Montupet’s commitment to increasing the capability of employees and improving processes and working practices will enhance its competitiveness and help safeguard its position in the international marketplace, said Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland, during a recent visit to the company.

Montupet has been working closely with Invest NI’s Business Excellence Team to assess its current strengths and weaknesses and develop a programme to improve key business areas. As a result it has signed up to a comprehensive training programme for its employees as part of the Company Development Programme (CDP) organised and supported by Invest NI’s Business Improvement Services.

The training, which requires an investment of £2.7 million in machinery in addition to the company’s existing planned investment in training, will cover employees at all levels and will include both technical and management skills development. Management training will address areas such as organisational abilities and effective management. The company is aiming to improve operator performance by adopting an NVQ policy for all in this role, while technical employees will be trained to cope with high tech problems, reducing the need for external support.

It is anticipated that the increased capability in the workforce will improve quality, efficiency, profitability and lead to cost reduction.

“In today’s demanding international markets it’s vital for companies to monitor their performance and be committed to continuous improvement. Maximising employee potential and introducing best practice models and procedures are effective ways of ensuring that a business is operating at world class standards,” said Leslie Morrison.

Managing Director of Montupet, Daniel Cofflard, led Leslie Morrison on a tour of the Montupet factory, which employs 1050 staff in the manufacture of aluminium cylinder heads and wheels. The company’s key customers include Ford, Peugeot and Renault.

Daniel Cofflard commented: “Montupet operates in a very demanding market environment, and we need to ensure that we keep ahead of our competitors. This training programme will ensure we have a well-trained workforce able to react rapidly to process and system changes, and will assist us to recognise our developmental needs. It will also allow our maintenance operators to take a more pro-active, flexible approach. Through the Company Development Programme we will ensure that our employees have the capability to successfully implement our future plans for the company.”

To support the implementation of the CDP training scheme, the company has appointed a Business Improvement Facilitator through Invest NI’s Business Improvement Agency programme.