Leyland Trucks is reaping the benefits of a unique employee training scheme designed to harness the talents and enthusiasm of existing employees and encourage them into engineering.
The Career Pathway scheme was first introduced at the company’s Lancashire manufacturing facility in 2015, offering employees full-time training across a broad range of roles, to improve their skillset and widen career options. The scheme initially focussed on engineering but is now expanding to provide opportunities in other business areas.
The two-year scheme allows employees to dedicate 100% of their time to learning, leaving their current role, and embarking on structured rotations in assembly engineering, supplier quality assurance and design engineering. In addition, participants are encouraged to complete further education in engineering related courses, to expand the applied learning gained on each rotation.
Now, the first employees to complete the scheme are one year into their new roles. Josh Little (30) from Preston, started work at Leyland Trucks as an apprentice 11 years ago, and is now a Commodity Manager in purchasing. He said, “My background was electrical engineering, and I had worked on different production and manufacturing engineering functions. I saw the ECP route as a way to progress these skills further, but I didn’t realise just how much we would learn.
“The scheme exposes you to departments you wouldn’t usually see, for example manufacturing wouldn’t have day to day contact with the supply base, where I now work. It has certainly broadened my exposure to the wider company and without a doubt helped me progress and better achieve in my new role.”
Sean Winstanley (27) from Chorley has also just completed his first year as a Design Engineer after completing the ECP, designing chassis and suspension systems. Sean stared work at Leyland eight years ago as a prototype fabrication apprentice, spending four years as an apprentice and one year as full fabricator. He said, “I am quite an academic person, and knew that engineering was what I wanted to do. I met suppliers during my Supply Quality Assurance rotation, and gained a much deeper understanding of their processes, which helps the design process.”
The ECP encourages participants to look to further education, with day release for university an option. Josh is about to start his final year of a Mechanical and Production Engineering degree at Lancaster University, and Sean is completing his final year of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Central Lancashire. Josh said, “The ECP made me re-evaluate my role and think about what I could do as my career develops. If friends and family ask me what the company is like, I always mention the ECP and the opportunities it has given me.”
Leyland Trucks created the programme in 2015 to make sure the talent fostered in its apprentice scheme was fully nurtured, and to give its locally-based work force additional opportunities to further their professional education. Now in its fourth year, there are currently five employees on rotation in engineering, with a new Finance Career Pathway set up in 2017, on the strength of the engineering route.
HR Director, Ivan Shearer at Leyland Trucks said: “The scheme aims to build upon base knowledge and supplement with learned experience in other technical departments. It helps the business develop the skills and knowledge required for the future.”
“Taking people out of their current roles and putting them into full-time training represents a significant investment for us, but we are fortunate to have a bank of talented and committed people employed at Leyland.”
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