People & Skills Projects - 26 January 2015

Funding secured to help supply chain grow

Woodhead, has secured over £180,000 from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to deliver its ‘Good to Gold’ training programme to small businesses in its supply chain.

UKCES announced yesterday that it is investing over £875,000 in six pilot projects across the country, all aimed at developing innovative ways of boosting leadership and management skills in UK businesses.

A small to medium sized business themselves, Woodhead is determined to share its expertise and access to training facilities with other local firms. The construction-industry specific Business Leadership and Management Support programme will include a number of workshops looking at effective management and leadership practices, underpinned by work-based qualifications, mapped to industry-quality standards.

The Nottinghamshire-based business applied to the UK Futures Programme, a government-backed initiative looking to encourage innovative employer-led solutions to long-standing or emerging skills issues.

David Woodhead, Managing Director of Woodhead, said:

“As a company we are dedicated to further the opportunities of our employees, whether that be supporting them through industry specific training, or providing support to those pursuing management positions.

“We applied for the funding to deliver our Good to Gold programme so we could share these opportunities with our supply chain partners. We believe helping them to further develop will in turn enhance our own service delivery.”

Last week, the UKCES report Growth Through People argued that improving workplace productivity by implementing effective management and leadership practices should be recognised as the key route to increasing pay and prosperity in the UK.

Through projects like ‘Good to Gold’, UKCES hopes to learn more about what can be achieved when businesses take responsibility for increasing the management capability of their supply chain.

Although in the UK 20% of vacancies for managers are not filled due to skill shortages. This figure rises to 26% in manufacturing and 31% in construction. Furthermore, only 9% of manufacturing businesses are considered to be high performance working, followed by 6% in legal services and 4% in construction, compared to 12% of sector-wide UK employers.

UKCES believes that by supporting UK firms to improve this capability, it will ensure that they can deliver products and services at all points in the supply chain and create growth and jobs.

Sue Kirby, a senior manager at UKCES and Competition Lead for the UK Futures Programme Management and Leadership competition, said: “UKCES is pleased to work with Woodhead to investigate approaches to developing skills in their networks and supply chain. The lessons learnt will be shared widely and we hope that more supply chain businesses will take the time to think about, and invest in developing their management and leadership needs; helping to improve business performance and competitiveness.”

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