Skills Support for the Workforce

Worcestershire manufacturer improves health and safety awareness for their workforce with fully funded training

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Worcestershire. They provide recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of business and boost the local economy. Business Development Midlands Ltd is part of Serco’s network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the SSW programme. SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Powell and Harber are based in Brickfields Road in Worcester employing over 40 people. They are a leading designer and manufacturer of moulding tools and precision injection mouldings, with expertise dating back over 50 years. Manufacturing is undertaken within a strict quality management system conforming to ISO 9001-2008.

Cheryl Bradbury, Group HR and Development Manager, contacted BDM following a mail out to Worcestershire business about the SSW support available.

Ian White from BDM undertook a Training Needs Analysis with Powell and Harber which revealed a number of issues that if addressed, were felt to be beneficial to the business. These included Health and Safety and Environmental Awareness, Team Leader Skills, Sales, Social Media and Customer Service.

BDM delivered a non-accredited course on Health and Safety awareness aimed at supporting business efficiency and quality of delivery. It benefitted eleven participants initially but it is proposed to roll it out to all employees over a period of time.

Ian White from BDM said, “we were delighted to help Powell and Harber who, as a vibrant manufacturing business, are rightly seen as a priority for support. We look forward to continuing to work with them in their quest to deliver the highest quality product and support as a leading manufacturer in the supply chain.”

Cheryl Bradbury said, “We have a number of prestigious customers and, as a business priding ourselves on quality delivery, we are keen to emulate our Tier One and large OEM customers, as a first rate supplier. Part of this aim is to ensure that all our employees are signed up to this objective and understand the importance of all our working practices being quality driven. In the case of the Health and Safety training, we felt strongly that all our employees should understand how health and safety issues can impact on both the day to day operations of the business and themselves.”

Powell and Harber are aiming to operate at the same levels of quality and efficiency as their Tier 1 and large OEM customers and, as part of that process aim to ensure their staff receive the necessary upskilling across a range of areas.

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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