Gloucester Works drives Auditechnik to ESF Award success
A Gloucester garage has been named as Employer of the Year at the South West European Social Fund (ESF) Awards, in recognition of its dedication to aiding the skills and development of its staff.
Ian Sutton, Director of Auditechnik, received the award at the 2010 ESF Awards ceremony on 18 March, following their nomination by Gloucester Works, the City’s Employment and Skills Plan. The ESF Awards are an annual celebration recognising the important role that the European Social Fund plays in employment, skills and training for thousands of people across the South West.
Auditechnik, which offers maintenance and repair work to Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and Skoda vehicles, was identified by the employer engagement team at Gloucester Works as a business that could find real value from additional skills training. With support from ESF funding, Auditechnik is now benefitting from increased productivity and performance, improved customer service levels and a positive working environment in which employees are embracing further opportunities for learning.
Employees undertook training in a number of areas including literacy and team leading as well as sector specific training that lead to increased efficiency in the workshop.
Ian Sutton says: ‘I have always recognised the need to develop staff skills, yet high costs remained one of the main barriers as in order to stay competitive we invest a great deal of money in the latest equipment. Gloucester Works encouraged me to look at all areas of my business and identify key areas for development. All employees were enthusiastic to take part in further training - to either renew skills or gain nationally recognised qualifications for the first time.
‘Our business growth for 2009 was extremely encouraging in a year when the car industry was greatly affected by the recession. I strongly believe that support from Gloucester Works and ESF funding and the training we undertook is a major factor in this success. The time away from work is a loss worth taking when the impact of training is so positive and so enthusiastically undertaken by employees.
‘For 2010 we have already planned another six days of industry specific training and have invested in further new equipment. I am confident that my team will embrace the training and present the business with new and improved opportunities in the future.’
Sarah Danson, Employer Manager at Gloucester Works, says: ‘We congratulate Ian and the team at Auditechnik on this great achievement. The team at Gloucester Works identified that Ian faced two key challenges – not enough time to develop the business and a workforce that lacked confidence in their abilities. By giving his staff access to training opportunities, supported by mentoring and guidance, Ian is allowing them to progress both their own career and the success of the company.
‘Auditechnik is just one example of the many companies in Gloucester that are committed to aiding the skills and personal development of its staff. A key focus of the Gloucester Works team has always been to ensure that local people have access to the right professional skills training and with funding support from initiatives such as the European Social Fund, companies can find true benefit to business through further training.’
• The South West region has more than £910 million of European funding available from 2007-2013 for economic regeneration to encourage growth, productivity and reduce inequalities. The programmes are made up of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and aim to fund activities which will improve workforce skills, stimulate innovation and promote added value industries, encourage enterprise and sustainable growth and unlock the economic potential.
The ESF Award Winners
Ian Suton receiving the award
Ian Sutton and Sarah Danson
Mr and Mrs Sutton