Skills Support for the Workforce

FT Ductile - Catherine

Just a year before starting her Level 3 Leadership & Management course, Catherine had been promoted to Financial Director at Lichfield-based FT Ductile Ltd. While she is highly qualified and experienced in management accounting, the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) funded training was her opportunity to understand the theory around people management to assist in her more senior role.

"I’m now able to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned to benefit the whole organisation"

How SSW supported Catherine

The SSW programme is developed to upskill employees within small and medium sized businesses. Managed by Serco, the programme engages a network of expert training providers, such as Performance Through People in Greater Birmingham and Solihull. SSW provides recognised, accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills, increase competitiveness of the business through increased efficiencies, and boost the local economy.

The Level 3 Leadership & Management course was delivered through local SSW provider Performance Through People (PTP), and Catherine gained a formal leadership qualification which quickly enabled her to become a more productive member of her senior management team. Her positive experience has led her to start a Level 5 Operations Department Management Apprenticeship.

FT Ductile is a growing supplier of ductile iron pipes to the water and waste water management industry. It’s a male-dominated sector and they were proud to promote Catherine Alldritt to their senior leadership team as Financial Director, and to support her desire to acquire new leadership skills to maximise the potential of her demanding role.

“Taking the Financial Director role was a big step for me and I wanted to better understand management. The Level 3 qualification with PTP was the perfect starting point to gain the theory.

I learned a lot about myself and about why things happen the way they do in business. Not only did I leave the course with a recognised qualification, I was more aware of emotional intelligence; how to do things in the best way for the team and the company.

I’m now able to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned to benefit the whole organisation and dive deeper; to make changes for the better and help people understand that change is OK.”

Paul Smith from PTP believes Level 3 courses are the perfect gateway to other recognised learning opportunities. He said:

"While Catherine works at a high level as a Finance Director, she was keen to attend the Level 3 Leadership & Management course to develop her leadership capabilities. The 3-day course was delivered in a classroom environment attended by other companies. PTP not only provided flexible contact time to suit Catherine’s demanding schedule, but were always available by email to support her.

On her exit review she said the course was inspiring, valuable and fully met her expectations. She also thought that what she had learnt on the course would help to change her management style in the workplace. She has used this experience as a platform to take a Level 5 Operational Management apprenticeship course with PTP, which should take around 30 months to complete."

As the first female apprenticeship progression in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull region, Catherine paves the way for more female leaders to upskill and reskill through an apprenticeship.