The only way is up for recycling managers

WRAP's training programme for local authority recycling managers has gone from strength to strength since its launch, pushing professionals up the skills ladder

WRAP’s training programme for recycling managers has recently passed its 2,000th student enrollment. The programme has been running since 2002, and provides professional development for recycling managers across the UK.

The courses, which are free to local authority staff, provide the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate the cost and performance of different collection systems, understand the factors impacting on participation levels, and plan and deliver efficient, cost-effective schemes.

The Masters level courses are accredited by CIWM, and have proven to be popular due to their interactive structure and practical content. Participants are introduced to the course in stages, beginning with a pre-course e-learning tool, which maps out the key waste management issues they are likely to have to deal with.

Candidates then attend a residential course where core topics are covered, including identifying and gathering information for planning future initiatives. Best practice models, based on real scenarios, are developed to encourage participants to seek solutions to day-to-day issues, which they can use in their jobs.

Recycling managers explore the best ways of maintaining a continuous dialogue with local residents, to ensure that waste collection schemes are introduced efficiently, and that take-up among the community is high. Following the courses, participants continue their learning through an online forum, where they can discuss ideas raised during the residential part of the course with their peers.

In conjunction with this, individuals complete post-course work-based reports. These provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained to projects directly related to their day-to-day work. Feedback from those who have benefited from the training is positive.

Kim Lee, recycling assistant at South Northamptonshire Council, says: “My current role is a graduate position within South Northamptonshire Council. The Phase 1 course will provide an opportunity, following on from my post-graduate qualification to gain an excellent understanding of the work of a waste collection authority in providing and promoting recycling and composting schemes.

“I am attending the course to gain experience, aid me in my current role and further educate me on recycling management. I want to be able to put into place a local authority scheme that will increase the participation and performance of recycling.”

Meanwhile, Jo Lane from Durham County Council, says: “I thoroughly enjoyed the courses. They have helped me to develop the knowledge and skills that are essential in my day-to-day work. They also provided an informal forum where I could discuss ideas and ways of working with other local authority officers. The courses are now recognised as the industry standard and help greatly with career progression.”

According to WRAP’s director for local government services, Phillip Ward, the programme has gone from strength to strength since its launch. “The feedback from our alumni is always positive,” he says.

“They especially like the interactive structure of the course and its connection to practical issues. For those just entering the profession, we are confident that the training we have provided has helped individuals start to develop skills that have allowed them to provide the best possible service for their residents.”

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