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Business leaders discover the importance of training and development

Michelle Masters – Carlisle Ambassadors Project Lead

Business leaders from across Carlisle attending the latest Carlisle Ambassadors meeting (Thursday 07th March), heard about the value of developing skills and learning in the workplace from two of the North West’s leading manufacturing companies.

Phil Wild, CEO of Cumbrian global manufacturing company James Cropper PLC, alongside two apprentices from the company, Kerry Wilson (accountancy) and Harry Brownsord (engineering), explained how staff training and development is a fundamental part of Cropper’s business growth strategy and an integral part of ensuring the company is future fit.

Connor Fish, from David Allan IT Solutions, and a member of the Young Ambassador committee gave an update about the previous Young Ambassador Scoping meeting and outlined some of the projects to be discussed at the up-coming project meeting on 25th March at Carlisle College.

In addition fellow Young Carlisle Ambassador committee member, Alastair Herd, of Alastair Herd Photography, explained the need to develop young people in Carlisle, to recognise the tremendous opportunities available to business leaders across the city. He also went on to outline how important it is that business leaders develop and deliver meaningful training across the board linked to job creation, which will play a part in reducing the skills gap across the region and increasing the number of young people who choose to stay in Carlisle.

This was further supported by Mike Hunt, Commercial Manager of More Handles, who talked about the training and development opportunities offered by his company and how by offering these opportunities the company has increased knowledge, skills and experience and seen sales grow, saved staff hours, created more efficient warehousing methods, and improved technical systems within the business to help it develop into one of the UK’s largest online ironmongery business.

Mike Hunt, from More Handles, said: ‘’Workplace training and development is an excellent opportunity to expand both the knowledge base and skills of all employees. Unfortunately, it’s also something that’s often ignored by many small business owners because it is seen as too time consuming or expensive. I would recommend that at the very least apprenticeship opportunities are examined; as they help encourage the development of sound working practices, help your business equip itself with the necessary skills to grow for the future and will help with increased productivity.’’

Garry Legg, Carlisle City Council’s Investment and Policy Manager, gave an overview of a number of apprenticeship opportunities with the district council, highlighting the importance of providing learning and development opportunities for staff at all levels. He also underpinned the importance of developing the full potential of employees, that fostering an innovative and responsive learning environment helped with developing talent for the future and would strengthen the development of the city and its businesses for the future. A valuable tool in helping to attract people to live, work and visit the area. Alongside this, they also want to play a part in encouraging those already living in the area to stay and in persuading investors and developers to see the potential of Carlisle as a place with huge future potential.

Michelle Masters, Carlisle Ambassadors, project lead, said: ‘’Training is a crucial factor in organisational development and success, not only that it plays a significant part in developing any region’s economy. Carlisle is open for business, and we need to ensure that our economy flourishes. The City has many strengths, not least as an attractive place to live and we need to build on this. By working with partners across education, training and business, we will be able to make our district home to a highly skilled, well paid workforce, who underpin a thriving and innovative business community for the future growth of Carlisle.”

To find out more contact Michelle Masters by email [email protected] or by calling 07810 224 735

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