Trade association launch initiative to improve staff skills
A national trade association supporting agricultural dealers across the UK has launched its first university accredited management development programme.
The British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) has joined forces with Coventry University and its corporate development and education arm Acua Limited to offer the innovative programme to its members.
BAGMA, which is the national trade association for agricultural, ground care and garden machinery dealers in the UK and is a specialist division of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira), has worked with Acua to design a programme which will help equip members with the leadership skills needed to sustain and drive their businesses forward.
Over the next nine months members from agricultural businesses across the UK will work towards an award, certificate or diploma in management and leadership accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
The programmes will be made up of workshops and units which encompass dealer service and performance management, leadership, financial control and marketing, and will be held at Coventry University and BAGMA's head office in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
Adam Wyatt, technical and training development manager at BAGMA, said the launch of the programme was a result of a need identified by members to upskill their workforces.
"We represent around 650 members and we identified that many of them had people in management positions, or have been earmarked as managers in years to come, that have had very little or no leadership and management training before," he said.
"Over the last 12 months we've been working hard with Acua and Coventry University to develop flexible programmes which meet the different needs of our wide range of members.
"There has been significant interest in what we've been working on and we're delighted to have launched the first cohort and will be making a big push to open up the opportunity to further members during the course of the year."
Among the first to sign up to the programme is Elliot Prior, of Devon-based agricultural machinery dealership Masons Kings. The 21-year-old said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for me to get an insight into management.
"At the moment I'm a project administrator but over time will be progressing up the ranks in the family business. This is my first step into management training and I'm already really enjoying it and looking forward to getting my teeth into the programme."
Jeannine Mortlock, managing director of Acua Limited, said the programme presents BAGMA members with a unique opportunity.
"Like many industries the British agricultural sector continues to face many tough challenges and we are pleased to be working with BAGMA to deliver a programme which meets professional development and university standards and is tailored to its members," she said.
"BAGMA has long shown a commitment to offer a wide range of industry related training courses to its members, and the CMI accredited programme takes this learning to the next level.
"This programme is unique in that people can do the modules that suit them and their business, from one module to all 12, meaning the experience is unique to the individual and their business, allowing them to focus on their business and its needs."