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My training career – Robin Henry


Robin Henry As part of our feature on trainer development, we asked TrainingZONE members to tell us a bit about how they came to be involved in the training profession, and offer some thoughts on what it means to be a trainer today. We received a fantastic selection of responses, which will be published throughout the month. Here, Robin Henry, a Human Resources Specialist working in Central Australia gives his response.

  1. What's your current job role?

    My role as a Human Resources Specialist for two offices in Central Australia requires that I manage all HR activities including training, development, occupational health and safety, performance management, worker's rehabilitation, recruitment, and anything else falling within the HR sphere.

  2. What did you do before this job?

    I worked for the same Agency, but was Training Manager for the whole of the Northern Territory, in which there are six offices spread between Darwin at the north and Alice Springs in Central Australia.

  3. Describe your route into training

    While a police officer I undertook management studies with a Technical and Further Education College at Brisbane. During a class break one evening I was discussing my desire for a new career to a TAFE manager and he asked whether I'd be interested in applying to do a teacher training course. I accepted his offer and undertook a Diploma of Teaching (TAFE) on full salary at 34 years of age.

  4. Did you always want to work in training and development?

    No, I had several career transitions before becoming a teacher and TAFE manager. I broadened my horizons by completing a bachelor's degree in HRD and then taking on a job as a training manager which I knew would complement my teaching experience.

  5. What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?

    Moving from TAFE and a teaching/management role into a government agency to manage a training department. While there is much common ground, the approach to training is quite different from teaching. The motivation of learners is different and there was no assessment which I found disheartening. (How do you know someone has learnt something without assessment?).

  6. How do you think the role of the trainer has changed since you began your training career?

    There's been a significant move away from teacher focus to learner focus to capability focus. The buzz word now is capabilities and the direction is toward a generic set of capabilities that will enable people to operate in any discipline; that is, the focus is off learning content and on learning capabilities such as problem solving, communicating etc.

  7. What single thing would improve your working life?

    A more disciplined approach to staff management.

  8. What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site?

    Any Answers. Athough the same questions often recycle themselves, there are always interesting questions and interesting responses. It's always good to read what others have done or are doing.

  9. Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in training?

    To plagiarise the words of Nike - Just Do It! It's a great career if you like people. And let's face it, although the terminology might change, there will always be a need for people to train.

  10. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today?

    We need to show how we add value to the bottom line - even in government agencies - otherwise we are considered a necessary, but unpopular addition to an organisation's expense and risk being insignificant.


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