Consultancy and Engineering Awards: "Transformational" BWB Academy scoops training award

BWB Consulting’s academy has won the Training Initiative of the Year Award for playing “a transformational role in the lives of its people”.

The multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy came up with the idea for its training academy in the depths of the recession. It knew that if it was to improve its long-term prospects in such a harsh business environment, it had to develop the technical excellence, intellectual rigour and commercial acumen of its people. An academy, with training programmes that developed the rights skills sets and expertise, was to be the way to build future resilience.

The design of the academy’s content was led by BWB’s leadership team, and subsequently shaped with input from other staff members 

Although BWB was investing effectively in technical training, it recognised BWB needed good all-rounders – people with sound commercial acumen, strategic awareness, operational know-how and skills to adapt their interpersonal style to get the best out of others. The aim was, therefore, to devise a training programme that would equip individual staff to become the ‘complete professional’. 

The academy has three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold – each increasing in complexity and challenge, with their ten-month modular programmes requiring significant commitment from participants. Bronze and Silver have been implemented, with Gold under design. Bronze is in its fourth year and 25% of BWB’s people have completed the programme. Another 7% will start the programme in September 2016. 

 The initiative demands huge personal investment from BWB’s Leadership Team since 95% of the content is designed and delivered by them in order to share in-house expertise and manage cost. The consultancy believes its investment in the academy is saving it £15,000 per annum in training costs.

BWB is convinced the academy programme has played a transformational role in the lives of its people and the success of its business.  It has led to significant improvements in the behaviours and effectiveness of its people combined with planned and successful diversification into new markets and geographies. Revenues have doubled between 2012 and 2015. In addition, 15% of employees have been promoted as a direct result of applying academy learning and 86% have passed their ICE professional examinations. 

Judges’ comments
“ BWB Consulting’s academy has played a truly transformational role in the lives of its people and the success of its business. The Academy was conceived and developed in the depths of the recession as a means to build future resilience, and this rigorous approach to investing in training was the standout feature that impressed the judges the most.” 

Highly Commended – Mott Macdonald Railways Division – Women’s career development programme
Determined to boost the number of female engineers in its workforce, Mott MacDonald Railways Division engaged gender diversity specialist Skills 4 UK to deliver its Career Development Programme for Women to help attract, develop and retain more female employees. All 40 women in the 350-strong division, no matter how junior, were given the opportunity to take part in the programme which lasted six days and spanned two months. 

The results have been impressive. Women are putting themselves forward for tasks they might previously not have undertaken. They are more proactive, volunteering to do presentations and putting themselves forward for awards. The company says its managers are seeing a real difference in the quality of the women’s contributions. Since the course, four of the women who took part have been promoted to more senior management positions, and one has taken over the leadership of the Young Professional Excellence network.

Hurley Palmer Flatt Limited
Mott MacDonald
Pell Frischmann