Russell’s five tips for effective Indigenous Training
Russell Mead’s New Zealand wit is legendary. You could be forgiven for mistaking him as an entertainer rather than a serious Trainer who has worked for Train Safe NT for 6 years. Russell has a unique training style that works with Indigenous remote students in the NT and here he tells us why his training works.
Tip Number (1) “Don’t do it (training) when people are on family business”. Number one tip Russell explains is about participation and getting students to the training. Russell stresses how important it to have a good relationship with the employer and schedule the training at the ‘right’ time. “If you ignore what’s going on in the community you set yourself up to fail”.
Tip Number (2) “Turn the training into an event, count it down”. Russell explains that he means it is important to let the students know that it isn’t all about hard work. Again Russell says connect with the employer so he/she lets the Indigenous students know that the training “will be in 2 days; now one day” and that fun and food are part of the event.
Tip Number (3) Recognise the unique skills the Indigenous students bring to the training. “I’m blown away how they (Indigenous students) always pick the 3 different chainsaw files; not like us white fellas” Russell laughs. Russell talks about forming a relationship with the students that is about mutual respect.
Tip Number (4) Indigenous students leave the training with a new or improved skill. Russell explains in his own way, “If you can hand stitch a hem you feel happy, it is the same if you can swing a chainsaw”. Russell strongly asserts how important acquiring a skill and completing the training is for the students’ self-esteem. “The certificate follows 2 weeks later but it is the hand shake at the end of the training that means a lot”. Russell sees the students show pride that they have completed the training and he knows how significant that hand shake is for them.
Tip Number (5) Accreditation does matter. “It might seem just like a piece of paper but it is important.” Why? Russell explains that Indigenous students might stay in the same remote area but can move employers and students do not keep their own individual records. If students complete accredited training the training is recognised on a central database and this adds to their on-going employability. Look at our Indigenous training in the NT.