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When SILC received two Westpac Tauranga Business Awards on November 1, they agreed SwitchedOn had a large part to play in their success. The awards included the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Community Organisation award and the ACC Workplace Safety Award. “We believe SwitchedOn’s training services directly contributed to these awards,” says SILC’s Business Development Manager Charlene Watene. “Having well trained and qualified staff who are confident and passionate about what they do is the key.”

SwitchedOn was established in 2005, as the training arm of disability support services provider SILC Ltd. “We’ve always believed that training our support staff is absolutely pivotal in providing top quality support services to the people who need it most,” says Charlene. SILC and SwitchedOn have worked hard to professionalise SILC’s workforce and motivate support staff to undertake quality, values based training to gain nationally recognised qualifications.”

SILC staff have now successfully completed 181 Level 2 Foundation Skills certificates, 70 Level 3 Core Competency certificates and 2 Level 4 Dementia certificates (with 12 more close to completing this qualification).

SwitchedOn graduates from June 2012

SwitchedOn graduates from June 2012

“The impact of SwitchedOn training services has been huge,” says Charlene. “We’ve seen a marked decrease in the number of staff injuries and a much higher awareness and confidence in our workplace health and safety.”

On the 1st July, SwitchedOn was launched as a stand-alone company, so any person or organisation who wants quality training for their support staff or support network can now access SwitchedOn services.

Charlene says everyone benefits from the SILC-SwitchedOn partnership, including all staff, the people they support and their families/whānau and the wider community. “We hear many stories from our staff who are surprised by their achievements. For many it’s the first certificate they’ve ever achieved, so they’re really proud. Others say they’re more confident in their work after the training, and they go on to train at higher levels. We are proud of every one of our team members who puts in the effort to increase their knowledge and skills in this way.”

SwitchedOn and SILC continue to work together to promote quality training services within the disability and aged care sectors.