Southampton based retail logistics firm, Import Services, has invested in an innovative Centre of Training Excellence. The new facility delivers industry leading training programmes and provides employees with essential development skills.

The Import Services Centre of Training Excellence offers individuals training and professional development in a wide range of skills such as IT, warehouse operations and supply chain management. The programme is also designed to support induction training for all new employees and agency workers, creating a benchmark for best practice.

The Centre, based at the company’s headquarters in Hedge End, has helped more than 100 people receive training, development and coaching since it was established six months ago.

Operations and HR Director at Import Services, Roger Loveless, said: “Training and development in the logistics sector is often a very poor relation to other spending priorities and many mid tier organisations do not take the development of their staff as seriously as they should.

“We have adopted a people centred vision for the business and invested significant time, resources and money in the training and development of our people. In order for us to deliver the best possible service to our clients there must be a consistency in quality and performance throughout the entire workforce.”

As part of its commitment to staff development, Import Services also offers a range of NVQ opportunities via private providers and via Eastleigh and Brockenhurst colleges, and has helped 43 of its staff to achieve the accreditation since it started offering NVQ’s in 2007. It has also worked with Southampton University on Internships with their Centre for Operational Research. The company has also held Investors in People status since 2007.

“Our commitment to staff development is already paying dividends, said Loveless, “We have a much better trained and motivated workforce, who appreciate the investment in their training and development that we make as a Company. It also shows in our profit / TO per employee stats, which are stellar compared to both local and national competition.”

Commenting on the training she received through the Centre of Excellence, Paula Masters, Operations Manager at Import Services said: “The training that I and my team have received through the Centre of Excellence has been invaluable. Knowledge is key; the more knowledge you have, the better you can do your job. As the person responsible for the operational side of the business it gives me a great deal of confidence knowing that my team, including any agency staff, are trained to a best practice level of competency.

The Centre of Excellence training has also benefited Magda Branska, who works in the Import Services packaging and dispatch department; Magda said: “Among other things, the training I have received has helped me gain a better understanding of the wider logistics chain and how important my role is in this process. I am able to pass this knowledge on to others in the team, showing them how to make improvements in their working practices. I think it’s important for a company to invest in its staff and give them the opportunity to develop their skills.”

For further information about Import Services, or to enquire about current positions available, visit www.importservices.co.uk

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