Workplace spotlight: Lloyd Elsmore Park Pool and Leisure Centre

August 25, 2017

The team at the Lloyd Elsmore Park Pool and Leisure Centre are swimming in success after winning the Skills Active Manaakitanga Award at the recent 2017 Be Inspired Awards in Auckland.

Manaakitanga can be understood as caring for and respecting another person’s mana. The Award was for a facility that shows respect and care to their staff, visitors and wider community.

Skills Active learning support advisor Toni Clough presented the Award. She said thatLloyd Elsmore Park Pool and Leisure Centre, along with the other finalists "have created an environment where developing their teams, encouraging and supporting the growth and sharing of knowledge is just part of day to day operations".

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Lloyd Elsmore is a large pool and fitness centre owned and operated by Auckland Council. Aquatics Team Leader at the centre, Jacob Boyce, says the win is a testament to the hard work the staff put into their development while they are employed by the council.

To Jacob, manaakitanga is about taking culture into consideration when it comes to the development of staff at the Centre. This attitude is supported by the council, who he says, are big believers in the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The council's vision is "to get more Aucklanders more active, more often". Jacob says staff at Lloyd Elsmore share this vision, and also ensure to practice the four principles of the council, which are to serve, develop, collaborate and achieve.

In her speech, Toni said that "quality service, knowledge, work experience, guidance, and genuine caring, are all factors in being able to manaaki". Training at Lloyd Elsmore ensures that all staff are equipped to offer all of these qualities every day.

The Lloyd Elsmore Park Pool and Leisure Centre train the majority of their staff based on assessment standards set by Skills Active, who promote active careers through on-job qualifications.

Jacob is one of the many staff at the centre who hold a Skills Active qualification.

He values how all of the Skills Active qualifications merge on-job learning and employment skills, and cater to the needs of the community through recreation and leisure.

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Jacob started his career in the aquatics industry as a lifeguard. He says that through interacting with all different kinds of people and dealing with different situations every day, a lifeguard can gain invaluable life skills.

"Some people just think 'oh you're a lifeguard, so you're just there standing on the side of the pool', but there is actually more to it; it's about enriching people's lives through recreation and leisure."

Through on-job training and development, Jacob has progressed from being a lifeguard to his current role as the Aquatics Team Leader at Lloyd Elsmore.

He loves his workplace, especially the multi-cultural aspect and the opportunity it provides to interact with a wide range of people.

"You learn how to communicate with all different types of people with different cultural backgrounds, so that's just one of the good things."