Howden Academy halves the time for training new engineers

08 September 2014

Howden Academy halves the time for training new engineers

Howden engineers are trained in partnership with GCU

Howden Academy, the engineering company’s induction programme in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), has benefitted managers by halving the time it takes for graduates to get up to speed in engineering positions.

The Howden Academy takes four weeks to complete, immersing the graduates heavily in the range of Howden products, looking at anything from vibration analysis and wing-tip speed, to compressors and fans or heaters.

Currently training the 12th cohort of engineers, the programme has trained around 500 engineers since its formation in 2008. The Academy brings together engineers together from international bases to GCU in order to meet people from other parts of Howden and to share best practice in product knowledge.

Howden’s Technical Director Ross Wilson went out to see a lot of universities in Scotland to discuss the concept of the Academy. GCU was chosen due to the practicality of its approach to training engineers in applications.

Donna Malone, Global Human Resources Director, says: “We want to teach our graduates about Howden’s products, focusing on the practical aspects of these, and GCU were best placed to help us with this.”

“Our target with the Academy is to get our engineers up to speed with our products much more quickly. So far, more than 70% of our managers have said we’ve reduced the time of getting graduates up to speed from six months to three months.”

One of the key pillars of Howden’s strategy is developing talent including through training.

Ms Malone says: “We believe fully that this differentiates us from other engineering companies. Even during the economic downturn, my training budget has been maintained, as we realise it is an investment for the future.”

Howden has been highly commended in the HR Excellence Awards 2009 for employee development, won the CBI HR Award for Excellence in Education skills and leadership 2009, won the Glasgow Chamber of commerce award for skills development 2009, gained the 2011 ELearning Gold Award for e-learning content, and was a finalist in the Employee Benefits Awards 2012 for the most effective reward and benefits strategy for staff based outside of the UK.