Xaar plc is a world leader in the development of digital inkjet technology and manufacture of Piezoelectric industrial printheads, exporting over 95% of its products worldwide.
It recognised the need to engage and involve staff in Business Improvement Techniques training and engaged Skills Training UK to tailor an apprenticeship programme. The results have been transformational in terms of benefiting staff, who have felt more motivated, and in delivering real improvements to the business, which Xaar values as £380,000 in annualised savings.
The innovative programme included proper, off-the-job, classroom based training in improvement techniques which was provided by Skills Training UK’s team of trainer-assessors at Xaar’s manufacturing site in Huntingdon, with 1-2-1 support for individual employees where needed.
Training groups were made up of participants from all areas, regardless of lean experience, previous academic achievement or seniority so that each group represented the DNA of the site. This enabled experiences to be shared and helped to enrich and embed the training. In particular, this has given those new to manufacturing a real boost.
The training has been fully inclusive and delivered in a way that everyone mattered, with additional support provided to less confident learners and encouragement to those able to extend their skills further.
Skills Training UK grasped our vision from the start and tailored a programme which applied the apprenticeship standard to a whole new level, covering over 300 people with a wide range of previous skills and experience.
Ian Page, Head of Continuous Improvement, Xaar plc
100% attendance was achieved for the classroom training and the completion rate for the training overall has been 94%. Over 300 staff have been trained in three phases, with 70% gaining qualifications higher than they previously held.
To embed the learning, staff have tackled improvement projects which they identified themselves, with the results showing the significant increases in productivity and cost savings valued by Xaar at £380,000 per annum. A more upbeat, motivated workforce has been another benefit.
After the training, participants have gone on to continue using their skills on further projects – showing that the training has provided a long-lasting legacy.
For further information about Skills Training UK and how we can create tailored Apprenticeship training for your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 048 9370.
New skills were learnt by a wide cross section of staff and the way the training programme was run really helped everyone to engage. We are now using the techniques we learnt, in order to keep the improvements going.
Adey Lee, Shift Supervisor
I thoroughly enjoyed the training and learning the new improvement techniques. It was also really good that we did the training with people from other departments who we hadn’t previously met. We tackled a big change project which otherwise wouldn’t have happened and I also now have qualifications in English and Maths which I’m very pleased about.
Jackie Thompson, Production Operator