Having been in business for 25 years, Westcoast reports that it understands the importance of employing and retaining the best staff. The company has always encouraged employees to develop within their roles and within Westcoast, but until recently had no formal way to recognise this.
The privately owned IT distributor has sites in Reading, Milton Keynes, Dublin and Nottingham. To test the water, Westcoast decided to trial a formal training programme in Reading and once this was established extended it to Milton Keynes. Westcoast decided to use Intec Business Colleges as its training provider because the courses offered fitted well to employees' job descriptions and development needs. Intec delivers Apprenticeship Programmes, National Vocational Qualifications and computer software training to companies and their employees throughout the country, working in partnership with Government funding bodies. Looking at the qualifications available, Westcoast decided to go with a broad programme of NVQs and Apprenticeships to enable as many staff as possible to take advantage of work based training.
Westcoast now offers staff the opportunity to take Apprenticeships or NVQs in Business and Administration level 2 and 3, Storage and Warehousing level 2, Customer Service levels 2 and 3, Team Leading level 3 and Management level 3. A large proportion of staff enrolled on an NVQ or Apprenticeship and according to Kayleigh Belton, HR Assistant at Westcoast, the qualifications are going very well.
Even before we decided on the kind of training we wanted to offer, many of our staff were keen to enhance their professional development, said Kayleigh. This enthusiasm has continued throughout the course of their
qualifications and a couple have already finished.
Staff have been especially keen on taking up an NVQ or Apprenticeship because they don't have to spend money on courses outside of work hours to become better qualified. They also recognise that doing a course like this means the skills they learn are specifically related to their role.
James Butler, Intec Sales Executive, is also pleased with how the contract is going: Westcoast is very well known in the world of IT and obviously we are delighted to be working with its staff, especially because the company really does believe in the value of staff training. Westcoast has continued to develop its staff using both Apprenticeships and NVQs and fully supports the assessors who work so hard to deliver a fine service."
Westcoast has been so pleased with the success of the training programme in Reading and Milton Keynes that Intec is now in the process of extending it to the company's Nottingham site.