Training Facility for ‘First Time Fixes’

During the five months that Osborne’s training centre in Dacorum has been open, it has been used regularly to ensure our operatives have the skills they need to get jobs done right first time.Here electrical supervisor, Ricci Whiteside, who manages a team of electricians, explains how the purpose-built facility is helping him to recruit the best people and develop his team members’ skills.

“It is my job to make sure my team members are ready to go out into Dacorum Borough Council’s residents’ homes and get jobs done safely and efficiently,” says Ricci. “‘First time fixes’ as we call them, make our customers happy, which, in turn, builds trust in us and our work.

It is my responsibility to ensure our electricians are always health and safety compliant and operate within Osborne’s policies. Since it opened in May this year, the training centre at our Maxted Court office in Hemel Hempstead has enabled us to teach our health and safety procedures in a live environment.

The facility includes a fully functional kitchen and bathroom where we are able to work with our team members to build the skills they need to fix the faults they are most likely to come up against.

From our experience working across the borough of Dacorum, we know the jobs that occur most frequently. Using the facilities at the training centre enables our operatives to get used to identifying and fixing these most common electrical faults.

The training centre is not just for us electricians – it is used to train and up skill all of Osborne’s operatives across the business including plumbers, plasterers, carpenters, floorers, painters and decorators, locksmiths and members of our ground works team.

Everyone who approaches us for a job, whether they are apprentices or skilled people who have been in the trade for years, are set tasks to complete during the interview process. This allows us to get a sense of their timing, and helps us to confirm that they are competent and can do the things they say they can do.

For example, Sancho Greaves, our new temporary electrician. He recently came to us with a great reference but before I took him on, I set him the task of finding seven electrical faults, of varying degrees of difficulty in the replica kitchen.

He had 45 minutes to find and diagnose all of them, and to complete a job sheet, a risk assessment and method statement, and an Electrical Instillation Certificate.

He found all seven faults within 25 minutes and adhered to all of our health and safety procedures, conducting the assessment and completing the paperwork, within the allotted three quarters of an hour.

Now fully trained using the facilities at the training centre, Sancho is out there, confidently doing his job and is looking to take up a full time, permanent position with us.”