Skills Support for the Workforce

Feridax - Gemma

Feridax is an independent wholesaler of motorcycle products based in the West Midlands.

During her time at Feridax, Gemma had gradually worked her way up in the business from a junior role to Office Manager. With no previous management experience, Gemma required training to support her in her role and also support her to eventually realise her ambition of progressing into a senior management position.  

Protocol Consultancy Services is one of Serco's network of expert training providers chosen to deliver the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme. Through a review of Feridax’s training needs, Protocol Consultancy Services identified skills gaps in several of the staff including Gemma.

How SSW supported Gemma

The challenge

Gemma was educated to Bachelors degree level but it was not related to the management role she currently worked in, nor did she have prior experience in leadership and management. This informed her decision to broaden her skills in this area. Gemma explains:

“In my previous education and experience I had always worked under management and never been in a position where I was required to manage others. I was aware of the characteristics and methods that I would like and expect from a manager but didn’t feel confident to lead others, taking into account individual preferences, characters, and working styles.”

Bespoke training programme

Gemma undertook a training programme which was tailored to her goals and the needs of the business:

  • Mental Health Awareness: As part of her role Gemma is the emergency first aider for the office and is responsible for dealing with minor HR or personnel issues. This course provided Gemma with an overview of a variety of mental health conditions, resources, and treatment options, to enable Gemma to support colleagues to fulfil their potential within the workplace.
  • Understanding Workplace Mentoring: Gemma often has large projects to undertake which may require work from junior members of staff that have not undertaken the activities before. This training taught Gemma mentoring techniques which can be applied to ensure the junior member of staff gains insight and builds competence. 
  • Enhanced Excel Skills: Gemma was an intermediate Excel user but sometimes struggled to define what she required Excel to do and where to begin when using a new function. This course provided methods of efficient working in Excel as well as training on using a variety of complex functions.

Gemma enjoyed the training programme:

“All tutors at Protocol have provided a huge amount of encouragement and guidance and it’s been very enjoyable to gain their knowledge.”

As SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Gemma was able to access the training at no cost to herself or the business.

The outcome

The training courses have provided Gemma with a toolkit which she can draw on in a range of circumstances. Gemma is now able to support staff within the workplace and has improved her IT skills. Gemma has also amended a variety of reports to show better data and explained some functions to junior members of staff to help their workflows.

Gemma has now progressed onto the Advanced Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship which will support her in developing her management and leadership skills and fulfilling business objectives at Feridax.