• Specially developed on-site training: Hoxton staffer Michelle Harris
    Specially developed on-site training: Hoxton staffer Michelle Harris

Packaging operation Hoxton Industries – a leading employer of people with disabilities – has teamed up with TAFE NSW to upskill its workforce.

Being able to provide training which is tailored to its needs while maintaining normal business operations is crucial for Hoxton, so it approached TAFE NSW to design a tailored training programme.

TAFE NSW Wetherill Park worked with Hoxton to develop a course to be delivered onsite to meet the needs of the business. As a result fifteen staff are currently completing a 20-week Certificate III Competitive Systems and Practices, which incorporates safety training.

Sharon Schofield, Employment & Training Officer, Hoxton said, “Eighty per cent of our employees are illiterate, so we needed to work with a training provider which has that background, and could adapt the training to the different forms of learning required.

“We have a long history with TAFE NSW. Over the years we have been trying to give staff extra qualifications to help them with their roles in the organisation.”

TAFE NSW Wetherill Park staff met with Schofield at the company’s premises in Hoxton Park, to view the workplace, equipment and set-up, as well as getting a firm understanding on what the business needed and tailored a course that would meet all requirements.

Schofield said, “We have also been able to change things in the training program as we need to. Having that flexibility has been great as it means we can maintain operations without any disruptions but also give our staff the training they need.”

TAFE NSW teachers deliver the customised training onsite every fortnight. They are broken up into two block sessions, which enables Hoxton Industries to rotate staff and provide additional support to staff who may need extra help.

“The onsite delivery makes it a lot easier for staff – it is a familiar environment for them and it is being conducted during work hours. It is no inconvenience to them; it is just part of their fortnightly routine,” said Schofield.

Michelle Harris has been working for Hoxton Industries for a year and enjoys the training aspects to her role.

“I enjoy learning new things; it is also good as we get refreshed on things we may already know. I actually look forward to the classes. Our teacher is supportive, easy going and it is a great environment to learn in,” she said.

Hoxton has been in operation since 1969 and employs 100 people who have barriers to mainstream employment, including people living with disabilities.

“We are pleased we chose TAFE NSW as our training provider. There aren’t any risks, the training is consistent, and the staff know what they’re doing,” said Schofield.

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