Talent development programme launched by engineering firm

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A Darlington engineering firm has launched a new talent development programme to support its national growth strategy in UK bridge building.

Darlington-based structural steel engineering company Cleveland Bridge UK has invested in a long-term programme to enable its engineering teams to keep ahead of the knowledge and skills demands of the industry, as it sees continued year-on-year growth in activity.

The firm’s ongoing commitment to create a long-term sustainable workforce, is also supported by its membership of the 5% Club – made up of more than 250 UK companies to have pledged that five percent of the workforce will comprise apprentices and graduates within a five year period.

The talent development programme, which consists of a series of initiatives to recognise, support and promote talent within the business, aims to develop its next generation of engineers and leaders through training events, documented development plans, and programmes for apprentices and graduates.

Employees throughout the business are encouraged to discuss their career goals and ambitions with managers, who develop plans to assist employees in achieving their full potential, and increase employee capability, engagement and retention.

The company, which already has a policy to promote from within, has signed up 47 employees from across the company onto talent or development programmes, and has launched a specific programme for shop-floor operators to develop charge hands, supervisors and managers who will support future business growth.

Several of the Cleveland Bridge UK’s apprentices, who have completed their training, have successfully been promoted already, with each of them having passed their Functional Skills Level 2 English and maths exams.

Matty Foster, 26 from Newton Aycliffe, who joined Cleveland Bridge as an apprentice plater in 2012, successfully completed his apprenticeship in 2016, and was promoted to charge hand.

After starting a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Team Leading/Supervision qualification with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), through training provider B-Skill, in August 2019, Matty was promoted to fabrication supervisor, and is now responsible for more than 50 staff members.

Thomas Hill, 21 from Ingleby Barwick, joined the company in 2015 as an apprentice draughtsperson, and subsequently secured a position as a draftsman before being promoted to his current role of trainee project manager.

Thomas successfully completed an HNC in Civil Engineering sponsored by Cleveland Bridge, and is now doing a Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship Level 6 through Teesside University.

Cleveland Bridge managing director Chris Droogan said “Skill development and career advancement are essential for all our employees. In order for the right talent to be attracted and retained, we must demonstrate that we offer a career path that provides the opportunities necessary for progression.

“Through the talent programme, Cleveland Bridge UK provides the tools for employees to advance their skills, competencies, and overall careers. Having the right talent and expertise drives competitive advantage to maintain our global reputation and position at the forefront of our industry.”