Looking in, not out - developing internal talent

15 July 2021
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A key element of our Secure Infrastructure people strategy for 2021 is the development of our internal talent and capabilities.

Before moving into the role of HR Director, I had the privilege of working as an Account Manager on our Barnsley Schools contract. This gave me a unique opportunity to implement many of the development initiatives that are now driving our wider people strategy.

I was able to see first-hand the positive impact that developing talent from within has on customer satisfaction, performance, employee engagement and retention.

One example of a successful initiative is our Premises Manager Development Programme. We identified that the Premises Manager role was pivotal in managing the relationship between Amey as the service provider and the schools we maintain and that those individuals who had already been working within the environment in more junior roles really understood the local customer needs.

Since the inception of the programme, we have successfully promoted four individuals who were in caretaking, maintenance and cleaning roles into Premises Manager positions.

Craig Woodcock is one of them. He joined Horizon Community College as a Caretaker, progressed to a maintenance assistant then following successful completion of the development programme he was recently promoted to Premises Manager within the same school.

Craig Woodcock said: “For me it is all about the emphasis Amey put on investing in employees and everyone who works for Amey is given the opportunity to embrace the career development that I have been given. This investment is helping keep talented people in the business at all levels that have a real passion and understanding of how everything is run and most importantly to deliver a consistent service for our customers.”

Ash Clarke, Business Manager at Horizon High School said: “Craig is a resourceful Premises Manager, who clearly utilises his experience to deliver a quality service to all users at Horizon Community College. His communication skills are key to his success, in addition, he provides solutions to our problems which is exactly what works for the school, a managed service partnership.   

Another example is Rebecca Powers who started on the contract as a cleaner. She was promoted to cleaning supervisor responsible for managing a team of 20 cleaners and is now a Premises Manager at Carton Academy. Rebecca was identified as one to watch for the future and was awarded one of our Amey Stars awards earlier this year.

Further success can be seen in our Operations Manager, Gemma Barker, who is responsible for the operational management of all 11 schools across the Account. Gemma joined the contract as an Administrator, progressed to a Premises Manager at one of the schools before being promoted into her current role. Gemma is not stopping here; she’s vying to be an Account Manager in the future.

Gemma says: “Amey has been very supportive in helping me develop my career. As a working mum, I can work flexibly and I’m able to progress. Knowing that Amey wants people and knowledge to stay in the business gives it a family feel."

It is hoped that with the current talent development programmes in place, this success story in Barnsley could be replicated across the rest of our Secure Infrastructure business.

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