From education to employment

Thriving Hertfordshire business focuses on skills

One of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses is focusing on workforce skills to underpin and support a quadrupling in turnover.

Autorama UK and its commercial vehicle division Vanarama has grown to employ more than 200 staff.

As John Fogerty, Training & Development Director of the Hemel Hempstead-based company, explained, the scale of growth meant the company was recruiting additional customer service staff and needed more managers, and wanted employees to have professionally-regulated qualifications.

John said: “We put a strong focus on training and developing our people. Our aim was to provide professional recognition and proof of competence.”

Autorama’s Training Academy chose to work in close partnership with employment and skills specialist Seetec to prepare, develop and deliver the training, ensuring the company could dovetail the qualifications into their existing training modules.

European Social Fund funding for the partnership allowed more than 40 Autorama employees to complete the programmes, with 18 gaining ILM Team Leading qualifications and 23 achieving Customer Service qualifications.

John said the business was reaping the benefits of the training: “With the company having grown so quickly we have to get our customer focus right, and the programme has helped us to improve our processes and customer experience.

“From a management perspective, we selected modules which covered key areas for the business including motivation and planning. It is important to us for our staff to have professional recognition, it is important for their personal development, and gives them the opportunity to progress within the business.”

Chantel Hampton, Skills Delivery Manager, from Seetec said: It’s important for businesses to develop their staff to meet their skills needs and become more productive and efficient. I would encourage large and small businesses to maximise opportunities to develop their workforce.”

Seetec provided Autorama’s training as part of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills For Growth scheme, financed by the European Social Fund.

Norman Jennings, Operations Director at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “A skilled and motivated workforce is a key driver of business growth, productivity and economic prosperity, and through the Skills For Growth programme, we have helped over 550 Hertfordshire businesses maximise their potential by training and upskilling their existing employees.”

Related Articles