Skills Support for the Workforce

Gloucester Estate Agent adopts new technology with fully funded staff training via Skills Support for the Workforce

Farr and Farr is a family run Estate Agents employing 25 staff, based in Gloucester.

Sarah Farr got in touch with Skills Ladder Ltd as she felt her team at Farr and Farr would benefit from upskilling in technology. The company were using a purchase ledger book for recording invoice numbers and knew they needed help in updating and automating their systems to support their growing company. Skills Ladder Ltd suggested Skills Support for the Workforce would be a good fit for them, as the flexible training meant that they could choose to have small group sessions and would take place at the company’s different office locations.

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. Serco delivers the programme on behalf of GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through a network of expert skills training providers including Skills Ladder Ltd. SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Sarah identified that the team were looking to benefit from understanding the more complex functionality of their office systems and wanted to build on their skills in spreadsheets, email and word processing. Skills Ladder Ltd and Serco worked very closely with Farr and Farr throughout the whole process. Dan Heaford, Operations Manager for Skills Ladder, met with Sarah and helped construct a bespoke training programme for them and provided additional laptops for the company to use in their training sessions.

Following the training, things have changed at Farr and Farr. Gone is the paper-based ledger which kept a list of invoices, replaced instead with an automated spreadsheet system, which links between offices.

Sarah Farr, Farr and Farr Ltd, said of the experience:

“Although we had some help with the automation of the spreadsheets, the training we received from Skills Ladder has been essential to help us feel really confident using our systems in this new way to the benefit of our business. The training fitted in around our busy schedules and has helped us greatly.”

“It has enabled us to delegate greater responsibilities to staff. In the past invoices and financial information was only handled by one person, which could lead to a bottleneck. As a result of the training others in the company can work confidently with the financial information which helps improve the speed of house sales.”

Dan Heaford, Operations Manager, Skills Ladder, said:

“Sarah and her team were a real pleasure to work with, they were fun but focused hard on acquiring new skills.”

Farr and Farr are seeking to expand and grow their business further.

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

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