EEF Awards win spurs Richard Burbidge employees on to strive for greater heights

POSTED: 18th November 2014
IN: Business news

For stair-making firm Richard Burbidge, picking up the Investing in Skills Award at the 2013 EEF Future Manufacturing Awards has added further fuel to the workforce’s drive to succeed.

“The award highlighted Richard Burbidge as a leading example of best practice when it comes to investing in skills, so it was rewarding to see the work we are doing in this area recognised at a national level and this provided a further boost to company morale,” attests Paul Haggerty, Group Operations Director for the 147-year-old family business. “We were judged against some much larger businesses so winning the category helped the staff see just how much progress they have made in a very few years and gave a real sense of pride in the achievement.”

“We have seen some real transformations in people’s confidence levels and enthusiasm to take on new projects,” adds Richard Burbidge’s Group Head of HR, Angela Wagstaff. “Everyone can now clearly see how what they do makes a real difference to the company and, as a result, the business is going from strength to strength with significant additional investment in plant, machinery and growth in numbers employed.”

For both Haggerty and Wagstaff, a commitment to continuous learning is not only vital for staff morale, but also integral to the future success of the company.

“On-going training for employees is important in manufacturing because it helps to ensure a workforce that is skilled, dedicated and enthusiastic,” comments Wagstaff. “It also aids staff retention, helping employees feel that their contribution to the company is valued and that employers are committed to providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to aid their career progression. It has helped us attract new people who are keen to learn and develop and help grow the business alongside our existing employees.”

“We have always understood the importance of investing in people and appreciate the important role our workforce plays in enabling us to deliver a consistently high standard of service to our customers,” adds Haggerty, who sees this commitment to quality as one of the major advantages of manufacturing in the UK.

“With manufacturing becoming increasingly leaner and more efficient, and customers demanding shorter lead times, it is important to provide reliability and consistency,” he explains. “Using a UK manufacturer can therefore help give British customers the confidence they need to ensure they are able to meet demand from their own customers.”

Of course, alongside ensuring current employees remain focused and sharpen their skills through on-going training, the continued strength of the sector will also rely on attracting new workers from the next generation.

“Much more needs to be done to promote the diverse range of careers available within the UK manufacturing sector, particularly to younger people,” reports Haggerty, concluding, “The industry generates significant revenue for the UK economy and, as such, generally we’re seeing more support for manufacturing, leading to improved job prospects.”

With many UK manufacturers facing skills shortages, Aldermore is proud to see dedicated firms like Richard Burbidge providing a shining example of how smaller businesses can compete for talented employees through investing in training and development.

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