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Investing in our people is a strategic priority for Briar Chemicals – our future economic growth is directly linked to the skills base of our employees.

We ensure that employees are trained in high-value skills, aligned to business need, with the ultimate aim to increase the company’s competitive advantage. We provide clear progression routes and career pathways which allow individuals to reach their full potential.

In 2011 we received the prestigious Roll of Honour Award for our commitment to the Gold Standard, an industry skills benchmark for world class performance, from Cogent, the Government appointed Sector Skills Council for the Chemical industry.

The Gold Standard is a national framework for continuous professional development, setting out the skills required for world class performance in key job roles in the process industries. It encompasses job role skills, knowledge and behaviours and requires participating employees to achieve high levels of understanding regarding the theory, principles and practices associated with a variety of appropriate business improvement techniques as well as the concepts of Resource Efficiency applied to energy, water and waste.

We continue to develop our training methodologies. Competency Frameworks developed for key roles within the company provide a cohesive approach to employee development, ensuring that work activities are performed consistently to industry standards, skill sets are maintained and up to date, and that health & safety is at the forefront of our business. Our model for building capacity and capability within the workforce focuses on developing competences, skills and knowledge, targeting six key strands identified as being most critical to job performance and business effectiveness:

  • Initial Training
  • Occupational Competence – NVQ/QCF, City & Guilds and On-the-Job Training
  • Cross Skilling – Basic Engineering Competences
  • Enhancement Opportunities – Job Specific Skills such as Emergency Response, First Aid and Forklift Truck
  • Enrichment Opportunities – Team Building, ICT (Information Communication Technology) and Management Development.
  • Continuous Development – Refresher Training and Assessment of Current Competence.

Creating robust mechanisms to support delivery is essential to long-term sustainability.  A self-enabling infrastructure incorporates enhanced cross-departmental working through steering and working groups; coaching and mentoring to engender a culture of learning and sharing; development workshops to provide advice and guidance; and an on-site Learning Centre.  Blended learning, including instructional presentations, case studies, on-line interactive systems, self-directed learning, toolbox talks and on-the-job training manuals, increases the quality of learning, providing synergy from one learning experience to the next.

A sixteen week Initial Training Programme enables new starters to work safely until further on-the-job training is provided.  This has been developed on a modular basis, with a facilitators’ toolkit produced for each of the 50 modules. A flexible ‘session-based’ system, which enables training materials to be utilised cross-company, has produced measurable results in a shorter time-frame, with consistent training relevant to specific job roles or tasks and ultimately more productive employees.