Training, Skills & Succession: What we can take from the Football World.

Recently I was asked who was to blame for the lack of skills and to my surprise I answered, “the employer”. For many years I have heard, and been a part of the manufacturers voice claiming that the lack of skills was the fault of schools, colleges and the government etc. etc. Until now.

MPM have been guilty of a lack of structured training in the past and we must realise that schools have targets which are not driven by the employer or companies at large (maybe they should be). If we want skills for the future, we need improved succession planning throughout the team and not just at director/leader level.

I want to be a laminator

Unfortunately, as an SME we can all get carried away at the coal face and spend many hours in the here and now without recognising and taking action on what will help the future. We cannot plan for everything and things will change, however, for many industries there may not be a college course or an apprenticeship directly linked to the skills they require. Therefore, it is up to the employer to prepare and adapt for that through internal training or forming stronger links with local schools and colleges.

IT and technology are widely covered in schools and the media, however, as a manufacturer and GRP production company, very few pupils will leave school thinking “I really want a career in GRP and to be a laminator”, so at best, as in many other sectors, they are just looking for a job.

Moving forward

Fortunately, there is now a Composite Apprenticeship, however, this may take a bit of time to gain traction in certain areas of the country. This is due to the number of applicants required to warrant a college taking up the composites training. As an employer, we must ensure that skills are being passed on early enough, and that key messages and training are delivered in a structured way to help individuals succeed, ensuring long-term success.

We are proud of the culture and values MPM holds and it is this that engages new and existing team members. For training purposes and succession, we invest a great deal of time and money in training individuals which provides value to them and the business. From production operators, finishers and leaders, no one is left without clear direction and training to support their personal growth.

In any team, there will always be changes

If you think back to any successful football team, they always had a plan should the game change. How does this help your team? Back in the day, if Roy Keane was sent off (which he quite often was) Fergie knew exactly what formation they would change to and indeed who would cover Roy Keane’s position. If a centre half was sent off, Roy Keane could drop into defence to cover that position; however, they always had cover and a plan.

Now, we are hoping that as an employer you’re not sending too many people off, however, you will have absences, family emergencies and even promotions. When that happens, what team shape would you change to? Is there a change in the system? Who covers the team member that is not there?

What formation are you playing?

I know we can’t have a subs bench in manufacturing, just sat there un-productive and waiting for the opportunity. However, with training, we can develop a team that can adapt to situations rather than waiting until it is too late and then potentially letting customers down.

Don’t wait for someone else to make a difference, get to work improving your business by analysing the gaps in your business and plan training to ensure future success. If we all waited for the government bodies, nothing would get done J so plan your formation and choose your subs bench.

Article by MPM

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