Four supervisors at lawnmower manufacturer Husqvarna have boosted their chances of progressing on the leadership career ladder after completing qualifications during the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Roscher, Supply Chain Manager, Moulding/Automotive, and Ellis Cook, Ryan Christon and Karen McNeal, all manufacturing support supervisors, have completed the Leadership and Management (Level 5) apprenticeship.

All four employees from Newton Aycliffe-based Husqvarna started their apprenticeships three years ago to put themselves in a stronger position to move into senior management and management roles.

The qualifications have been undertaken alongside their full-time positions within the business, and for the final 12 months while the country battled through three national coronavirus lockdowns.

Rufus Ayre from Husqvarna said: “Investing in our existing personnel is as important to us as talent attraction, and all four of the staff members who have completed this level five apprenticeship have really proved themselves during the three-year qualification.

“Not only is it a fantastic achievement to finish the course, especially as the final stages were under the toughest of conditions caused by the pandemic, but the quality of their work has also been commended by external verifiers which really should be applauded.”

All four have since been applying what they have learned to their day jobs.

The apprenticeships were provided by Pattinson and Milburn with Husqvarna keen to praise the support they received from the Aycliffe Business Park company.

Rufus added: “I cannot stress enough the quality of training provided. The time and dedication shown from Liz (the trainer) was a huge factor in the success of the learners’ achievements. The ability to reflect modules and learning practices back to real life business scenarios will help our long-term vision for the business.”

Husqvarna has also praised the development of three other Team Leader/ Supervisor (Level 3) apprentices, who have completed their learning with the support of Peterlee-based GEM Training.

Del Thorburn, Moulding Shop Manager at Husqvarna, added “Throughout the training programme I have seen Chris Dorman, David Pybus and Peter Ballan grow in confidence and ability and they have demonstrated their newfound skills throughout the business.

“Our partnership with GEM Training is really enhancing our business development.

“Looking forward in 2021, we are putting a huge emphasis on learning and development throughout the organisation with an inclusive strategic workforce plan in quarter three to upskill employees with the tools they need for a changing workplace.

“This is all part of the organisation’s drive to create a learning culture where all employees have access to self-empowered learning, giving them the best possible chance to progress within the business.”