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Written by Mary Isokariari on 29 June 2015 in News
News

An award-winning bakery in Sheffield is seeing its profits rise after benefiting from a unique City Region government-funded scheme, designed to develop businesses and improve workforce productivity.

An award-winning bakery in Sheffield is seeing its profits rise after benefiting from a unique City Region government-funded scheme, designed to develop businesses and improve workforce productivity.

Brook Bakery, which is run by brother and sister team John Emes and Sue Gravill, approached Skills Made Easy, for practical advice on how to address skills shortages within the business, following a significant period of growth.

As staff numbers increased and the business expanded and relocated to a 22,000 sq ft bespoke bakery where the company is responsible for delivering wholesale bread and confectionery orders alongside its retail business, the owners recognised a need to strengthen links between the company's different divisions. 

Sue Gravill, director, Brook Bakery said: “As the business has grown, we recognised many of the systems and processes we relied upon for years were no longer fit for purpose. We approached Skills Made Easy to see if they could offer any guidance in helping to improve the way in which our business operates as we realised that this was impacting upon the performance of the company.

“During the process, Skills Made Easy helped us to secure funding for training which has not only helped members of staff across the business work towards completing NVQ qualifications, but it’s also helped us to forge stronger links between the different departments, rather than working in isolation which used to be the norm.”

More than 40 members of staff participated in the four month programme which saw cleaners, bakers, shop managers, delivery drivers, pickers, office staff and company directors come together to examine specific issues facing the business. 

Since completing the programme Brook Bakery has already reported significant cost savings, improved productivity and has even opened the doors of its fifth shop, which is based in Woodhouse. 

Laura Hayfield, Programme Manager at Skills Made Easy said: “The work we have undertaken with Brook Bakery illustrates how the Skills Made Easy programme can help to make a positive difference to businesses in the Sheffield City Region, not only through helping companies to improve efficiency, but in this case, it was more about forging stronger links between the different divisions within the business.

“Skills Made Easy’s workforce development programmes are designed to help companies based in Sheffield City Region to flourish. We recognise that every business faces unique challenges. There are no strings, and no costs to the employer and the free services we provide help companies to not only increase productivity, but also lay down the foundations for future growth.” 

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