Support lifts spirits at bottling firm

13 April 2015

A Chorley-based business which specialises in the bottling of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages is raising a glass to growth after receiving free support from Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce.

The £5.6m skills programme has enabled H&A Prestige Bottling, which has a 130,000 sq ft state-of-the-art bottling and warehousing facility at Ackhurst Business Park, to invest in leadership training for 12 of its staff.

The Level 2 Team Leader course requires learners to build a portfolio of evidence containing examples of their work and observations to confirm their competence and knowledge, along with assignments and course work. The training is being delivered by Runshaw Business Centre.

Neil Prescott joined H&A Prestige in 2000 as a production line operative. Due to experience and positive performance, Neil is now shift manager, supervising up to 50 colleagues at a time. Six months into the course, Neil believes that the learning is of great benefit.

He said: “The course is making me concentrate a lot more on the essential things, such as the importance of time management and my management techniques. What I’m learning is really adding to my existing skills and giving me more confidence within my role.

“I like how we can learn at our own pace whilst carrying on with our jobs, and I’ve found the assessors to be really relaxed and approachable.”

Neil believes this qualification will help him progress further within the company to a higher management position.

Managing director, Bob Woolf, is a strong advocate of training and people development. Bob said: “Career development is incredibly important to us in maintaining a happy, dynamic workforce. We promote a ‘family atmosphere’ amongst our staff, many of whom live locally and socialise together.  We look after them and ensure they enjoy coming to work and developing themselves professionally.

“Training initiatives such as the Level 2 Team Leader course with Runshaw Business Centre are exactly what we need to continue our home grown culture where we promote from within, which ensures that we remain at the leading edge of our industry.”

Sara Tinsley, HR officer, is responsible for the training and development of the business’ 140 employees. She said: “Although we have a very keen emphasis on training, staff down time has a knock on effect in terms of production so courses such as this where learners can ‘learn on the job’ are advantageous.

“We are very appreciative of the Lancashire Skills Support funding as it has enabled us to open the qualification up to more staff that we would have been able to fund ourselves this year. This therefore puts us forward a year in terms of development, which will in turn boost our productivity and growth.”

Sara believes Runshaw Business Centre was the ‘natural choice’ to deliver the training, due to reputation and location. Sarah added: “The team at Runshaw have taken their time to get to know and understand our business. We have built an excellent working relationship and partnership and they are proactive in making us aware of new training or funding initiatives that suit our needs.”

LSS will support 3,817 employees aged 19 and over who are working in small or medium sized businesses and have a workforce of up to 250 employees. It will run until July 2015 – with places allocated to businesses on a first-come, first-served basis. The fund operates across the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, which consists of Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen local authorities.

Further information is also available on the dedicated website

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