GUELPH, Ont.–Linamar Transportation is taking part in a project that aims to help its employees – and others in the supply chain sector – upgrade their skills. Through “Stocking Up on Skills,” Conestoga College, in partnership with Douglas College in B.C., Bow Valley College in Alberta and the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, is developing an online tool that will be available at no charge to employers across Canada. The tool, currently being tested by Linamar Transportation and other companies, rates users’ skills in reading, numeracy and document use, and provides personal learning plans, based on the users’ occupations or occupational goals, to build skills where they’re weak.
According to a recent release from the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, so far, 25 Linamar Transportation employees have participated in the program pilot test. Each has completed an initial assessment of his or her skill levels, and is working on the lessons recommended by the program based on results. Michelle Drew, Human Resources Manager at Linamar Transportation and a member of the Stocking Up Program Advisory Committee, says that employees who have participated are seeing the value of the program. “The information,” she says, “is very relatable; examples and samples used in the program are from real life.” Forms and documents available for use in the program were provided by supply chain companies; they are current examples of what employees might truly come across in their work.
“The lessons are practical and tailored well to our work in the supply chain,” said Bhavesh Joshi, Logistics Coordinator at Linamar Transportation.
Brenda Moeser has also taken the assessment and completed some of the recommended training. Moeser, Compliance Coordinator for Linamar Transportation, is enjoying the opportunity using the program offers to explore options and gain a different vantage point in approaching issues. “The lessons on problem-solving and communication,” she says, “could benefit employees at all levels.”
Many of the participants in the program have done the assessment and training during work hours. Drew believes the company will continue to make use of the program after the pilot period. “I hope that other Linamar facilities will take advantage of it, too,” she says. “There are all kinds of supply chain roles throughout the company, and Stocking Up would be useful to all.” The fact that “employees can participate at their own pace and level, with their own learning plans,” makes the program especially attractive, in Drew’s opinion. Its focus on teamwork and communication add real value in the collaborative supply chain working environment.
The ability to identify some “unexpected areas where skills can be enhanced” is part of the reason that Moeser would recommend taking part in the program. She also found it user-friendly and convenient, with all of the learning materials available within. Joshi, too, would recommend the program to others working in the supply chain. “It could help anyone strengthen their skills,” he says. Designed to enhance the workplace efficiency of employees that use it, and to thereby increase their productivity and that of their employers, Stocking Up on Skills appears to be achieving its goal. The program will launch officially in May 2016. There will be no charge to make use of it.