Conservatory Outlet is reiterating its full commitment to customers and employees by diversifying its staff development programme in order to ensure a consistently high level of service is being delivered across the business.

Spearheaded by Conservatory Outlet HR manager, Karen Starkey, the employee training and development scheme is currently assisting approximately 10% of the fabricator’s workforce to enhance their skills and achieve higher qualifications in their respective fields.

Karen said: “Our development programme is very inclusive, and offers a wide range of support, from induction plans for new recruits, to specialised training for the senior management team. By facilitating the professional development of our employees, Conservatory Outlet ensures we have the necessary skills to provide our retail partners with first-class products, and one of the most comprehensive customer support services available from a fabricator.

“Some of our staff are currently studying for NVQs, while others are pursuing qualifications from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), or the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), and the company is supporting them through the process, as well as actively encouraging other employees to undertake new qualifications and courses,” added Karen, who is a Chartered member of the CIPD.

The Wakefield-based fabricator is also offering local young people the chance to acquire valuable skills through a series of apprenticeship opportunities.

“Investing in developing skills locally ensures we have the right people to help our business grow long-term”, said Michael Giscombe, Conservatory Outlet joint managing director. To this end, the company presented its apprenticeship programme to local training providers in October, and is looking to employ a number of candidates in different roles, ranging from production to admin.

“As we look to expand our retail network with the addition of new members in the few remaining regions where we’re not currently present, investing in our people is the best way of ensuring the same level of excellent customer service is provided throughout our growth and beyond,” concluded Michael.

Based in Wakefield, Conservatory Outlet operates from a 60,000 sq. ft. factory, and employs c.130 people. The fabricator’s efforts to develop its staff were recognised in 2013 by the UK’s leading people management organisation, Investors in People (IIP), with a Bronze accreditation.

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