CF Roberts trains its next generation of leaders

Established family firm CF Roberts has been training its next generation of leaders with the help of GEL’s Supervisor Development Programme.

This flexible course, leading to an ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership & Management, allows staff to fit their training in around their busy working lives, while developing management skills they can take back into the workplace.

Hayley Ridgway joined the Cheltenham-based electrical and mechanical services company aged 18 as a contract support assistant.

CF Roberts has electrical maintenance contacts with major companies, and Hayley has taken on  more and more responsibility, co-ordinating teams of engineers across Wales, the Midlands and the South West.

Hayley, aged 23, from Hardwick in Gloucester, completed GEL’s Supervisor Development Programme in mid-2014. “I have a three-year-old and have to juggle my job with childcare, so for me to do training isn’t the easiest thing in the world,” she said.

“But the flexibility of this made it ideal. It involved a day’s training at GEL every 4-5 weeks for ten months. It was a relaxed environment, groups were small and there was a lot of interaction and throwing ideas around.

“I managed to do my assignments in my free time. It was definitely beneficial to have the training spread out across the year.”

The supervisor programme also helped Project Manager Matt Grimsby hone his leadership skills. Matt started with CF Roberts aged 17 as an apprentice. Now 24, he oversees £1/4m projects and manages teams of up to 20 engineers.

He says the training gave him valuable skills and knowledge which he now uses in his job. “It teaches you how to assess situations and deal with people you’re managing, and how to anticipate and deal with different responses,” he said.

“It also teaches you how to manage your time, and makes you think more about what you’re actually doing. It’s a very good course and I’m glad I did it.”

So far CF Roberts has put 11 members of staff through GEL’s supervisor programme. “We use it for people in the office who are moving up the ladder, also for people who have completed an apprenticeship with us and who have moved into the office,” said Business Support Director Marion Mitchell.

“The big plus is that they avoid having to be out of the office for five or six days at a time. All the learning is in manageable chunks and this really helps them relate it to their job.”