Think tank: Investing in inclusive learning and development to drive global growth

By Balmoral Tanks
schedule11th Oct 23

Yet more Made in Group members are signing up to the Made Equal Employer Pledge, committing to adopt and inclusive approach to recruiting and retaining diverse talent as the scheme’s momentum grows.

Bold ambition

One of the latest signatories is Balmoral Tanks, a world-leading design and manufacturing company producing a comprehensive range of tank products. Civil engineering, firefighting, potable/non-potable water, anaerobic digestion, wastewater, desalination and drainage are key applications for the company’s products. Balmoral derives almost 65% of its revenues from exporting to more than 55 companies around the world, and the company has bold ambitions to reach even more customers in new markets over the coming months and years.

In order to sustain this level of growth, the organisation understands the need to invest in diverse talent. Allan Joyce, managing director explains: “We are manufacturers, so it needs to be right first time. We’ve sponsored recent recruits into our engineering team because their engineering skills and backgrounds complement the team that's already here.”

Talent doesn’t discriminate

Whereas most people would traditionally associate the word ‘apprenticeship’ with youth employment, Balmoral has opted to avoid stereotyping workers, employing apprentices of different ages, not just straight out of school but also career changers. Talent doesn’t discriminate, and neither does Balmoral.

Balmoral’s HR Advisor, Nicola Wagstaff points out: “We have a number of apprentices with us of different ages, so it doesn't matter if they're straight from school or they're having a career change. We’re flexible about the sort of people we bring into the business so there’s a good mix of skills and ideas.

“We’ve currently got three apprentices working in design and one working in maintenance. We’re hoping to take on two fabricator welders next year but it’s a difficult area to recruit into. We’ll potentially recruit into some admin positions as well.”

Gender balance on the agenda

Gender balance is also high on the agenda at Balmoral too. The bigger the talent pool, the better the chances of hiring the best talent. Nicola is optimistic about the potential to attract and retain more women into traditionally male-dominated roles:
“In our Design and Engineering Department, at one point everyone was male, but now we have two women in there. One started off in 2015 by doing a week-long work placement with us. She's been involved with the business ever since, and in the last couple of years she’s completed her degree apprenticeship. Her skillset and knowledge are incredible. The things that she knows and can do are just amazing. We've got another woman who started with us this year who I’m sure will be equally as impressive.”

Investing in people

Balmoral has recently welcomed a new cohort of ten staff into their Leadership Academy, which they run every year. Whether they’re based in Balmoral’s site in Thurnscoe, outside Barnsley, or their site in Llantrisant, South Wales, Allan takes a keen interest in their participation in the programme, speaking with them all as part of their induction programme.

Balmoral is proud to have achieved its Investors in People accreditation too, achieving ‘Silver’ award level status in its most recent audit last year, a feat that only 23% of companies achieve. But they’re not resting on their laurels, taking part in IIP’s recent Making Work Better Conference in pursuit of further progress.
One strand of the plan is to put in place rigorous training and development for the people who conduct interviews in the business to embed an inclusive approach and eliminate the risks of unconscious bias to ensure there is a level playing field for all applicants.

Allan sums up Balmoral’s approach when he reflects back on the reasons why the organisation first became members of Made in Yorkshire:
“When we first signed up to Made in Yorkshire we did so because the membership values resonated with our own core values in the business. I strongly believe in treating everybody on merit and our decision to sign up the Made Equal Employer Pledge only serves to reinforce this. I’d strongly encourage other members to join us in signing up.”

A special invitation for Made in Group members

So, the future looks bright for Balmoral, and if you’d like to learn more about the business, Made in Group members are invited to take part in a Best Practice Meeting hosted by Allan, Nicola and the Balmoral team at their Thurnscoe site on the morning of 15th November 2023. The event kicks off with a networking breakfast, followed by a best practice talk from Allan and Made in Group. This is followed by a tour of the Balmoral Tank manufacturing facilities. Register for the event here.

Our employer toolkit includes a range of high-quality 'Made' employer branding logos and assets. In addition, members gain access to valuable resources through the Made Platform, enabling them to post job vacancies on the Made Futures job board. The platform also offers a job vacancy template for creating customised social ads. By utilising these tools, you can effectively communicate your organisation's dedication to diversity and inclusion, both internally and externally.

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