Job swap shines light on skills

From left: Colin Waller, Kim Harrington and Ross Walker.
From left: Colin Waller, Kim Harrington and Ross Walker.

Two employees of Anglian Home Improvements in Norwich swapped jobs for a day to shine the spotlight on skills development.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, which ran from March 5-9, the two staff members at the company’s national administration conservatory centre took on each other’s roles.

Revenue planner Colin Waller, who has worked for the company for 17 years, took on the responsibilities of technical manager Ross Walker.

Ross, who has spent 20 years with the company, manages a team of 16 CAD operators and architectural technicians who are responsible for the technical drawings and preparation of products for the manufacture of customers’ conservatories and orangeries.

Both Colin and Ross have been undertaking NVQ apprenticeship qualifications delivered by employment and skills organisation Seetec, which organised the National Apprenticeship Week Job Swap.

Jake O’Mara, employer services consultant, from Seetec said: “Our work with Anglian Home Improvements demonstrates how we can support employers to develop their workforce by providing a broad range of tailored programmes to meet their skills and talent development needs.”

Ross is close to obtaining his management qualification, and Colin has recently completed his team leader qualification.

Colin said he enjoyed finding out more about Ross’s job, as he hoped for a future opportunity to progress to a managerial role. “It was a big jump for me because I normally only manage one person, and it was a lot more complicated than I realised,” he said.

“When you’re allocating the drawings and orders to 16 people, you have to know their skill sets, and you have got to hit targets. I’m sure it took me twice as long as it would have taken Ross.”

Ross said carrying out Colin’s job for the day, which included a conference call with installation colleagues and checking customer contracts, was an insight into what can hold up orders and cause delays.

“I saw how our processes have become much more automated than when I was involved in that side,” he said. “I discovered that joining the conference call with Colin was beneficial for me as it helps improve liaison with different departments – so I intend to do that again.”

Ross and Colin are among 19 staff members from Anglian’s national administration conservatory centre who embarked on qualifications with Seetec, ranging from Level 2 and 3 business administration up to Level 5 management.