It would be difficult to disagree with the statement that staff training adds value to a business. Yet in these challenging times, the training budget looks like an easy target when cuts need to be made. But that’s not the case for leading VEKA trade fabricator, Modplan. Managing Director, Heidi Sachs, explains, “We are passionate about training and development and the value it adds to both our business and our customers’ businesses. Investing in training has helped us to improve our quality and improve staff morale because everyone can see how much we value them and what they bring to our team.”
This ethos is demonstrated at all levels of the company. The entire management team has achieved the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 in Service Improvement. Work towards the accreditation involved formulating and implementing an action plan to improve an aspect of the company’s service, which, as Heidi explains, means that “the training offers immediate practical benefits to our customers”.
On the shop floor, members of the team are working towards NVQ qualifications ranging from Level 2 to Level 5. Again, part of the course work involves suggesting improvements that could be made in the working environment. One member of the team suggested an improvement to the way the saw bay operated, something which resulted in an improvement in efficiency. Heidi adds, “We know that our staff are our best assets, but improvements like this demonstrate just how true that is.”
Modplan also shows a commitment to its local community by being one of the companies taking part in a Caerphilly County Borough Council and Working Links initiative. As part of a strategy to help the long-term unemployed back into work, the scheme offers individuals who have been out of work for six months or more a placement within a local company and the possibility of the offer of full time employment at the end of the placement should an opportunity exist. The scheme has been tremendously successful for Modplan and the company has employed several new members of staff via this route.
There is a danger that training could be seen as a luxury in this climate. But as Modplan’s approach shows, training improves staff morale and increases motivation as well as offering practical benefits for the company and its customers.