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Training Course Aims to Create Inclusive Workforce

Townsville-based boutique disability consulting and training organisation, Towards Better, is preparing to launch a three-week Social Role Valorisation (SRV) training series aimed to foster inclusive workforces that when offering the right development opportunities, have the potential to harness the unique skills of a currently untapped market of prospective employees.

Ricky Esterquest, Managing Partner of Towards Better and teacher of the training series says the 3-part workshop is designed to give a ‘sample’ of Social Role Valorisation (SRV) theory, and showcase its use and relevance to the work place. 

“Social Role Valorisation is a dynamic set of ideas useful for making positive change in the lives of people who are disadvantaged because of their status in society,” explains Ricky.

“It is useful in creating an inclusive workforce by helping marginalised individuals access valued social roles (such as employee, business owner or coworker) that leads to them being included within the community.” 

Ricky says the training series will provide participants with a deeper understanding of ‘social devaluation’ and help to develop solutions that ensure marginalised individuals can tap into their potential, particularly within the work place. 

 “The number of people with disabilities who are of ‘prime working age’ is currently around 2.2. million. These individuals, when given the right development opportunities within the workplace, are a huge untapped market,” continues Ricky.

SRV Training Series

“This workshop will enable business owners and employees to examine this on a deeper level and think about how they could subconsciously be contributing to this exclusion. 

“By identifying currently held judgments and evaluating future possible actions, it helps employers identify the positive roles individuals with a disability could have in their businesses or organisations, and works towards ensuring they are seen as valued and contributing members of the Townsville community.” 

Ricky says the Townsville business community plays an essential role in fostering an inclusive work place culture and says local businesses must continue to ensure they are working towards a more supportive environment. 

“People with disabilities are the untapped potential of businesses. They bring over $130 million dollars to the Townsville community every year simply through their NDIS funding which is money spent back into the local community at those businesses.”

“Many people don’t realise how much marginalised individuals benefit businesses and ultimately, the community, so it is crucial we continue to ensure they have access to opportunities and inclusive work places where they can flourish.”

While SRV is a highly useful framework that has been around for more than twenty years, Ricky says it is not a widely known method and rarely does SRV training series like this make their way to Townsville.  

“Social Role Valorisation is such a potent and useful framework, but very few people know about it, especially in regional areas like North Queensland,” says Ricky. 

“We have such a diverse range of people in Townsville so having an understanding of how to develop those relationships are integral to ensuring local businesses and the community can thrive. 

“If this sort of knowledge hits the hearts and minds of people who truly want to make a difference within their work place then the Townsville businesses community has the potential to look very different.”

This series held 1:30-4:30pm every Tuesday from March 2-16 at the Thuringowa Library. If you’re interested in registering for this series you can find more information here

By Georgie Desailly. 

Georgie Desailly

Georgie Desailly

Georgie is BDmag’s resident writer who is passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability and regional affairs. She is preparing to study with The School of The New York Times later this year before commencing her journalism qualifications.