Liam is making up for lost time

Liam Marley is making up for lost time. After leaving school with few qualifications and starting his working life as a storeman at SPP Pumps Ltd in Coleford, he is now a member of the firm’s management team and is studying for a degree.

He says GEL’s quality management training has allowed him to grow during his 19 years with the firm. As he’s moved from shop floor to management, so GEL has given him his own training progression route from Level 3 (A-level equivalent) to higher education, in a flexible package to fit in with the demands of his job.

Over the past three years Liam, aged 36, has honed his leadership skills by taking a ‘management apprenticeship’ - taking the Level 3 ILM Award in Leadership & Management alongside NVQ Level 3 before progressing to the Level 5 ILM Award in Leadership & Management.

Now to cap it all, he’s studying part-time for the BA in Business & Enterprise, offered by GEL in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University.

“I left school with Cs and Ds at GCSE - when I was young education wasn’t my thing,” he says. “Back then I’d never have dreamed I’d end up doing a degree.”

“But studying at this stage in my career is a really positive experience. A 19-year-old could be doing the same degree as me, but I’m able to bring all my life and professional experience into it. I can apply things I’ve actually seen and done rather than just read about.”

Liam’s family are proud of him too. “My wife Sarah is really supportive - her career is running in parallel to mine and she’s looking at finishing her degree.

“And although our daughters are still young, I’ve already talked to them about when I graduate… I’ll take them to the graduation ceremony. Hopefully it will influence them when they’re older and make them think ‘Dad did it, so why can’t I?’”

The wide range of leadership programmes GEL offers are accredited to national standards by the Institute of Leadership Management, and are available for the newest team leader to the most experienced senior manager.

Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd’s leadership training has been invaluable to SPP Pumps, a leading manufacturer of centrifugal pumps and associated systems, whose main manufacturing facility is at Coleford. So far its staff have attended over 100 courses at GEL.

Ken Winn, Site Director at Coleford, commented: “As a major local employer, we are very committed to helping our staff at every level to develop their skills and professionalism, and to helping them progress in their own careers within the company.

“Our company ethos is to provide the best solutions to our customers where it really matters, and to achieve that vision, we have to have the best people – which is why investing in them is so important.

“We’ve found that GEL’s range of leadership courses are flexible and accessible, and are offering our management team good professional development.”