29 June 2012
James Heal understands the importance of its skilled workforce, and despite globally tough economic times has decided to invest in the recently established James Heal Academy.
There are currently a number of young people being developed in a variety of roles across the business - from weaving to product design. The Academy aims to ensure that traditional skills are preserved and new expertise is developed.
A unique business in many ways, James Heal uses a variety of trades to enable us to design, develop and manufacture textile testing equipment. We also produce complementary test materials in our in-house production facility.
Despite high levels of unemployment locally and nationally, Managing Director David Repper recognised there was a skills shortage in the local area;
'Halifax was traditionally the home to many substantial engineering companies and textile producers, but their demise has led to many young people becoming disenchanted with these industries. Amongst other skills, James Heal needs a workforce that is skilled in engineering design and manufacturing and also in weaving, and so our dedicated Academy will supply our future needs.'
James Heal has previously run apprenticeship schemes, which have been successful; in fact many apprentices have remained with the company and progressed. However, the Academy offers members more support than traditional schemes.
The Academy has dedicated senior mentors from the Board of Directors, and members are being given the opportunity not only to access training and develop their skills, but also to develop their confidence, commitment, initiative and personal skills through 'Apprentice' style challenges, where they must work as a team to carry out a task and present their findings back to the Board.
Some of the Academy members preparing to present to the Board