First graduates of new Shetland business improvement academy

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SMAS Lean Learning Course certificate presentation Lerwick, Shetland John Johnston, (Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service), seen here with the participants who received their certificates LTR : John Johnston, (Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service), James Sinclair, Keith Neill, Martin MacKay, Ryan Stevenson, John McDougall, Angus MacNeil Picture Credit Ben Mullay /HIE

Ten representatives from four engineering and manufacturing companies in Shetland graduated from a programme which aims to transform their businesses.

The Lean Learning Academy (LLA) is a joint project delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS).

The new innovative approach combines business improvement and behavioural change and comprises a mix of workshops and on-site learning.

Ten graduates from Ocean Kinetics, LEF, Malakoff and Shetland Composites spent three intensive months delivering a project at BAE Systems following their completion of a six week course.

Participation on the LLA has allowed them to deliver specific projects for the benefit of their business. Projects include implementing a materials traceability system, a new enquiry process, stores layout improvement and developing a range of product design briefs.

SMAS Practitioner John Johnston has now presented the graduates with their certificates. He said: “I found it very rewarding watching delegates taking in the learning and implementing them back in the workplace.”

HIE’s head of business growth, Katrina Wiseman who has supported John with the academy said: “All the graduates have the ambition to drive significant improvements forward to transform their businesses. The course was highly successful with fantastic participation and involvement from all the delegates.”

Participants will now become cultural enablers for their business, capable of delivering sustainable improvement through developing employee engagement and embedding supporting behaviours.”

Ryan Stevenson from Malakoff Ltd said: “From my perspective I found the course highly rewarding. From a delivery point of view, the lean projects proved particularly useful as delegates were able to begin to deploy their learning in the workplace.”

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