From education to employment

Staff from North East travel agency fly high after free training

A leading North East travel agency has seen a dramatic rise in productivity levels after staff completed a free training scheme designed to boost business performance.

Twenty-six travel agents and managers from regional branches of Dawson & Sanderson, the UK’s longest established independent travel agency, have completed the ‘Skills in the Workplace’ training.

Delivered by training provider Amacus, a subsidiary of Gateshead College, as part of the regional Go>Grow enterprise and skills programme, the move has led to an estimated 30% increase in productivity levels with staff benefitting from improved time management and leadership skills.

The course, which covered assertiveness, managing conflict and time management techniques, has been a welcome boost according to Dawson & Sanderson’s Newcastle-based IT and training manager, Julie Cloe.

She said that her colleagues are working more efficiently which in turn, is leading to significant improvements in performance and productivity levels across frontline operations.

Julie said: “I would estimate that we are currently seeing improvements of 30% in operational efficiency and productivity following the training.

“The training was excellent. It’s helped staff discover smarter ways to work effectively as a team. It’s also supporting their journey of continuous development within the company.”

As well as ‘Skills in The Workplace’, 10 employees, 3 of which started with Dawson & Sanderson as apprentices, have completed ‘Train the Trainer’ coaching.

This has enabled the development of mentoring techniques that the former apprentices can use to assist and train others who start with the firm.

Due to the noticeable increase in productivity and time management, the high street travel agent plans to organise further Go>Grow training sessions for key staff.

Sarah Ainslie, business development manager at Amacus, said: “The ‘Skills In The Workplace’ training was designed specifically to deliver key skills objectives for the company and I am delighted that such significant increases in business performance and productivity have been realised as a result of the training.

“It is also wonderful that previous apprentices can now help mentor new staff having participated in the ‘Train the Trainer’ programme”

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College said: “Go>Grow provides free training that enhances and develops existing workplace skills. As well as this, the training gives staff the opportunity to acquire skills that they can use throughout their careers.

“It’s great to hear that we helped previous apprentices at Dawson & Sanderson develop additional skills that will be used to help future employees. The feedback we received from both sets of training was positive and we look forward to working with them again.”

Go>Grow was launched by Gateshead College in partnership with thirty local training providers following the securement of £15m in funding from the European Social Fund through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

It has the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and North-East England Chamber of Commerce, with tailormade programmes created and delivered at any of the Go>Grow training provider sites, or within the premises of the individual businesses.

Training professionals will work to develop training that meets the individual needs of businesses, or offer those who wouldn’t ordinarily undertake training programmes, the opportunity to access bespoke packages specific to their needs.

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