Northumbrian Water training teams

Northumbrian Water (NWL) is part of the Northumbrian Water Group and supplies water and sewerage services to 2.7 million people in the north east of England, covering an area of 1488 miles.

Their estate includes 44 impounding reservoirs, 57 water treatment works, 344 water pumping stations, 418 sewage treatment works and 765 sewage pumping stations. In addition to this, there are more than 25,600km of water mains and almost 30,000 km of sewers. NWL employs more than 3,000 people.

Business challenges

The maintenance of NWL’s estate is paramount to the utility’s continued business success. Operatives, supervisors, team leaders and managers require the appropriate training, both to ensure they are best equipped to manage the estate and they remain compliant with relevant legislation.

NWL were booking delegates onto training courses as required in an ad-hoc fashion. A list of delegates and their training requirements would be provided for Develop Training to then schedule courses to suit. This was cumbersome – in each instance the Develop Training Customer Services team would need to confirm the availability of training staff with Operational Managers, resulting in a time consuming process which would replicate itself for every delegate.

Solution & business benefits delivered

Develop Training introduced the Learning & Assessment Portal (LAP) to NWL in 2010. Immediately this offered NWL the benefit of operational managers being able to see at-a-glance which team members required training, and the ability to schedule this training at the click of a mouse. This saved considerable administrative time and effort, enabling training to be booked to fit the operatives’ work schedule.

Through the LAP, NWL has full visibility of the training schedules and availability. As a result, more courses are now run at full capacity. This provides NWL with a better return on their training investment, as they are more strategic about when courses are booked to maximise their budget.

Since 2010, NWL has managed the training requirements of more than 3,000 delegates via the LAP. This has included more than 100 different training courses from different providers, the results of which are all consolidated into one easy-to-use platform.

Tracey Greener, Training Contracts Manager for NWL, said: “The LAP has revolutionised the NWL Training Team’s role in supporting business training needs. The system has helped managers take ownership and control of booking people into training and if emergency work hits, they can also cancel and reschedule their teams. This has had a great impact on administrator time as well as reducing ‘no shows’ to training courses.”

Chris Wood, Chief Executive of Develop Training, said: “I am delighted that NWL are taking full advantage of our Learning & Assessment Portal. Not only does the Portal provide full transparency to NWL during the process of booking courses with Develop Training, but it also reduces considerably the demand placed on their managers’ time. As a result, NWL are realising cost savings, experiencing greater operational efficiency, and are able to take a highly proactive approach in meeting the training and development needs of their employees.”

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