Calderdale based Falconer Print and Packaging Ltd. has taken the next steps towards its business growth goals by investing in their workforce and training their staff. Falconer approached the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through their membership organisation the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) to take advantage of the support and funding offered by the skills service.
The BPIF helps their members access grants from the LEP growth programmes to meet a variety of needs from capital investment to training, through finding the relevant contact and assisting with the required application. Through the LEP skills service, businesses can work with a skills advisor to identify appropriate training provision, gain support to create and implement a training plan, and eligible businesses can get funding to support with training costs.
Falconer design and manufacture packaging for a variety of products including cosmetics, giftware, drinks, luxury confectionery and healthcare brands. They also produce a wide range of pharmaceutical packaging with in line braille. They have ambitious growth plans including increasing turnover by 5-10 percent year on year, in turn creating additional job opportunities in sales, pre-press and within operations on the shop floor. They are also planning to grow the business by tapping into new markets. This includes plans to expand into luxury packaging, as well as geographically growing by increasing the exporting element of the company.
The business was successful in securing funding for 11 staff to undertake a management and sales development program. Following on from their initial application, Falconer were awarded additional funding for both Managers and Officers to complete management development workshops, and have received overall grant funding of £12,500 which they have invested in their workforce in order to grow the business.
John Sherwood, Commercial Director of Falconer explains “we anticipated some significant changes to personnel within the organisation which meant that our newer managers needed to be brought up to speed. We also wanted to encourage a culture of innovative thinking to create a more efficient, productive way of working and continue to grow the customer base as well as building on existing external relationships. The training was tailored to support the strategic plans for the company and has enabled us to move forward with our plans to expand and reach new customers. It has also allowed staff to identify and grow target sectors against specific goals, and given us a new way of thinking, ensuring all our activity links back to our value proposition and business aims.
“It’s very important to us to continue to invest in growing our business, and we are currently planning to submit an additional application to the LEP skills service focussing on strategic management and leadership training.”
Through the LEP skills service employers have the opportunity to work with a team of expert skills advisors, discuss their long term growth plans and skills needs, and put together a robust training plan for their staff. Businesses can also apply for grants of between £500 and £50,000 to contribute towards their training costs in some cases attracting funding for up to 50% of training costs.
The funding is time limited and applications must be submitted by 31st March 2017.