Astrak SME Fund
In December 2020, Astrak became the first Fife Employer to apply to Fife College through the new Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) SME fund.
Formed in 2003, Kirkcaldy-based Astrak is the UK's leading supplier of heavy-duty undercarriage and wear part components for tracked machinery such as excavators and bulldozers. The company has a solid commitment to supporting its 60-strong staff through learning and works hard towards ensuring individuals have the skills they need to excel in the workplace.
Astrak has been working with Fife College to put their staff through IOSH Managing Safely, ILM Level 3 Award in Management and Leadership and hosting in-house Train-the-Trainer courses. The SME fund allowed them to apply for £5,000 of additional funding per year to support non-mandatory staff development.
The company prides itself on delivering a very high customer service level, and developing this further is very important to them. The company's management team identified around 20 staff working within a project environment who would benefit from developing their communications skills in a customer-centric context to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
Going above and beyond and being responsive are core parts of Astrak's values. Like many companies, the covid pandemic required them to adapt how they work to fulfil their customers' changing needs better.
After consultation with Fife College, the Astrak team chose a course called "Positive Behaviours and Effective Communication", the college delivered the sessions on their premises in March 2021. The course aims to leave delegates with a clear plan of improving their communication skills, enabling them to achieve the right results with the right people at the right time.
The outcome of the course has been very positive for the company. The lessons learned have given the participants new tools and confidence to deal effectively with the different customer-related situations that can occur daily in their busy working environment.
Based on their experience to date, Astrak is keen to develop their relationship with Fife College to enhance its internal employee training program further.