Wedge Group Galvanizing is set to celebrate 20 years at the forefront of one of the UK’s most well-established business improvement initiatives.
Through its Edward Howell Galvanizers plant in the West Midlands, Wedge was one of the first 28 companies involved in the pilot phase of Investors in People, a government-backed framework launched in 1991 to help businesses develop staff skills, boost profitability and improve performance.
Edward Howell Galvanizers achieved the Investors in People Standard in October of that year, a feat that was also accomplished by the firm’s Parkes Galvanizing, South East Galvanizing and Wessex Galvanizers plants in subsequent years. Following the creation of Wedge Group Galvanizing in 1996, the Investors in People Standard is now awarded to the company as a whole, with each of its 14 plants across the UK having to be regularly audited and monitored to ensure they exceed the scheme’s strict criteria.
Colin Leighfield, Wedge Group Galvanizing’s Operations Director – who was actually involved in the initial planning stages of Investors in People through his then role as a member of the CBI Education Policy Panel – said: “The key principles to the Investors in People framework hold true to our business objectives, which is why we continue to be so actively involved in the programme 20 years after it was first launched. The scheme helps companies to thoroughly understand their business needs, to develop the appropriate skills and knowledge base, and then continuously evaluate and review these people-focused actions.
“Galvanizing is a very specialised industry requiring a specific set of skills, and it’s absolutely essential that we have the right platform in place to develop and improve these skills. As part of our ongoing Investors in People strategy, Wedge has developed a bespoke Competence-Based Development (CBD) programme, which enshrines our in-house training and development procedures.
"Under the leadership of our Director for HR, Huw Jermine, we have achieved a high standard in the key area of knowledge and skill development,” he added.
Steve Burrows, Managing Director of idg, the licensed Investors in People Centre working with Wedge Group Galvanizing, said: “As a committed Investors in People organisation, Wedge Group Galvanizing has been instrumental in supporting the ongoing success of the framework. Working with Investors in People, both as individual plants and latterly as a Group,
"Wedge has been a fantastic ambassador for continuous improvement through people development, and is a shining example of good practice for other businesses to follow.”
It is estimated that approximately 30,000 organisations across the UK – employing more than seven million staff in total – have now achieved the Investors in People Standard, with 3,000 of these companies having been involved in the initiative for at least ten years.