Large employer award
Call centre operator Sigma Connected have trained over 1,000 unemployed people across Birmingham to help them access new careers. In partnership with BMet College, Sigma have re-trained through a series of innovative Sector-Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) courses.
When Sigma Connected expanded into a Birmingham City Centre location to increase their talent pool and more than double the size of their workforce, we established a strategic partnership at BMet College to support their growth and investment in the region.
Suzie Branch-Haddow, Vice Principal at the college describes how they created a bespoke three-week SWAP programme focussing on recruiting, training and developing staff. "The course supports unemployed people, and the training is focused on skills that Sigma needs in contact centre roles, including customer service, financial understanding, problem solving, communication and digital skills.
"The programme has been flexible to respond to the needs of residents and now runs online following the pandemic, as well as supporting a work from home model to help more people back to work. Sigma attends parts of the training programme with us to meet with candidates along each part of the training journey. Sigma also works in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, for example visiting Jobcentres in the region to meet with work coaches and hosting open days at Sigma for work coaches to visit the business, and hear about the vision and plans from a senior manager.
"The training programme has been a superb success and provided the business with a group of talented people – some of whom are set to take on wider management roles. Earlier this year, all 30 candidates secured roles with Sigma. Not only that, they have a 90% average success rate of recruiting into roles, they have reduced recruitment and onboarding training costs by 72% and they have diversified the types of staff through alternative recruitment methods which has improved their customer experience.
"One of the real benefits is that we are equipping local people with the skills and experience they need to sustain long-term employment. It’s the latest in a long line of growth news for Sigma over the past few years. Our expansion into Birmingham, bringing new jobs to the city and adding quality people to our team has been vital to that success."
One learner who took part in the programme said: "I would not be where I am today if it was not for the training and support I received at Sigma. Sigma helped me find the perfect career path for me and I could not be more grateful for it. I am still learning and developing with Sigma and I see myself doing so for many years to come."
Another learner added: "After seeing how exciting the course was, it gave me a new-found insight into a career path towards training and development. Not too long after joining an opportunity came with the training team and I just had to apply. Now seven months later I am a seconded Assistant Trainer and am loving my new career."