Karen Starkey, Head of HR at Conservatory Outlet with Investors in People Award
Wakefield-based Conservatory Outlet Group
is aiming to add to its 34 apprentices and empower its 312 staff members to ‘Gold’ level standards, after securing a prestigious Investors in People (IiP) accolade for the first time.
A leading UK manufacturer of high-quality windows, doors, home extensions and conservatory products has been recognised with the accreditation following months of hard work. However, rather than seeing it as the culmination of its efforts, it is instead being viewed as the beginning of a journey towards an even greater achievement, with the company aiming to secure Gold standard within the next three years.
Karen Starkey, head of HR, said: “We are thrilled to be honoured in this way, but the hard work now begins as we aim to hit nine performance indicators and become a Gold-level company. These include leading and inspiring people, empowering people, rewarding high performance and creating sustainable success.
“It is vitally important that we provide opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their roles. We gain commitment from them as a result, as they see the value in our training and the opportunities it provides.
“We are proud to have enabled several staff members to further develop and grow. Progression is a key value to future-proofing our organisation, creating genuine careers and a sense of succession planning.”
Conservatory Outlet has leveraged the Apprenticeship Levy to take on and develop 34 apprentices across the business in areas that include business administration, management team leading, bricklaying, customer service, HR, construction and marketing.
The company, which operates out of a 60,000ft2
facility, was praised for successfully growing the business, recruiting key people to support its growth, and introducing a number of working practices that have already started to make a tangible difference to performance.
The management team were also highlighted for communicating regular company updates, which has helped people understand what is happening during the pandemic and the subsequent supply chain disruption.
Greg Kane, Conservatory Outlet Group chief executive, said: “Training — and the continuous development of people — is one of the fundamental cornerstones of our business. We have examples of young apprentices working on their Admin Level 3 apprenticeship and, once completed, being supported to undertake their AAT qualification at college.
“A skilled, trained and knowledgeable workforce is key to ensuring we provide the best quality product and service to our customers. We also hold best practice events with our network of retailers, which accentuates the sharing of knowledge and expertise.”