Skills for Growth GM


Sarah Q from Instep visited Active EMS today to celebrate the success of the Skills for Growth programme!

Instep UK Ltd is a specialist solutions provider of Leadership and Management, Coaching, Sales, Customer Service, Operational Excellence and Logistics training, 30 years of experience. They offer innovative training and development solutions, through the delivery of apprenticeships and commercial training across the country and overseas.

Their development initiatives stretch and grow individuals in addition to developing the organisations they work in by delivering tangible results, aligned to their business strategy. Diversity and difference are their guiding principles. The approach is tailored and unique to each partnership.

Active EMS is a dedicated electronics manufacturing services company offering bespoke solutions to customers with individual need. At their impressive facilities on Chamberhall Business Park, in Bury, they offer their clients a robust supply chain solution from handheld to massive electro-mechanical products. Working across all industry segments, from automotive to medical to infrastructure and beyond they partner with an array of different organisations.

Roger Gaskell, their Managing Director, is a stalwart supporter of Lean Principles so when he heard of an opportunity to provide his workforce with some Lean Foundations training he was keen to know more. A meeting was scheduled with Sarah Qazi, Contract Manager for the Skills for Growth Manufacturing programme offered by Instep UK, to explore how the course could be delivered on-site around their production. Roger recalls being excited at the pros-pect of being able to offer his full team Lean training, which has undoubtedly helped him to secure better integration between his shopfloor and office teams as well as improve their understanding of why they do things in a certain way.

Speaking of the support that Active EMS have received from Instep UK, Roger said “right from the outset, from the information about the courses to the onboarding and the flexibility for course dates, the Instep Team made the process really easy for us and this allowed us to continue to run the factory alongside the course. We even had a couple of people on holiday and sick, but Instep kindly came back and delivered to these attendees so that they could complete the course. The support has been exceptional throughout.”

On the first day of the Lean Foundations course, one of Instep UK’s Lean experts (Jason Davies) arrived on-site and was immediately invited to undertake a tour of the superb facilities at Active EMS. The pride the team have for the work they do and the facilities was clearly evident to Jason from the onset. As was the passion that management have to ensure that the implementation of Lean within the business was not simply a management fad.

As the course got underway, activities within the programme saw the team complete production walkthroughs to support with the identification of areas for improvement and opportunities for Lean principles to be applied. Speaking specifically about these walk-throughs Roger noted that “having looked at the feedback from the team, I cannot fault the observations and will be implementing most of the recommendations identified.

When all of the team had successfully completed the training the Active EMS Management team were keen to host a celebration event at which employees could be recognised for their achievement, as well as be presented with their certificate by the Instep UK team.

The celebration, held last month, was a huge success with the whole team coming together with representatives from Instep UK to enjoy some food and congratulate those receiving certificates.

Speaking of the event, Sarah noted “it is great to see an employer who is so invested in devel-oping their workforce and also taking the time to recognise their success. Working in partner-ship with the team at Active EMS to support their continuous improvement journey has been fabulous and I look forward to seeing how the improvement suggestions made by the team come to fruition within the operations.”

When asked if he would recommend the training to other manufacturing employers in the Greater Manchester region Roger was quick to state that he would. When then asked what he would tell others about their experience he said “the experience was exceptionally good. We were supported along our journey and the course content was of a high quality and pitched perfectly at the right level for our employees. The tutor was really knowledgeable and took the time to understand our business and the challenges, tailoring the course to fit around our business.”