Goole-based Kennings Building Supplies now employs 60 staff and has a long-standing reputation in the community as an Aladdin’s cave for building, DIY and gardening supplies to meet the needs of Goole residents and employers.
To support its reputation for good products it looked to invest in improving the experience for customers by upskilling its staff in business management and customer communications.
Kim Foulkes, director’s assistant at Kennings Building Supplies, said: ““We pride ourselves on the personal service and family values that we have and, as our business is growing, it’s extremely important to us that we retain these values. However, this is something we wanted to build on to ensure our employees feel they have the knowledge and ability to communicate effectively with customers.
“However, training can be costly and we didn’t have the expertise in-house to deliver it ourselves, so we looked to external providers who could support us.”
The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) project offers fully-funded training courses to help SMEs overcome these barriers. Co-financed through the European Union’s European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the project is open to businesses seeking non-compulsory, work-based training to support their business growth plan.
As well as helping SMEs to plug any skills gaps they may have, training can boost the productivity of a business and fuel its future growth. Research shows that employees who complete certified training are more satisfied in their jobs and work more effectively. This, in turn, helps businesses to retain their employees.
Fully Funded Training
The customer service team at Kennings undertook training through a fully-funded business support programme being offered by Skills Support for the Workforce to businesses across East Riding.
Kim Foulkes added: “The Skills Support for the Workforce scheme worked with us to create a bespoke programme of training. They got to know our business and teamed us up with local training provider, York College.
“We’ve really noticed the difference to our business since taking part. Our staff have the knowledge and information to communicate effectively with our customers across a variety of situations and said they really benefited from the group discussions and evaluating the ideas discussed. ”
Ebrahim Dockrat, Director of External Funding at Calderdale College, the main contractor for Skills Support for the Workforce, highlighted the benefits of the project: “We offer a range of flexible, bespoke training plans designed to help your business grow. By training your staff, you can improve your ability to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment, nurture a leadership team for the future and make you an employer of choice for emerging talent.
“As this training is funded with European money, this is the last project of its kind. This funding is only available until July 2018, so it’s a case of get it whilst you still can.”
For more information on the Skills Support for the Workforce project and to see if your business is eligible for fully-funded training, click here