Training for the Future

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014


Lasershape, the Nottingham-based CNC profiling specialist, is presently embarked on a year-long programme of training that has already seen a large number of its team pass ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) Level III qualifications. In addition, other managers are currently undergoing ILM Level II courses, while further employees have been participating in customer service and sales training. All of the investment in staff development at Lasershape is designed to continue the excellent rate of growth achieved by the company in recent years.

The initiative started a little over a year ago when, following a sustained period of investment in the latest manufacturing processes and machinery, Lasershape contracted Evolution Training, one of Derbyshire’s largest providers of ILM qualifications, to develop a bespoke training programme.

“We’re specialists in developing the various stages of management, including senior managers, middle management, team leaders and so on,” says Geoff Merryman, Associate at Evolution Training. “Training programmes such as the one developed for Lasershape hinge around the actual job, and combine workshops with intensive assessments.”

Delivered over a 12-month period, the Lasershape training programme commenced with ILM Level III for 12 Lasershape middle managers from production, sales and planning. The ILM is the UK’s premier body for leadership and management qualifications, with a reputation for providing high quality, industry relevant programmes.

Comprising one full day of on-site workshops every month, the ILM Level III course also included assessments, one-to-one support and challenging assignments which had to either bring about a change that resolved a problem, or aided business growth. At the end, each course participant had to deliver a final presentation to the Lasershape board of directors. All 12 passed the course, with some described by Mr Merryman as “exceptional passes”.

Due to the success of the course, Lasershape also decided to introduce an ILM Level II course for first line managers, such as production team leaders, for example. As a result, eight Lasershape employees are now part-way through the course, which is due to conclude in September 2014. ILM Level II involves one half-day workshop every month.

“Lasershape should be proud of the efforts of its staff,” says Mr Merryman. “ILM qualifications are very challenging to say the least, especially when combined with a full time job.”

The Lasershape training initiative hasn’t stopped at ILM, however. For instance, in the past 12 months, Evolution Training has also delivered numerous customer service and sales workshops, each attended by eight Lasershape staff members. In addition, six of the company’s eastern European workers from the shop floor have received training in English and maths, as certified by City & Guilds. These sessions take place twice a month for 90 minutes and include homework.

“Lasershape is clearly very pro-training,” says Mr Merryman. “Having injected so much money into its processes and machinery in recent years, the company has now decided to continue its investment programme, this time in people.”

“Since we acquired the services of Evolution Training I’ve seen a real difference, not just in the people who have completed the courses, but in the business,” says Tim Leam, Lasershape Director. “I’m very pleased with those who have embraced the idea of personal and commercial improvement – it’s yet another initiative that helps set us apart from our competitors.”