Winning with People: Skilled, motivated and engaged people are essential to achieving our growth ambition

An academy to further develop the skills of the Knowsley employees of cable manufacturer Tratos will deliver the first of its training modules this year. The idea for the academy prompted an in-depth survey of the Merseyside workforce, an exercise which revealed significant optimism about the future for the plant and Tratos’ ambitions for the company as a whole. It also helped assess current skills and knowledge and included views of senior management and the sales team as well as the Knowsley workforce. Described as an education approach, the academy’s structure will allow modules to be delivered anywhere across the company’s all around the world and will be open to long-standing colleagues as well as new employees.
Investment in professional development at this level has been singled out by the senior management team as particularly important, with work rapidly completed on delivering the content for the academy’s modules.

“Tratos has such ambition, and it recognises that to succeed at the highest level it has to develop its people rapidly so there is in-depth expertise and a strong understanding of the product and the direction for the business,” said Tratos Ltd CEO Maurizio Bragagni.  

Because Tratos is in a high-growth cycle, its training had to keep pace. Consequently the project which was decided upon late last year is already up and running. While Tratos also manufactures in Italy, and the academy’s courses will be delivered across the board, it is its UK plant that has been first to see it in action. Training and assessment programmes for Tratos are seen as highly positive investments, particularly at the Knowsley manufacturing base which already enjoys high levels of staff retention. Longer term the plan will be to increase the scope of the academy. The initial stages of the work involves skills alignment with the Tratos culture and ambition – and the values so important to its Italian owners – integrity, transparency and putting people first. The preparatory survey examined staff’s views on the company’s stance on unethical behaviour (zero tolerance), its optimism for the future, collaborative working, trust and fairness, knowledge, expertise and more.

Maurizio Bragagni added: “The Tratos Academy provides an opportunity for the company to build on the steps taken so far to educate, train and develop skills and capabilities over the long term. The plan reflects the company’s commitment to people’s development and performance excellence.

“This is not just about developing practical and technical skills, but about educating people too, to open their minds to new possibilities and different ways of looking at the world. We want to extend all of our people’s knowledge and understanding across the business and to encourage them to see the benefits and rewards that can be gained from going that extra mile in their learning.”

Tratos’ Technical & Development Director, Peter Waterworth, created content for the training. He said: “Technical training covers the basics of electricity when related to cables from conductors and insulations to sheaths and protection, cables for specific market sectors, overhead transmission lines and cranes and materials handling. Tratos Academy students will also explore the different environments its cabling is designed to serve.

“Senior management recognised that colleagues require greater product knowledge and a better understanding of what Tratos’ cables are used for. With the expansion of manufacturing facilities within the UK it was decided that this was an opportune time to start this initiative and improve the focus on growth.

“Initially training will be delivered in a number of one or two hour sessions covering a specific module until all the modules have been covered.”

Graduates of the Tratos Academy will receive internal recognition and qualifications, many with the option to undertake additional training. An initial training session took place last month (July). Tratos is Europe’s only independent cable manufacturer. Established in 1966, the company has five manufacturing facilities in Italy and the UK and employs more than 400 people producing electrical, electronic and fibre optic cable solutions.