Harrow Green social value case study

Harrow Green is a supplier on one of YPO’s frameworks for removals. Below, the company outline examples of the social value that they offer their customers.  You can download the full case study here.

1. Apprenticeship schemes

Growing Talent
We are partners in the Growing Talent apprenticeship programme, devised by our client PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in January 2014. Having been involved since the start, we helped form the programme to include operative staff as well as functional roles such as customer service and finance.

In this scheme, unemployed participants (over the age of 18) are given placements with employers, following a training and development programme with full support from a mentor. The programme is run in partnership with JobCentre Plus, so participants retain benefits and have travel paid for the 12-week programme. All those who complete go into permanent, full-time jobs (employers commit in advance to providing these jobs).

The entire process, from the in-depth screening process, to ‘graduation’ at the programme’s end, is aimed at ensuring participants are matched with the right job for them, and have gained the skills to carry it out. So both the employer and employee are sure of a good match, and the participant becomes a confident and valued employee.

Growing Talent is an excellent example of how we go the extra mile to support our apprentices, as participants get all the support they need to become long-term employees, and develop successful careers.

We have recently taken on five new candidates and over the period of our involvement with the scheme, this takes the total to 35 candidates.

2. Training and development programs to up-skill employees

We were delighted to win the Newham Chamber of Commerce 2016 Business Award for Training, Development and Supporting Education.

We ensure staff deployed to sites are able to complete the tasks expected of them through our long standing commitment and investment in developing the skills of all our employees. Much of our training is carried out in house, and our training centres have been recognised within the industry for their innovative approach to operational training.
 
As well as the award mentioned above, we have also been awarded the top prize in the training category at the PFM Partnership Awards, recognising our decision to establish our training centres in order to deliver ever-higher standards to our clients and provide development opportunities for staff. Also in 2013 we won the ‘Leadership in Customer Focus’ award at the East London Chamber of Commerce; one of the main criteria was: customer-focused staff training and management.

Our own training centre means we can cross-skill our staff as an ongoing part of their development. Staff can then take on the necessary tasks to cover any unexpected increase in demand. For example, we ‘upskill’ our removal porters so they can undertake a wide range of activities including IT decommissioning and recommissioning, furniture fitting and general furniture maintenance.

In addition to our operative Warehousing and Logistics apprenticeship scheme, we also promote administration-based apprenticeship schemes for our office-based support staff and January 2014 saw us sponsor five employees to undertake apprenticeships in Customer Services (three employees) and Business Administration (two employees). These apprenticeships comprise the following elements:
  • NVQ Level 2 (Equivalent to 5 GCSEs) – Competency-based training and assessment of workbased skills though regular onsite visits from a qualified Training Consultant and creation of an on-line portfolio of evidence.
  • Functional Skills - qualifications in English, Maths and ICT that equip learners with the basic practical skills required in everyday life, education and the workplace. These are assessed through an on-line assessment in the first six months of the training. This requires three days off-site (one for each topic) with preparation in the morning for an afternoon exam at Key Training’s office in London Barbican. If any of the trainees do not pass first time, they will undergo further training and resit the examination, at no extra cost.
  • Technical Certificate – Assessment of knowledge which underpins the NVQ competencies and provides additional understanding in topics such as Health and Safety, Data Protection and Employment Rights.
Driver Training: We have a significant track record of identifying porters and drivers with licences up to 3.5t capacity, and putting them on LGV training courses enabling them to pass their tests for heavy goods vehicles. The courses and tests are 100% funded by Harrow Green and the employees are on full pay for the duration of the training. We are approved by JAUPT to deliver training which means we chose not to seek training for our vocational drivers with external providers but were able to get approval for our existing training delivery professionals, processes, materials and facilities.
 
This covers all aspects of driver CPC training.

In our annual training plan, development needs are identified through:
  • Customer feedback
  • Contract KPIs and Balanced Scorecards, filtering down directly into individual objectives
  • Company objectives
  • Performance appraisal
  • Staff job descriptions and performance standards
  • Recognised professional qualifications
  • Statutory changes in legislation and team meetings
  • Ongoing and upcoming contracts and the specific skills needed
Measurement of training is recorded as training days per person per annum and is reported monthly to the Board as a monthly total and year-to-date figure. All training and development is monitored and success measured using Company evaluation forms, immediately post course and after three months. An annual report of training and development is brought to the attention of divisional managers and board directors. It demonstrates how the training and development provided has met objectives and contributed to achieving the group objectives. It records lessons learnt for the future and shows how the investment in training and development has been realised.

Our case study on team leader training has been provided separately.

To read the rest of the case study, please download the PDF here.