Skills for Growth case study: Aquaterra Training

How an Aberdeen-based company benefited from our free skills diagnostic service

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Even skills experts can benefit from skills for Growth

As a specialist in providing training for high-risk environments, Aberdeen-based company Aquaterra Training knows better than anyone how crucial it is to have the right skills for the job.

Through Skills for Growth, which provides up to two days of free business consultancy courtesy of Skills Development Scotland and Remarkable, the firm had the chance to learn more about its own skills and training needs. How could it say no?

Director Charlie Cameron said: “Doing this was a no-brainer. You were getting someone who could undertake a review of your business free of charge and offer an expert opinion of how you could improve.”

A clear way forward

“We were concerned how much the consultancy process would interfere with the business, but the staff enjoyed having someone with these skills coming in, so it was worthwhile," said Charlie. "It was a very easy process to engage with and the focus was always on how we grow the business.”

After the consultancy was completed, Aquaterra Training was given an in-depth People Skills Action Plan. Just as its name suggests, the plan recommended steps for the company to grow the skills of its 32 full-time staff and its bank of contractors.

Charlie said: “It resulted in quite an informative plan that was all about our business. It was surprising to see something so detailed."

The plan identified existing areas of excellence and areas for improvement. It outlined clear company goals, including growing the customer base, developing new business overseas as well as in the UK, and using innovative approaches to attracting clients.

“One thing which emerged is looking at our vision and our values,” said Charlie. “That’s something which will offer benefits in the long term but the staff are fully engaged with it.

“The plan also looked at what other skills we needed in the business as well as what the front line delivery required in order to meet the needs of clients.”

A boost for every small to medium enterprise

Roddy Innes, Skills for Growth Adviser at Skills Development Scotland, noted that Aquaterra Training is a textbook example of a Skills for Growth success story.

“Skills for Growth has already delivered results for Aquaterra and will continue to do so,” he said. “This is an established firm with a global footprint, but they were still keen on identifying ways to grow. I’d encourage small and medium enterprises at all stages of development to consider if Skills for Growth could bring them similar benefits.”

Charlie added: “Some things will take years to implement rather than weeks, but Roddy remains in touch and is realistic about what we can achieve.

“I’d certainly recommend it to other employers.”

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