Skills Support for the Workforce

Muller (Milk & Ingredients)

Funding through Skills Support for Redundancy, has supported employees at the Muller site in Foston as it closes. 125 individuals have been supported by the programme with a focus on their employability skills and to reaffirm the skillsets that they have through bespoke training packages.  

An Overview:

On 26th June 2019, Muller (Milk & Ingredients) announced the closure of its Foston, Derbyshire site. The site manufactures and distributes milk to supermarkets. 50 of the 210 FTE's transferred to other Muller sites. The Department for Work & Pensions, directed Muller to Serco who deliver the Skills Support for the Workforce/Redundancy programme. Siamo training, is part of Serco’s network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the programme in the D2N2 area, where chosen to support Muller under SSR. 

125 individuals received, employability training, manufacturing skills & business management

The Focus of Support:

The key focus of the training was to support all staff in employability skills (many of whom have been at the site for over 10 years), as well as reaffirm the skillsets employees already possess by devising bespoke training programmes that recognise this. In addition, staff were offered the opportunity to complete an NVQ in Business Management due to many having autonomy within their role with responsibility for teams. 

Production Manager, Ian Preston, remarked on the training delivered:

Initially, we had no idea how effective this provision was going to be in supporting out business. Siamo Training spent time with our management team, discussing what we felt would be of benefit and from this, they went away and created a bespoke support which was outstanding. 

Training undoubtedly kept our workforce motivated throughout this challenging time, especially with the Siamo Training team being so engaging and helpful. It has also pushed several staff to grow their knowledge and has had a positive impact for finding new jobs and careers.

125 members of staff have been supported through Skills Support for Redundancy, with training programmes covering: 

  • NVQ L1 in employability
  • NVQ L2 in Manufacturing Skills
  • NVQ L3 & L4 in Business Management 

Training was completed at on-site over a 12 week period with a mixture of shopfloor observation and 1-to-1 group classroom based sessions. 

Ian continues that he felt the company's needs were met:

Our requirements were listened to and then additional time and expertise was put in to ensure that the programme met the needs of the staff. Flexibility was astonishing. basing themselves at our site 5 days / week with David Bacon (Siamo Training) especially taking a lead and ensuring that we had 24hour cover in programme and increased the number of Trainers as needed. 

They worked over and above our expectations! 

Outcomes and Impact:

Staff gained a certifications in a range of a training topics, including; employability, manufacturing skills and business management. 

Due to the challenging situation, Muller and Siamo Training (SSW/R) looked to create training programmes that educated and armed staff in the current marketplace and how they were to adapt. This, coupled with competency based learning, moved onto honing and growing skillsets which ensured not only increased participant engagement, but also a passionate learner. 

Ian concludes: 

We didn't know how to help our staff and at a time that morale in the business was becoming very challenging, the trainig supplied by Siamo Training allowed workers to become more engaged as they discussed their role and their importance within the business. Adding to this, the new learning [SSW] supplied was a fantastic inclusion and made for an easier last few weeks. 

The work completed by Siamo Training has been raised to a high level in the business and appreciation has cascaded down. We are now in communications to see how we can be further supported in other training areas including Apprenticeships.