Kensey Foods

Collaboration is Key to Success

In a day and age where staff efficiency, organisation and production standards mean the difference between a stagnant or flourishing business, it is even more important for companies to not only communicate at an internal level but also have an open dialogue with partner organisations that have a vested interest in their success.

Cornwall based Duchy College was all too aware of this when it started working with Kensey Foods to implement the new Level 2 Food and Drink Manufacturing Excellence courses awarded to them through the Food and Drink Qualification (FDQ) organisation in July 2010.

Funded by the Joint Investment Programme (JIP) and nominated by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSA) to receive the secured funding, Duchy College and Kensey Foods started off on a journey of learning that would culminate in a great working partnership that delivered training programmes to employees of Kensey foods in an extremely efficient manner.

Why an open dialogue is so important

Launceston based Kensey Foods combines modern production techniques with traditional hand finishing, delivering a fantastic portfolio of around 50 desserts that includes custard tarts, cream cakes, fruit pies, tarts and sponge puddings as well as a range of savoury quiches.

For a company that prides itself on excellence it comes as no surprise for it to have strategically considered the implementation of a Food and Drink Manufacturing Excellence programme for its employees 18 months previously. It was the funding from JIP and the NSA that made the move forward to sign ups with Duchy College possible in July 2010.

With Kensey Foods having an already established training department Duchy College found the training very streamlined.

Chris Shepherd from Duchy College said, “Open dialogue and utilising each organisation’s strengths have been key factors in the success of this training programme to date. After thorough communication between the two organisations, we have been able to construct a delivery plan that dictates “who does what” within the overall training programme.”

“This was divided into the following crucial elements:

  1. Administration
  2. Qualification approval with the awarding body
  3. Design of the programme in terms of delivery of skills and learning
  4. Registration of candidates
  5. Funding methodology and pricing
  6. Assessment methods and strategy
  7. Quality assurance system and internal verification
  8. And lastly certification.

How JIP funding helped Kensey make life even sweeter

Through the JIP funding Kensey Foods was able to invest in support from Duchy College and subsequently in the delivery of a structured programme of “training room” based taught workshops covering management and leadership, lean manufacturing, business skills and production excellence. The workshops were then followed by workplace assessments to ensure that all the learning had been absorbed, and was being applied, delivering benefit in the workplace.

Two phases of this training have been delivered to date, including the “Knowledge and Understanding” programme completed in 12 months from September 2009 to September 2010. This was followed by “Assessment” through the CFME Level 2 methodology from July 2010 to May 2011.  All training took place at dedicated training facilities on site at Kensey Foods.

Chris Shepherd continues: “100% of the target group of 65 Level 2 entrants took up the training. Formal plans are now in place to roll out to the entire workforce over a 5 year period. We are also actively looking at delivering an Adult Apprenticeship option moving forward."

What does this mean for Kensey Foods?

Geoff Godsell from Kensey Foods, who was integral in the partnership with Duchy College says: “The funding which Duchy College was able to secure through the JIP and NSA has meant we have been able to access expertise from a highly reputable training provider, something we were keen to implement for our staff.

“As a result of the partnership we have seen a vast improvement in attitude towards Change Management, an increased focus on performance improvements and increased capability to train bakery operatives.”

“We are now well on the road to implementing our long term strategy with Level 3 of the Food and Drink Manufacturing Excellence course about to commence. Level 2 has been a key stepping stone and we could not have succeeded without the funding from the JIP, through the NSA and support from Duchy College.”