Training team gets 250 people into work

SHOP FLOOR: Steve McKenna, warehouse operator; Paul Guy, Gateshead College tutor; Chris Lamb, head of Vantec's Logistics Centre of Excellence; Gavin Houghton, warehouse operator; and Ian Hepplewhite, senior project manager at Vantec.
SHOP FLOOR: Steve McKenna, warehouse operator; Paul Guy, Gateshead College tutor; Chris Lamb, head of Vantec's Logistics Centre of Excellence; Gavin Houghton, warehouse operator; and Ian Hepplewhite, senior project manager at Vantec.
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AROUND 250 workers are fit for the factory floor as teamwork paid off to get them back into work.

Sunderland logistics firm Vantec has taken on the staff to help it meet the rising demand on the firm, which opened its warehouse on the Turbine Business Park.

The Hitachi-owned company has secured business from automotive, engineering and manufacturing firms and needed extra help to deal with the additional workload.

It teamed up with Gateshead College and recruitment firm MTrec to find jobseekers with previous logistics experience, then put them through a rigorous programme to get them fit for work.

The training, delivered through the college’s sector-based work academy, brought jobseekers up to date with manufacturing techniques and forklift truck operations, as well as tips on CV writing and interview techniques to help them get into work.

Chris Lamb, head of Vantec’s logistics centre of excellence, said: “We are committed to investing in our workforce to boost productivity and secure the future of our business. Our new recruits will help us to cope with the extra workload as a result of our recent contract wins and allow us to strengthen our hand in the competitive logistics industry.”

The academy is a national initiative rolled out locally by Jobcentre Plus, which makes referrals, and regional training providers.

Many of the workers are then placed into employment at companies such as Vantec, a logistics supplier to the automotive trade and primarily tor Nissan.

In a separate initiative, the college is putting Vantec’s 680 permanent employees through additional training programmes that are tailored to the company’s specific business needs.

Staff will embark on a 12-month adult apprenticeship in warehousing, which will cover key subjects such as health and safety, customer service, moving and handling of goods, stock keeping and hygiene standards.

The staff will also work towards a qualification in managing the supply chain, which is recognised by the Institute of Supply Chain Management.

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