Six line leaders at MDF mouldings manufacturer W Howard, have passed the Introduction to Management Programme endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). The ILM is Europe’s largest vocational qualification and professional membership body, with around 80,000 people registered for awards since its launch five years ago.

Over the past year, two leaders from W Howard’s logistics function – Sean Evans and Gary Brown – and four leaders from production – Gilroy Coleman, David Russell, Christopher Blair and Paul Braterski – have each engaged in work-based projects of their own choosing, along with taking part in tutoring and workshops.

“The actions resulting from the projects undertaken by the candidates will provide the company with tangible improvements going forward,” said manufacturing manager Gerrard Aspinall.

Logistics manager Steve Greenhalgh said the qualifications gained along with the IIP accreditation were proof of the company’s drive for continued development of all its staff.

As a result of the six leaders’ part in the programme, W Howard plans to implement new quality standards; improve handover communications between shifts; provide technicians with additional vocational training, and; and reinforce health and safety in production and warehousing through added pedestrian/vehicle demarcation.

Training and development is of major importance to the Primer Mould manufacturer. Three people are undertaking the NVQ 2 in warehouse dispatch and plans are in place for a further 12 in the near future. One person is being put forward for NVQ 3 in mechanical maintenance and another six operators have undertaken the Weinig training course, qualifying them to set machines. “We believe this will educate and motivate employees, together with meeting future demands that the company foresees,” said Mr Greenhalgh.