close to market levels across Victoria.
 
Congratulations ESTA Learning Centre team!