The Gelder Group is a modern, forward thinking construction company. Employing over 260 people nationwide, it has three offices located in Lincoln, Barlborough and Lichfield which enables it to provide widespread geographical coverage.
Consisting of three operational divisions and four subsidiaries, the Gelder Group’s diversity means it can offer an extensive range of services to meet clients’ needs.
The company was formed in 1988 and aims to create understated excellence and professionalism, generating an atmosphere of energizers where no members of staff want to leave.
The nature and structure of the Group’s business interests created several training challenges.
As is often the case with construction-based organisations, the Gelder Group has a large number of field based staff which made it difficult to organise centralised face to face training sessions cost effectively.
In addition to courses relevant to construction specialists, the organisation needs to provide training for a wide range of other staff across the whole Group, including induction and mandatory training.
Katie Watson, Training Co-ordinator for the Gelder Group, added: “We need to be able to access, analyse and report upon our commitment to training in order to include this information in tenders and pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs).
“In addition, in line with the Gelder Group’s ‘20 by 17 Vision’, we use our Learning Platform to inspire a new generation in construction and tackle the construction skills shortage. We are committed to providing training support to the UK’s first ever Construction Career College in Gainsborough and the Virtual School, based at our Head Office, for students not in mainstream education.”
Several years ago, the Gelder Group started to investigate the potential benefits online learning could bring to the organisation.
“We considered other online learning providers but chose to work with Virtual College,” said Katie.
“Their content and Enable learning management system offered a price competitive solution and we liked the flexibility and functionality of Enable, particularly the capability to allocate training easily, generate reports and send training reminder emails to staff.”
The Gelder Group opted for a membership package which included Virtual College’s learning management system, Enable, and a wide range of online learning resources from food hygiene to health and safety.
“The on boarding support from Virtual College was very useful and has helped us as we start to develop and allocate our own online learning content,” explained Katie.
The online learning is primarily used by the Gelder Group across all 261 members of its staff, mainly for induction and refresher training. The courses undertaken depend on the individual’s job role with staff split across 5 separate categories covering the whole of the organisation, including office staff.
It is also used by young people, who have left school and are not in mainstream education who can access the construction related courses, such as asbestos awareness and the work skills resources such as ‘how to write a CV.’
“Online learning is ideal for use by our field based staff who may be in remote locations,” explained Katie.
“Instead of us trying to arrange cost effective and convenient times to run face to face sessions, we can now offer online resources which provide a flexible and economical way of training at a convenient time and place.
“Staff used to have a full day for induction but now they just do a half day with their department, complemented by online training – often completed before they arrive for their first day in their new job.
“It saves time and costs, provides consistency and standardisation and means they are on board without having to wait for the next face to face induction session to be arranged.”
Similarly, as a yearly refresher is mandatory for some of the training, online learning saves time and travel costs.
“We now have a much more flexible solution which is more economical. It is easier, more flexible and saves the time and cost of trying to get all of the people available on the same day for a face to face session.
“The learning management system is really easy to use, enabling me to allocate training with minimal administration.
“I can quickly access reports for tenders and analyse learner completion and evaluation statistics for compliance and our own internal use.”