Over 50 people are working towards careers with Husqvarna thanks to a successful partnership between the lawnmower manufacturer and GEM Training.
The Peterlee-based company, which provides tailored training and apprenticeships specifically developed for its clients, has been working with the Newton Aycliffe firm for some time and has supplied over 500 temporary workers into the company.
The relationship is helping Husqvarna nurture its next generation workforce, and currently there are 53 people who have completed apprenticeships or are in the process of undertaking programmes.
Impressively, many of those apprenticeships have been completed during the coronavirus lockdown, when training and development delivery has had to be significantly adapted to ensure learners were able to continue with their training.
Up to now, GEM Training, which is part of GEM Partnership, has helped 33 people complete an ‘Improving Operational Performance: Business-Improvement Techniques, Level: 2’ apprenticeship and the company is now in the process of developing some of these apprentices further with a qualification in team leading with the potential of developing from a multi-skilled operator to becoming a line leader.
Kelly Lee, Operations Manager at GEM Training, said: “Our partnership with Husqvarna is thriving with over 50 employees currently completing bespoke apprenticeships which have been specifically developed to meet the needs of Husqvarna. It’s also about upskilling current employees to equip them with the qualifications they need to progress through the ranks.
“What we’ve been particularly impressed with is the attitude and commitment of the apprentices during the months of lockdown. How we trained them had to be significantly adapted, and of course Husqvarna wasn’t operating in the usual way either, but all remained 100 per cent committed to their development and that’s backed up by the fact 33 of them have completed their Level 2 programmes.
“In fact, some are looking to progress in team leading which is fantastic and shows their willingness to push themselves, but also Husqvarna’s belief in them.”
Husqvarna has also supported two people through BEng Mechanical Engineering qualifications from Teesside University, from which they recently graduated, and both are now aiming to grow with Husqvarna, becoming project engineers before progressing into management roles.
Rufus Ayre from Husqvarna, which is based on Aycliffe Business Park, said: “Attracting talent into our business and nurturing that talent is an integral element of our growth plans. Our partnership with GEM Training is really enhancing our business development.
“What is good for us is that GEM Training understands our business, and specifically tailors their programmes to suit our recruitment programme, so we know the apprentices are completing training and qualifications in areas that will benefit our business.
“Apprentices are so important to our long-term success – we’re investing in them so they are ideally positioned to become fully-fledged employees with our business with the chance to grow with us. That’s backed up by the number of existing employees who have come through this route and are continuing to move up the career ladder, and also the two people who have recently graduated with a BEng Mechanical Engineering qualification with a view to becoming project engineers and they both have ambitions of moving into management roles.”
GEM Training has also recently supported Husqvarna in the recruiting of a supply chain administrator.
Rufus added: “The team at GEM Training made the recruitment process seamless, supporting us through the interview process which was done via Teams due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. The successful candidate is now nicely embedded within the Husqvarna team and proving to be a real asset.”
The apprenticeships offered by GEM Training range from Level 2 through to Level 5 and there are further plans to recruit additional apprentices for Husqvarna over the next 12 months.