Bradfords “takes the fast track on training”

Bradfords “takes the fast track on training”

Bradfords Building Supplies says it has “ramped up” its training activity for managers at all levels across the company, including “intensive mentoring support for managers of the future”.

The builders’ merchant has launched the new Limitless Leader – a new programme aimed at developing strong leadership practices, from the senior management team through to branch managers, which looks at how good leadership qualities can inform all aspects of a manager’s role. Limitless Leader will also be incorporated into Bradfords’ highly successful Fast Track course – a one-year intensive training initiative for those with aspirations to progress their careers into management level.

Bradfords FastTrack develops 12 potential managers each year, putting them through a series of training and management workshops, culminating in a three-month business-related project which is delivered to the company’s Group Board. The company has recently launched Fast Track 2022 and those selected this year include sales advisors Georgie Sansom from Bradfords’ Honiton branch and Zoe Harvey (pictured) in Dorchester.

To secure a spot on the FastTrack programme, participants are first nominated by a manager, then put through their paces at an assessment day. From there the FastTrack cohort is selected to undergo an extensive programme of study, training and workshops covering everything from understanding leadership and management, to commercial awareness and diversity.

Participants are tasked with investigating a significant company challenge, with a view to developing proposals to make tangible improvements to the business. Last year’s Fast Track cohort recently completed the programme after presenting their findings and recommendations to the board.

Lynda Moore, Head of Talent & Development at Bradfords Building Supplies, said: “We recognise that our strength is our people; their knowledge and expertise ensure we are a successful business. In the same way we see the Bradfords Apprenticeship Programme laying the foundations for many of our employees’ careers, FastTrack is about continuing that growth path and enabling our people to reach their full potential within the business – and Limitless Leader helps our managers develop skills they need to lead their teams in the best way they can.”

CEO David Young added: “Our training programmes are a key element of our ‘grow our own’ strategy. The shortage of skills within the entire breadth of the construction ecosystem is no secret and there’s a real fight for talent. It is hugely important to us that, in a very competitive marketplace, we attract people that want to grow their careers with us for the long term.”

Each Fast Track participant is also assigned a mentor from the senior management team before being given their live business project to work on.

Fast Track trainee Zoe Harvey commented: “After completing my apprenticeship with Bradfords, I’ve since moved branch, learnt so much and now I feel it’s time to move on to the next stage. I’m looking forward to working alongside some of the other fast trackers and learning the operational side of the business. I’m excited to think in new ways and push myself to learn and develop my skillset.

“I’m hoping by the end of the course I’ll have a clear understanding of managerial and people management skills and I hope I can take this and use it to progress into the next stage of my career. I have total confidence that I’ll have all the help and support that I need, as has been the case throughout my whole journey with Bradfords so far.”

In wider news from Bradfords, the merchant has recently annouced it has extended its partnership with the Exeter Chiefs (pictured below) for the 2022/2023 season, including its under-8s tag rugby festival and support for the Exeter Chiefs women’s team.

Earlier in the summer, it also confirmed the scaling up of its online credit application system, “simplifying the process and making it quicker than ever” whilst it donated £10,000 to men’s health charity Movember after smashing its target of 50,000 views for its Men’s Health Week video – more than 185,000 people saw the video message to check in on a mate over the course of the awareness week (13-19 June 2022).

Bradfords has extended its partnership with the Exeter Chiefs for the 2022/2023 season.

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