The Hartshorne group creates career progress

Established 50 years ago in 1968, The Hartshorne Group is one of the leading commercial vehicle distributors for the West and East Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire. The company currently operates nine depots, all providing a full parts and service facilities for Volvo Truck & Bus.

The Hartshorne Group is also one of an increasing number of business organisations using management apprenticeships to develop staff leadership skills at every level. Supplied through the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) the custom-built qualifications deliver complete coverage of the new apprenticeship standards, providing a proper launch pad for any leadership journey. 

By using ILM courses, Hartshorne Group has identified future leaders from all of its internal departments. Dave Barratt, an HGV Technician from Hartshorne Group's Walsall depot, was one staff member to benefit from the ILM apprenticeship and he was awarded the ILM Graduation of the Year for 2017. After attending many technical and educational courses on Volvo Trucks, Dave was both excited and nervous about commencing the ILM Management Apprenticeship.

"It was an exciting prospect because I felt it would open more doors for my career and get me a step closer to a management position. However, I was also nervous, as I was very inexperienced in this role and didn't know what to expect," Dave reports. Completion of the ILM course took Dave around 18 months. The work, both in and out of the classroom, was principally composed of evidence gathering and compilation of a portfolio. 

The course was run on a day release basis and Dave received support from his managers at Hartshorne Group. The management team also provided a number of company documents required; these ranged from depot performance statistics to health and safety reports. "The course was challenging but I wanted to stick at it, as I believed it was something I could benefit from in the future and enable me to climb the career ladder.

Progress reports were done through our course leader with pointers being given to us when we met up on a monthly basis of where we needed to improve and what we were doing well with," Dave recalls.

Dave's only previous supervisory experience was standing in as a team leader when his manager was on holiday. "That's why I was pleasantly surprised when Hartshorne's put their faith in me to undertake all the work involved for the ILM qualification. The course was useful, more so for Identifying areas requiring progress within our team and how to deal with them professionally and effectively. It altered my approach to work in a way that I feel keeps team morale high but discipline fair.

Not much of the content surprised me but I did enjoy some tasks, which were taken from NASA to help identify team situations requiring development and how to improve them but also maintaining company values and targets," Dave concludes.

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Jen Stephenson
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