Training and Development Manager, Johnson Apparelmaster, Preston
David began his journey in the Textiles industry twenty five years ago as a sales executive with Johnson Apparelmaster in Birmingham. It was an evening course with the Dale Carnegie organisation providing personal development for adults that sparked David’s interest in training and resulted in David applying for a position in the training department at Johnson Apparelmaster in Bootle, Liverpool. David moved through the organisation and is currently their Training and Development Manager based in the head office at Preston.
David recognises that new technology has changed the face of the industry and consequently the skills needs. “Technology is making a difference to the way people do their job from field based right through to production. Processes change, fabrics change and all require new skills,” said David. “In addition, the customer’s needs change and this has an impact down the line as we process the changes. Whilst it’s still quite a traditional industry, we are constantly increasing efficiency to improve the customer experience.”
Whilst David acknowledges it might not be the highest profile industry, he firmly believes that once you have the right person in the role, it is essential to create a culture where people enjoy coming to work and where they can develop and extend themselves. With training and development responsibility for over 2,000 employees across 17 production units in the UK, David is aware of keeping a fresh and innovative approach to the company’s requirements. As a result, David secured 50% match funding via the F&T Group Training Association for and Employer Ownership of Skills Programme (EOP) to implement a management change programme. “Our workforce is very diverse so it is essential our managers our aware of cultural differences and how to work effectively and efficiently together,” said David.
For David, the GTA has been of enormous benefit providing one point of contact to discuss skills and training opportunities. “We have 2000 employees but a small training department so being able to talk to people in the know who have a repository of knowledge has been vital in progressing training,” said David. “The EOP funding has enabled us to implement change which we might not have been able to do so quickly. There are lots of schemes available for training and skills development but the benefit of the GTA is being able to talk to people who talk your own every day working language and can guide you through the funding application process.”