‘So what does your company offer in terms of training & development?’
It’s a question that gets asked time after time, interview after interview. But is it a question we ask just because, well, we need to ask something?
Personally, I don’t think so.
In all of the years that I’ve worked in training and development, I am always impressed at the genuine interest that is shown by the people we recruit in what opportunities they will have for training – not only to do the job we are – or will be paying them to do. More than that, to enable them to enhance their skills and abilities to do more, increase their utility, enhance their knowledge and, ultimately, their job satisfaction. Most people really embrace it as a way for them to fulfil their career aspirations and, let’s face it, increase their earning potential. And, well, that’s fine with us!
So … back to the question…. what do we offer staff in terms of training and development? We’re very open with our current staff and potential recruits that we invest heavily in training & development. We talk about MAP (our training academy) after all. But what does this actually mean? It means that we really look at our people and determine what we need to do to help them
Probably best that I give some examples.
Graduate and Trainee Hires
Last June, we launched our new Trainee Development Programme (TDP). Over three cohorts we have put 43 new starts and apprentices through the programme, and the feedback has been very positive. It’s an eight week programme which allows our trainees and placements to come in and get taught by some of the best external trainers and internal experts. This eight-week learning environment isn’t just sitting in the classroom being lectured at – it’s hands on, and it’s real-life but within the relative ‘safety’ of the training room.
The idea is that when the trainees are dispatched off to projects with their new-found skills, they can become immediately effective within projects. It is a blend of technical classroom training peppered with some real world business training, complemented by agile project simulation and rounded up with some real work on a Kainos mini project. It’s not just the participants who benefit; the mentors who taught these new trainees got a huge amount from their experiences.
We don’t just focus our efforts on the entry level staff. We recently launched our Management Development Programme (MDP). This proved to be a tough course to get on to – we had 38 nominations and only 15 spots, it was very competitive. And, in selecting the MDP participants, our course sponsor was vocal in ensuring that participants knew what was expected of them. We carefully select staff from all areas of the business and all locations to ensure that they aren’t just learning from our facilitators but that the richness of the learning is enhanced by collaboration with peers. An overnight stay and time to socialise with colleagues is also an important part of the ‘development’- it’s extremely important for the cohort to build internal networks. As you can imagine, it can be great fun too!
It doesn’t stop there!
We run a number of standalone courses which focus on particular skills – such as our Coaching skills training, Interview skills training. And we are also devising a series of toolkit training courses which are targeted at particular people within Kainos. In the last 6 months alone, we have sent people to Vegas, Dubai, San Francisco, Tokyo, New Mexico, Oregon – all to attend conferences and training from which they can bring knowledge and expertise back to their colleagues.
And at Kainos it’s not all about work – in the spirit of becoming a true learning organisation, we encourage staff to avail of our ‘skills for me’ scheme where they can spend up to £250 each year on learning a new skill or enhancing an existing skill. Be it sailing, piano, driving, diving, language and cookery – as long as tuition or lessons are involved, we are happy to support our staff to build their skills.
Like what you hear? View our current vacancies here!