One of the UK’s leading strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialists has signalled its intentions to ramp up investment in its recently launched Bright Sparks University (BSU).

PP Control & Automation, which works with twenty of the world’s largest machinery builders, is offering all of its 230 employees the opportunity to engage with in-house learning and development programmes, covering continuous improvement, customer service, finance, leadership & management, marketing, sales and technical training.

Staff members are also encouraged to source courses outside of BSU, with the company happy to fund any course on any subject, as long as there are tangible benefits to both the business and the individual.

“Our people are the heartbeat of what we do, and we want to give them every opportunity to learn new skills and competences they can use to boost their own career prospects and deliver additional value to the service we provide our customers,” explained Ian Knight, Chief Information Officer at PP Control & Automation.

“Bright Sparks University is the latest in a long line of personal development and training programmes we have introduced, following on from the launch of our Excellence School, back in 2000. It will deliver learning on the job, in a classroom or online and all of the courses will be funded by PP C&A.”

He continued: “Through BSU we recognise that inside every employee there is more potential than we, or maybe even they realise, and we need to constantly work to unlock this potential, whether that is through training, coaching or mentoring.

“It’s a sizeable investment, but one that is easy to make when you consider the benefits we are already seeing. Training builds self-confidence, keeps the mind sharp, helps with better decision-making and builds a stronger relationship between staff and the company.”

PP Control & Automation has been fully operational throughout the entire pandemic, providing strategic outsourcing solutions to customers involved in food and drink, packaging, renewables and medical.

The company’s expertise in control and automation and contract manufacturing, combined with the ability to quickly set up new production cells, saw it supply critical wiring harnesses to the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium and a host of new Covid-19 inspired technologies designed to protect people and reduce the spread of the virus.

With the UK hopefully emerging from the pandemic, the Cheslyn Hay-based manufacturer is targeting 20% growth this year after it saw sales surge post lockdown.

Its skilled workforce will be key to achieving this ambitious expansion plan, with a recruitment drive currently in place to take on ten new people across engineering, logistics and sales.

Ian, who is a black belt in Six Sigma manufacturing practices, concluded: “Covid-19 limited some of our early activities with the Bright Sparks University, but we are now rolling it out at speed and expect all 230+ staff to have access to training and development opportunities by this time next year.

“Some people say why invest so much in training your staff, they could leave. Our view is simple, imagine not training them and they stay with you!”