Future leaders in the automotive industry have been developing their leadership techniques with the help of corporate training experts.

Almost 30 delegates from Ford UK met at the Centre of Engineering Manufacturing and Excellence in Rainham, Essex, as part of an eight month programme designed and led by management training company Acua, which is a division of Coventry University.

The Acua programme, which aims to coach aspiring leaders analyse and develop leadership and management skills, was adopted by Ford after a successful pilot scheme in 2009.

Bosses at Ford UK selected 50 members of their workforce with high leadership potential to participate ranging from new recruits to the organisation to long established members of staff.

The organisation provides high quality one-to-one business coaching as part of its tailored learning with Acua business coaches Duncan Gotobed and Jo Varnavas heading up the Ford development programme.

The latest instalment invited participants to analyse and reflect on what they have taken away from the programme so far and how they hope to apply it in the workplace and benefit from it in the future.

At the end of the programme participants will receive a Coventry University qualification which can also be used towards other professional industry qualifications.

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Paula Leach, learning and development manager for Ford of Britain, said: “I think this course offers something quite different, we are seeing people taking personal responsibility for their own learning but with the right type of support.

“The quality of the programme is very good, people are beginning to think about how they can apply what they have learnt on the course in their day to day roles, and the participants are really benefitting from the one on one business coaching sessions as well as the quality group sessions.

“The course is about growing leadership potential and individuals identifying opportunities to develop in order to allow others around them, as well as the company as a whole, to benefit from the skills they have learnt on the course.

“I would like to see more people coming through courses like this in the future as it gives people the chance to meet others within the organisation they may not have otherwise and perhaps learn from their experiences and methods.”

Acua has been providing tailored leadership and management programmes for major organisations since it was established in 2008.

Duncan Gotobed, business coach for Acua, said: “We have a longstanding relationship with Ford and we are looking forward to continuing and developing this in the future.

“The programme has been very well received and we have had hugely positive responses from both those taking part and others within the organisation.

“Acua takes great pride in the quality of its courses and we aim to ensure the skills participants learn have a real world application.

“The feedback we have received strongly indicates that participants have found the programme extremely worthwhile and useful in helping them carry out their day to day roles.”


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