Training during the pandemic

At Rock Power Connections, we pride ourselves on prioritising training for the team to ensure they are providing the very best service for our clients, whilst remaining safe and compliant on site.

Investing in training has always been extremely important to us, as it is vital that our team have the accreditations they need to complete installations to the highest standard. Ensuring we have a highly trained workforce not only increases customer satisfaction, but also boosts employee morale.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, training has been high on our agenda. It would have been very easy for our investment in training to grind to a halt, especially with face-to-face training and group sessions not being feasible in most cases due to social distancing and travel restrictions. Instead, training has taken a slightly different approach this year, with the majority of it delivered via virtual means.

Training at the height of the pandemic

Our highest priority is always staff safety, but continual upskilling of the team offers additional benefits such as flexible resourcing and streamlined delivery, needing less team members on site to deliver a project. With COVID-19 posing challenges of shielding, self-isolation and childcare, the true value of this has never been more apparent.

Virtual training has replaced many face-to-face sessions, with Zoom becoming home to the majority of employee training sessions. In addition, Rock has also introduced online Commodious training, to provide employees with regular update courses on things such as asbestos awareness, COSHH, manual handing, trips, slips and falls, working at heights and electrical safety. The response has been great and all employees have taken to these regular courses very well.

In instances where courses have to be done in person, we have ensured that it can be undertaken safely. Courses attended by employees are vetted to ensure they are run following Government guidance and social distancing measures, with a full risk assessment conducted.

As a company, we are continuing to support those who wish to participate in HNC/HND training in their own time, funding half of the course cost, and have many of our tendering engineers already partaking in the initiative.

We have continued with toolbox talks and monthly briefings with the team, supplemented with ad hoc updates when Government rules have changed. This has been a great way to ensure consistency in understanding and implementing safe COVID-19 working practices.

Employee mental health and wellbeing has always been a priority for us, but lockdown has brought new challenges. Recognising that many of the team have been juggling a broad spectrum of personal circumstances over the last year, we have maintained a flexible approach to balancing work commitments as well as supporting working from home where feasible. In addition to training more Mental Health First Aiders, we have commenced regular 121 mental wellbeing sessions with a trained counsellor. Whilst these have initially focused on supporting individuals to talk about their concerns, going forwards, the focus of these will shift towards training the team to enhance their mental fitness.

Training focus for 2021

Rock’s training focus for 2021 is spread across the distribution network and new connections including Low Voltage, High Voltage and Electric Vehicle (EV) charging, to provide our employees with continual training in the environment they are working in, especially in regard to working in close proximity to the public, and with new equipment like EV chargers.

This year we have worked alongside Western Power Distribution (WPD) to provide a broader level of support and further strengthen the partnership between our two organisations, meaning our team members can undertake works on both sides of the meter.

This work has meant training our employees to ensure they are compliant to WPD’s standards, and have the accreditations to back this up. Team members have been trained in document holding and access to 132kV substations for WPD. We have also carried out training National Grid BESC and HV jointing training.

At Rock Power Connections we will always invest in our team and train them to the highest possible standard, no matter the circumstances. Our continuous training culture supports our rock solid commitment to safety and risk management, and our multi-skilled team always ensure our customers receive the highest quality electricity connection solution on every project.

We strongly believe in the importance of supporting personal development and aid individual progression, and we will continue to offer training into 2021 and beyond.

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