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Industry first as GRS gain ILM training recognition

Jason Blackwell and Mel Milazzo

Institute of Leadership & Management awards construction materials company ‘Recognized Provider’ status

CONSTRUCTION materials group GRS have been recognized for their people development programmes by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), the UK’s leading provider of leadership, management and coaching qualifications.

The Midlands-based firm has been awarded ILM ‘Recognized Provider’ status after setting its sights on becoming a leader in people development and establishing the GRS Academy, a dedicated in-house learning facility and support department.

ILM is the UK’s top leadership and management training course and qualifications specialist, helping to develop more talented leaders than anyone else, and giving people the skills to make a real difference in their employing organization.

Recognition from the ILM is evidence that GRS provide high-quality practical training for their employees to City & Guilds standards. Only a handful of businesses in the construction industry have achieved ‘Recognized Provider’ status.

In the past year, more than a third of the 800-strong GRS workforce has participated in at least one development course, such as the bespoke First Line Management (FLM) programme, which includes an exclusive three-day module at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

To become a ‘Recognized Provider’ a team from the ILM reviews and accredits in-house training programmes, ensuring they are up to the high standard associated with the Institute. This gives companies assurance of the quality of their programmes whilst allowing them the freedom to tailor their content, length and method of delivery.

Mel Milazzo, group people director at GRS, said: ‘We’re over the moon that the GRS Academy has gained recognition from the ILM. This is a huge step on our journey towards becoming a true leader in people development. Besides our range of leadership and management courses, we’re already running several other programmes designed to support the development of everyone at GRS, whether they’re in sales, production, logistics or support functions.’

John Beck, regional business manager for the North for City & Guilds, DigitalMe, and ILM, said: ‘From the outset we saw there was something special about the drive that GRS showed towards developing their people. After reviewing what they are doing to support the development of their managers in keeping with our rigorous quality process, we had no hesitation is awarding ‘Recognized Provider’ status to GRS. It is testament to the obvious commitment of the GRS management team to people development.’

Jon Fisher, chief executive of GRS, who worked his way up through the ranks of the business, has cultivated a passion for people development that is strongly reflected throughout the business. He said: ‘GRS is founded on the spirit and values of our people who have a can-do attitude, they care, they want to improve and get better at what they do.

‘We want to ensure that working at GRS is fulfilling and rewarding, and my job is to create the environment where everybody is valued and can reach their potential. We aim to encourage and facilitate the very best talents into our sector. That’s what the GRS Academy is all about and getting recognition from the ILM is the icing on the cake.’

GRS were recently named in the top half of The Sunday Times Top Track 250, which ranks Britain’s private mid-market growth companies by turnover. The company was placed 119th in 2018, compared with 145th in 2017 and 205th in 2016. GRS have grown both organically and through the acquisition of businesses such as S.Walsh & Son, Maen Karne and a network of bagging operations, landfill sites and recycling facilities.

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