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“”With Talent Training’s innovative and flexible approach, the idea of a Komatsu Way programme, was quickly turned into a reality.  The high quality, business-focused programme was delivered to the whole workforce, and we have real evidence of the learning being applied in the workplace.  We are also very proud that, as a result of the training programme, we were presented with a prestigious Regional Award for Excellence in Developing People”. Komatsu

“I feel that from completing the qualification I have an understanding of why it is that we do things and why we should act the way that we do.” Learner, Komatsu

The Employer: Komatsu UK is a subsidiary of Komatsu Limited, a global manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, whose Head Office is in Tokyo, Japan.  Komatsu UK designs, manufactures and sells medium sized hydraulic excavators (13 tonnes to 80 tonnes) mainly for the European market.  It is the only UK manufacturing operation and was established in 1985.  Komatsu UK’s ultimate aim is to become the number one manufacturer of hydraulic excavators in Europe. The UK site comprises an area of 200,000 square metres, with the production facility accounting for over 50,000 square metres.  Komatsu UK Limited employs almost 400 people.

Background:The Company has a philosophy of continuous improvement, which ensures a challenging work environment and employees participate in Quality Circle and Kaizen activities.  The Company holds ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, and has successfully held Investors in People recognition since 1991, being the first company in the North East to receive this award.  Training and development is considered critical to the ongoing success of the business, and training needs are identified as a Company objective to meet strategic aims, or through the individual appraisal process.

The Challenge:Having identified that there was a possibility to develop a training programme to deliver the Komatsu Way (The Komatsu Way identifies a number of strengths, and beliefs which define Komatsu’s DNA) to all employees, the Komatsu Way Committee worked with Talent Training (UK) LLP, to devise a programme of workshops and coaching.

The Solution:Talent Training mapped the Komatsu Way against an external qualification; Level 2 & 3 BTEC in Customer Service, which enabled access to funding to deliver the extensive programme, and also enabled access to a qualification for eligible employees. In order to deliver the Komatsu Way Programme to all employees, six 3-hour workshops were developed to cover all areas of the Komatsu Way, in an interactive style, and each with its own workbook.  The workshops were delivered by a combination of internal and external trainers.  As well as this a series of 1:1 performance coaching and assessment sessions took place of the course one year.

In addition to Komatsu UK employees, the programme was also extended to the employees of the on-site Logistics partner, Vantec Europe Limited (who have approx. 50 employees working on Komatsu UK’s site).

The Location: All training and support was delivered on site at Komatsu UK European production facility in Birtley, Tyne & Wear.

David Harper’s view: “Having worked with Komatsu for over a decade in supporting them with their training needs, I was delighted when we were asked to develop their new flagship programme linked to their Komatsu Way.  We worked incredibly closely with Komatsu colleagues and we are thrilled that Komatsu won the Award for Developing People at CIPD’s Northern Annual Awards in 2013. This was due to the success of the programme we delivered.  Komatsu UK never fail to impress me with their innovative approach to people development.  We have a real partnership with them and I am proud of that”.