Back to school for employees

Back to school for employees


In the ever changing world of finance, continual learning is a must. Paul Halliwell, Learning and Development Manager at Blemain Group, tells us how the team at Blemain are given their chance to learn...

B&C: What sort of development and learning is given to the staff at Blemain Group?

We fund a number of professional qualifications, particularly in CeMap, CeRCC as well as HR, Accountancy and I.T. We also offer a Lean 6 Sigma Certificate in regulated customer care, NVQs and deliver a wide range of management and people skills training courses and programmes at all levels in the business. We provide coaching for new team leaders and managers and also provide coaching on regulatory training and development.

B&C: Which levels of the organisation partake in internal learning programmes?

Everyone. We do have courses aimed at specific levels of people or departments, and we also offer open courses for everyone in the business that may benefit from attending.

B&C: Is internal learning and development compulsory for all staff?

We have always been compliant with the required training for staff in the regulated areas of the business. A significant proportion of staff has training on a regular basis as part of our ongoing commitment to quality and customer service. For everyone else, this is not compulsory, but our culture means that the individuals themselves are demanding further learning and development training. We often have tour-run courses to meet demand and the dropout rates are extremely low. I think this shows that there is a real desire within the employees of the business to develop their skills and knowledge. 

B&C: How long has the company been implementing the practice?

The company has always invested in developing the skills of its staff with tailored training specific to the department, their roles, skill levels and responsibility; but recently we have decided to centralise it, to make learning and development more prominent in the business.  We are promoting training on a wider scale as opposed to just regulatory and management skills.

B&C: Does the company also promote team building or are the training sessions purely for improving ‘on the job’ skills?

Yes we do promote team building. I am actually midway through running a series of team building programmes which focus on behavioural understanding and helping to enhance working relationships. We also like to encourage this on the social side as well. Even from the time I started at Blemain Group 8 months ago, I have already seen these elements of training grow significantly.

B&C: Does the company facilitate inter-disciplinary department changes for its employees?

We promote these opportunities when appropriate. Our increasing understanding of individual aspirations and potential has meant we are able to match opportunities to the right people.

B&C: Why is it important for companies to dedicate time and resources into training their staff? Why not just hire external trainers?

I think every company’s needs and culture are unique and there are a number of additional benefits for investing in internal training and development for existing staff, as opposed to bringing in people from the outside who aren’t carefully trained and in tune with the organisations culture. One of the benefits is loyalty to the role and company, as well as allowing staff to see through their own aspirations career wise. This also means that they know the nature of the business and are already familiar with its culture. It’s really about striking a balance as there can be some great benefits of bringing in new skills and ideas to a business; so it’s about assessing where something new is needed and where a role can simply be improved or developed with some internal development training.

B&C: And what has impressed you about your new role?

Since I joined the company, I have been amazed by the thirst for learning and level of demand for development and training. I think as a company, we have realised that there is a huge pool of knowledge here and there is massive potential to develop an internal coaching program; which is something I am passionate about.

I am also very impressed with our regulatory training schemes which ensure we deliver the highest standards of customer service.


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