Bis Henderson Academy has completed the first phase of a major initiative to help leading chilled foods logistics services provider, NFT, take early advantage of the government’s Apprenticeship Levy.
After conducting an in-depth analysis of NFT’s skills needs, Bis Henderson Academy has engaged in a learning and development programme for the first 50 line managers from across the business. The programme includes up-skilling individuals on critical aspects of people management, team leadership, project management, budgets and Health & Safety, for a level three qualification. The company has created NFT Futures, which encompasses a number of learning activities, including the programmes supported by Bis Henderson.
In early 2018 a second phase of the company’s NFT Futures programme will see the first 60 warehouse colleagues receive similarly high standards of professional training to level two, delivered through a programme tailored specifically to the needs of NFT’s business.
“As a forward thinking company we knew we needed to respond quickly to the introduction of the Levy,” says Sue Bancroft, Head of Policy and Employee Relations at NFT. “We wanted to ensure that we derived maximum benefit from the scheme right from the start, so we approached Bis Henderson Academy to help us on our journey.”
She continues: “Bis Henderson Academy went to great lengths to understand our business and our key objectives, to get a clear picture of our training goals. Having identified the skills gaps within our teams they worked with us to align the skills requirements with the most relevant standards, tailoring specific elements to our needs – even designing the programme to our 24/7 multi-site operation to ensure we wouldn’t be taking resources away for long periods of time.
“Early feedback from the team has been extremely encouraging and we’ve used the feedback to adjust the programme to get it just right and stretch our employees so we can be sure the training is adding value and developing our people as much as possible.”
Under the government’s scheme that came into effect in April 2016, a tax raised at 0.5% of the total payroll bill is returned to the employer through an online account, along with an uplift of 10% from the government. The employer can spend the money, but only on the delivery of apprenticeship-based training offered through an approved training provider. Funds have to be used within 24 months, after which they expire.
Ross Eggleton, CEO of NFT says: “We have some truly committed and loyal people in our business and I am fully supportive of the NFT Futures Programme to enable us to develop our teams to be the best they can be and help us deliver our business objectives”.
David Lynch, Managing Director of Bis Henderson Academy says, “NFT was one of the first major service providers in the sector to see the enormous potential of the Apprenticeship Levy for generating real value within the organisation. We are delighted to be helping NFT realise that potential.”
With a turnover in excess of £220 million, NFT is one of the leading temperature controlled storage, delivery and distribution companies in the UK – working across all temperature regimes, including chilled, deep chill and ambient – picking around 3.3 million cases per week and delivering around 200,000 pallets of food and drink products into UK grocery retailers each week.