DEFYING the current economic downturn, Ayrshire and Cambridgeshire-based building contractors, William Skinner & Son, are taking on five, new Modern Apprentices and also developing and expanding training schemes for all their existing staff.
William Skinner & Son personnel manager, Stephanie Hammond, explains: “We currently employ two apprentices within the business, but we are planning to take on five more during 2009 as part of our commitment to developing a professional, highly skilled workforce.”
The company has now also devised and is operating training and development plans for all employees within the company. This has been an ongoing process over the last 18 months to move the training activities from reactive to proactive and to ensure that the company’s investment in people is managed centrally to ensure better co-ordination and return on that investment.
William Skinner & Son’s Health, Safety and Skills training plan for all site-based staff has been in operation for over a year, and is reviewed and prioritised on a bi-monthly basis, led by the personnel manager with input from contract management, a Health & Safety specialist and employee representatives. This means that directors can look at up-coming projects and ensure that training efforts are directed at ensuring good H&S practices on those contracts.
In addition, during the last twelve months William Skinner & Son have held twenty different training events for site-based employees, which have been attended by 138 delegates.
The company has also developed its own in-house management development programme in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and the GO training consultancy. This gives every manager with line management responsibility the opportunity to attend regular workshops to allow them to enhance their existing management skills, share ideas as a group and devise strategies to enable managers to move forward confidently as the company as a whole grows. This programme will run until late spring when Skinners will be able to fully evaluate its success and develop similar programmes for site supervisors and specialist support staff.
The William Skinner & Son senior management team is also embarking upon the Scottish Enterprise-sponsored Leadership for Growth programme, which is designed to help leaders of growth businesses develop vision, mindset, skills, belief and discipline to help promote professional development and business improvement.
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