Skills Support for the Workforce

Fully Funded Training Helps to Create Tomorrow’s Leaders for Gloucester Manufacturer

CDW Systems Ltd, based in Gloucester, is a manufacturer and supplier of aluminium windows and doors to trade companies across the UK.

A key objective for the business is upskilling Managers and Supervisors to work on a succession plan for their business. CDW Systems was looking for training that would enhance employees’ confidence and personal development as well as encouraging them to look for progression opportunities. The management team also wanted to ensure that they could remain operational while upskilling staff and run twilight shifts so location and flexibility of training delivery was a priority.

The management team approached Prospect Training Services (PTS) as they had used them in the past and the training had been well received by staff. A meeting was set up to explore their training requirements and Ewen Saunders from PTS carried out a Training Needs Analysis to get a full picture of their requirements. Cost was a big consideration for them as they saw this as an investment but did not have a training budget in place. PTS recommended Skills Support for the Workforce as a great option.

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SSW provides recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of businesses and boost the local economy. Prospect Training Services (PTS) is part of Serco’s network of expert organisations chosen to deliver SSW on behalf of GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

PTS worked with the management team to complete a training matrix based on the results of the Training Needs Analysis.

Allan Little, Production Director at CDW Systems Ltd, said:

“Everything was very well organised from the start and we had a mixture of on and off site training. We received a bespoke package of training where times were arranged for late afternoon with a rolling three week schedule that enabled us to send smaller groups of staff and still meet our business needs. We were upskilling our key staff with minimal disruption to production. All the dates were pre-booked so we were able to plan around this and swap staff around without them missing any of the training.

“The benefits of the management training have proven to be really positive with an increase in confidence from all of those who attended, some of whom had been quite nervous about going back into a learning environment. The tutor was very approachable and made everyone feel at ease quickly, and soon they were all keen to attend their next sessions. There were often discussions about the sessions in-between which indicated that they were taking it in and proactively using and sharing what they had learnt.

“The course delivery included fun activities and there was also plenty of reflection and theory. Every attendee left with a folder full of useful information that they can use to guide them on their leadership journeys.”

At CDW Systems Ltd two key staff have now been promoted to more senior positions, Tomasz Zientarski & Luke Pemble. Attending this bespoke management course gave them the confidence to move forward in their careers. The whole group has gained a great basic understanding of leadership and the key principles that support this. Trainers brought real examples to the training which helped make it relevant.

Following on from the training at CDW Systems Ltd the group of attendees are now working closely with senior management to introduce some new procedures such as a performance improvement plans and revisiting the appraisal system. The course attendees are keen to have an involvement in changes within the business and take ownership of developing systems as well as themselves.

Allan Little, CDW Systems Ltd Director, summarised:

“CDW Systems Ltd is a company that is progressing and moving forward and the Serco Skills Support for the Workforce fully funded training really resonated with that.”

To find out about accessing fully funded training for employees through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme businesses can contact us












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