Training can help get the best out of semi-skilled employees, according to new report

As the UK’s largest independent drainage specialist, Lanes Group has a commitment to ensuring excellence among its workforce that is demonstrated. 

In their recent report, Our Commitment to Training, Lanes Group discusses the courses offered to their engineers and talk in-depth about their City & Guilds course for drainage engineers, the first of its kind in the UK.

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Speaking about the training, Chris Wilde, CCTV Systems Manager at Lanes Group and one of the founders of the course, said: “The course was devised and developed after and in-depth review of an actual site incident that resulted in flood damage.

“The review of the incident found the root cause was a lack of understanding and knowledge of the drainage system by the staff at this particular site. As part of our review process we always look for possible positive outcomes and the idea of the course was born.”

As the company has a large amount of employees with few formal qualifications, Lanes Group plans to implement a structured training plan in place to ensure that workers are the best they can be, boosting their personal confidence and allowing them to excel in the field.

To add to this, employing people with a semi-skilled background gives businesses with highly structured processes a blank slate on which to train, grow and mould, allowing them to avoid the tensions that can occur when more experienced new starter’s transition from companies with markedly different ways of working.

Developed by in-house drainage experts, the City & Guilds course covers not only the practical aspects of the profession, but also customer service, specialist terminology and drainage theory.

Since the City & Guilds course came into being, Lanes Group has seen 51 drainage engineers complete the qualification. Completing training such as the City & Guilds course can have a notable effect on employees from a semi-skilled background.

The qualification gained from the course can lead employees to take part in further training, such as the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS), a nationally-recognised card that acknowledges the holder’s skills.

Ensuring your staff receive a high degree of training also has proven benefits for employers, resulting in improved results and customer satisfaction. Not to mention enhancing the self-esteem of your workforce, inevitably leading to higher staff retention and loyalty to the business.

Sharing positive feedback from customers on a monthly basis in the internal publication ‘Lanes People’, also generates positive outcomes for staff, especially as the names featured are frequently trainees who have completed the City & Guilds course.

Alan Wallis, Operations Director, at Lanes Group, commented: “Lanes Group are committed to ensuring our staff receive the most in-depth training possible to make them the best they can be on the job.

“We appreciate that many of our staff have come from semi-skilled backgrounds where they may not have been awarded formal degrees or qualifications. This is why we believe it is of the highest importance that employees receive as varied a training programme as possible when joining the company.

“Through our training programmes, such as the City & Guilds course, our staff are educated on every aspect of drainage engineering. This in turn has proven benefits for employees. They not only receive a formal certificate of their achievement to help them progress in their career, but it also helps boost their confidence and encourages them to grow through the industry.”


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