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Stamford Products Limited looks to the future with the power of workforce training and apprenticeships 

Based in Stalybridge and describing themselves as “A company with a rich heritage that always looks to the future”, Stamford Products Limited are worldwide manufacturers of user-friendly, colourful, materials handling and materials management products, suitable for a wide range of sectors. 

Like many Greater Manchester manufacturing businesses, they have experienced challenges with the recruitment of staff with the right skills sets for the required roles. With a strong focus on succession planning and future proofing the business, Stamford Products Limited identified a requirement to invest in training and apprenticeships to fill and bridge their skills gaps. The challenge was to find the right type of training options that would deliver the desired results for the business, enter Skills for Growth – SME Support.



Focusing on future proofing the business

Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, delivered by GC Business Growth Hub (part of the Growth Company) and funded by the European Social Fund, the Skills for Growth programme was designed to fill the occupational skills gaps identified by employers in Greater Manchester. The aim of the programme is to help  businesses to equip staff with the technical skills required to support and grow SME businesses. The SME support part of the programme is dedicated to supporting those businesses to identify specific skills gaps and broker relationships with providers who can fill those gaps.

The benefit to employees who participate in the programme, is they develop their own skills and competencies putting them in a better position to progress in their careers. With the programme also offering access to Apprenticeships, this alternative career route is now being identified as offering a huge benefit on succession planning for many businesses, as it allows them to shape their future workforce. 

This strong mix of support, training and apprenticeship options provided an attractive offering for the team at Stamford Products Limited who have been working with The Growth Company for several years, exploring ways to improve efficiencies across their manufacturing site. 


An Exciting Opportunity!

When Skills Coach Mandy Clark from the Skills for Growth - SME Support programme, approached Stamford Products Limited about the support available, they were excited to participate in something they knew would be so positive for the company and its employees. Following an initial business diagnosis with the appointed contact Dawn Lee, to identify the objectives and skills gaps of the business, Mandy was able to introduce the programme to the wider team. 

20 employees opted to take part in the face-to-face and online sessions, with the training delivered by various commissioned providers, with several more choosing to access the Skills for Growth - SME Support e-Learning development portal which includes in excess of 2000 e-Learning resources. The portal gives open access so employees are able to undertake learning within the working hours as well as in their own time, if they wished.

Courses followed

By working with Mandy, each of the employees were guided to identify suitable training and learning, this included a range of courses of differing durations and topics to include:-
• Lean Manufacturing
• Certificate in Principles of Team Leading
• IML Award in Leadership and Management
• Advanced Microsoft Applications
• MS Excel 2016
• Revit: Zero to Hero

Positive Outcomes

Although it’s still early days, with staff just starting to apply their new knowledge and skills to their everyday roles, they have already noticed lots of positive results from the training.

For example, the Leadership and Management courses, completed by two employees in the accounts department who are mentoring junior team members have found that the knowledge gained from the Leadership and Management course has given them the tools and confidence to manage a team effectively, allowing them to develop the tools for the future.

In addition, two Apprentices who recently joined the company had little experience of using Excel or Word. But after completing the Advanced Microsoft Applications course, they are now much more confident in both.


Employee Feedback

With differing courses options and experience levels, feedback from everyone who attended the courses has been really favourable, with everyone agreeing they gained a lot and would recommend Skills for Growth to other people. These employees can also be proud of their contribution towards the 10,000 participants milestone that has now been achieved from the overall Skills for Growth programme. Stamford Products Limited also took the time to promote the successful achievements of their workforce, by arranging an event to present their employees with their training certificates.

They are shown here receiving their certificates from Stephen Dubyl, Managing Director at Stamford Products Ltd, Dawn Lee, Finance Director at Stamford Products Ltd, and Mandy Clark, Skills Coach from the Skills for Growth SME Support Programme, delivered by GC Business Growth Hub.

Stamford Products Limited

“I found the course interesting and informative. It imparted a great deal of valuable knowledge with regard to improving the product quality and efficiencies of a company. I would thoroughly recommend the course and feel that all job functions would benefit from its content.” Lee, Course attended: Lean Manufacturing


“This was an informative course that has enabled me to put the skills learnt into action in my current role. It offered flexible learning that can fit around other commitments and allows you to work at your own pace.” Sadie, Course attended: Principles of Team Leading


“I found the course very useful. I have been able to use what I have learnt in my day-to-day tasks in the office as well as applying it to the work I complete in college.” Aimee, Course attended: Level 3 Advanced Microsoft Applications


Thank you
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff who made the commitment to attending this training and to Skills for Growth - SME Support and especially to Mandy for organising everything so well. This was such as great initiative from The Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and we are proud to have been part of it. We are sure that both the company and our team will benefit hugely and look forward to seeing where our newly upskilled workers take us next!


Mandy Clark, Skills Coach, Skills for Growth - SME Support

“It has been a pleasure to work with Stamford Products Ltd, a company who have not only realised the importance and benefits of workforce training and development, but also in celebrating the success and achievements of their workforce. The Skills for Growth programme has now reached 10,000 participants across Greater Manchester, and as we enter National Careers Week, Stamford Products are a brilliant success story for us to showcase.”

About the author

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskill your employees and improve business productivity.