After a year of uncertainty and upheaval, it’s never been more important to look after employees’ wellbeing to give your company the best chance of a successful future.
This is the message from three national companies that have invested time, thought and effort into ensuring that today’s apprentices and graduates are armed with the skills and mentality to cope with the demands of the workplace during the pandemic and after.
Skern Training & Skills runs development courses for businesses and their staff, with programmes tailored to suit specific needs.
This year the company has taken groups of apprentices and graduates from a range of organisations, including Great Western Railway and First Group, putting their staff through their paces during various outdoor activities.
Andrew Perry, Learning and Development Manager at Great Western Railway, said: “Because of the pandemic, the whole ethos of how we train apprentices has changed. The Skern Training & Skills course is about the apprentices getting outside and building their skills. That’s really important, so despite various lockdowns, we were still desperate to make the week happen, and found an opportunity to give our apprentices a sense of normality.
“The week allowed them to learn together and achieve together before going into the workplace and applying everything they’d learned. These people are our future and we have to ensure that they get the best possible start in their career. The first step is about giving them a strong sense of confidence and wellbeing.”
With so many people working from home this year, some have missed the usual support they receive from their workplaces and colleagues.
Paul Siaens, Graduate Resourcing and Development Manager at First Group, said his company was greatly aware that communication and people skills, as well as confidence and general learning, can sometimes be adversely affected by remote working.
He added: “One of the main reasons we were so keen to return to Skern Training & Skills this year was that we wanted to give our graduates a chance to actually have human interaction, by way of group activities such as high ropes, team-based assault course, practical problem-solving, climbing and abseiling.
“We have been going to Skern Training & Skills for three or four years and what’s really important is that they build unique courses as a result of the planning discussions they have with you. We work in partnership to look at what we’re trying to achieve and work towards that.”
Skern Training & Skills said that this year, more than ever before, businesses that buy its courses have wanted to understand what keeps their staff well, and identify what has affected employees’ wellbeing during the pandemic.
Richard Thomas, Skern Training & Skills Training and Development Manager, added: “Even now, at the end of what has been a long and challenging year or so for many, people are still adapting to their new ways of working. They are learning what works best for them and their employer, while striving to balance productivity with personal wellbeing.
“Our aim is ensure we understand and to adapt to the needs of the groups that come to us, while ensuring that they are able to respond to the COVID restrictions without it impacting on their activities or relaxed approach – and we continue to operate where government guidance has allowed.”
Skern Training & Skills works with businesses to provide unique development plans catered to specific goals and needs. For more information or to discuss how Skern Training & Skills could assist your business email us at [email protected]