Barnstaples’ F1 Pit Crew!

Barnstaples’ F1 Pit Crew!

The impact of a full 360 business SWOT to support the capital investment plans at Tex Barnstaple, identified just how critical it was to invest in Apprenticeships and on-the-job training. Essentially the people were like an F1 pit crew. They needed to know the part they played in delivering success, and we needed to be highly focused on enabling them to be the best they could be.

Developing a higher skilled workforce

This was regarded as a critical component to support the businesses investment strategy. Only by developing a higher skilled workforce and creating engaging personal development programmes could we be more competitive in our recruitment and retention of talent. The start of this journey was a Training Needs Analysis (TNA). The objective was to identify the training and development needs of the people in the business.

Working with our teams, we identified key elements (or areas of the business) which they felt would enable them to undertake their job effectively and efficiently. This honest, collaborative 360 appraisal avoided putting people on courses when they already felt they had the level of expertise. This was coupled with assessments to identify those who were less sure of their level of expertise. Through this process we identified six key elements, Mould, Machine, Material, Process, Mathematics and Troubleshooting.

Making it personal, tailored and providing recognition

Sierra 57 Consult provide a summary of the training gaps identified for everyone completing a TNA and also recommends the training route required by each individual. The subjects were delivered as Microlearning Modules to facilitate bite-sized learning, enabling delivery of content in very small focused segments.  These Microlearning modules were then built up to provide a professional development programme and recognition of achievements for each trainee.

The training was designed to be delivered to employees on the multi-shift systems operated, this minimised disruption to shift schedules. To deliver a more personal training experience, the maximum class size was three trainees, and where more effective, it could be delivered one-to-one.

Clearly understanding roles and responsibilities

Business success at Barnstaple has come from developing a cohesive team who now clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. By focusing on a structured employee development process, we have seen the benefit directly impact the bottom line and the positive impact on staff. They are more confident to resolve problems effectively and efficiently, this has reduced downtime, improved quality and increased output.

The right strategic partnership

It was recognised by the TEX Plastics leadership team, that the right strategic partnership was critical to delivering this training vision and establishing the bespoke career pathways being developed in the business. The cohesive approach by Sierra 57 to training programmes has enabled TEX to put many members of their team through technical training, which has delivered tangible results with respect to efficiency, quality and communication improvements.

Sierra 57 Consult training modules have, following a robust review process, been awarded IOM3 Quality Assured & Professional Development Approval.  Achieving Quality Assured and PD Approved by IOM3, part of the IOM3 Approved Service, recognises the value of ongoing training for professional development and the importance of increasing the knowledge and skills capital of businesses.

The Sierra 57 Consult training courses that have been awarded this status are a blend of classroom and practical experience and are aimed at individuals with various levels of knowledge and capability.  The high standards required to achieve this mark reassures learners and TEX Plastics that the training courses they are undertaking have undergone rigorous review to gain this recognition.

The courses approved cover a wide spectrum and are Injection Moulding for Beginners, Injection Moulding for Setters, Intermediate Injection Moulding Theory, Intermediate Injection Moulding Practical, Basic Understanding of Plastics Materials, Advanced Understanding of Plastics Materials and Advanced Injection Moulding.  These are all delivered on customers sites on familiar equipment at a pace to suit the trainee.

This structured, practical, and methodical approach to learning that Sierra 57 Consult delivers helps employers across the plastics industry to retain key staff and develop the skills and knowledge in their organisations to maintain a sustainable and competitive advantage.  By engaging in recognised Continuing Professional Development courses, it ensures that practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete, allowing individuals to continually upskill or reskill regardless of occupation, age, or educational level.

TEX Plastics are committed to continue to support the strategic development of critical skills, at the same time recognising employees’ own development goals. This approach promotes a gender balanced, diverse and inclusive workplace, which represents all parts of society.

Sierra 57 will continue to work with TEX understanding their training goals and developing courses to meet the future needs of the business and this is a partnership that was recognised at the recent Plastic Industry Awards when TEX and Sierra 57 won the Best Training & Development Initiative award.

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