Spectrum Faculty – A Hull Firm’s Investment in Skills
IT@Spectrum, a local managed print and document services company has made a huge commitment to staff learning and development by launching the Spectrum Faculty.
The Spectrum Faculty is a completely self-funded in-house training programme which is predominantly aimed at ensuring that its younger members of staff are able to develop their basic business and life skills. Modules are delivered over a series of terms and include subject areas such as customer care, communication, assertiveness, and presentation skills.
The business which provides high-tech print and document solutions to many of the region’s businesses launched the faculty at a recent and rather unusual team meeting. With an education theme, the team were taken via school bus to Sirius Academy where they were split into house teams and competed in a series of tasks before being treated to a school meal and learning about the company’s skills investment.
Speaking at the launch, managing director Ken Sturdy said: “The Spectrum Faculty is all about further developing the many talents and skills of our growing team to create a perfect storm, an environment where all of our staff are equipped with the skills they need to be able to thrive as individuals and therefore as a collective, something which can only help us grow further.”
HR and support manager Sally Kemp said: “The Spectrum Faculty was borne out of a need to ensure that our young people are the best they can be. Over the last two years we’ve made a conscious effort to recruit young people as part of our succession planning and we currently have 11 members of staff under the age of 25 who have joined us as apprentices, interns or graduates.
“We recognised that we had a problem in that many of our younger team members, whilst highly skilled in their specific areas, lacked basic business and life skills. We felt we had a duty of care to them and with our ambitious plans for business growth, the Spectrum Faculty provides the backbone, ensuring that our staff have the skills they need.
“Whilst the faculty is largely aimed at the younger members of our team, it’s open to all staff members who want to opt in and we’ve had a great response from all areas of our business.”
Since launching, the first course has already been delivered and saw 11 members of staff engaged in learning with faculty learning & development manager Jane Harper. The team behind the Spectrum Faculty believe they have the blueprint for developing the skills of the younger workforce and this is already attracting attention from other businesses including global firm Canon with whom IT@Spectrum have strong working links.
Abbie Holmes, a 21year old working for IT@Spectrum has been shortlisted for the inaugural Hull Daily Mail Golden Apple Apprentice of the Year award. Having joined as an apprentice in 2013, Abbie has been able to benefit from the Spectrum Faculty and said: “Since I’ve been working at IT@Spectrum I’ve developed so many skills. I’ve learned how to work with different types of people and have developed people skills that are appropriate to business.
“The Spectrum Faculty opens up so many opportunities for staff and was like a breath of fresh air because it wasn’t something that we’d asked for. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been here for years or you’ve just started as an apprentice, they are always willing to invest in you and support you.”
Investing in young people and their career development is nothing new for IT@Spectrum who are active sign-ups to the Humber LEP’s Skills Pledge and the Humber Employability Charter.