Bosses at an opticians firm have taken a Skills Pledge to boost the training and development of staff.

The scheme has been introduced by Robert Stanley Opticians at its six branches across the county.

Set up through the Government’s Train to Gain initiative, it is designed to ensure employees receive relevant skills and qualifications designed to benefit the business.

A staff performance review and questionnaire was initially carried out to assess the amount of training required, before seven managers and two directors were identified for specific schemes.

Director John Edwards said: “Training our staff in management and customer relations skills was always on the agenda, but now we have adopted the Skills Pledge, we have made a firm commitment to our staff now and in the future.

“We are in the early stages of the training process but we can already see benefits in terms of improved communication and team work. I am confident this will help us enhance our customer care skills and ensure that we remain focused on our company goals.”

Benefits from the scheme include, better morale and improved communications with customers and across the company.

David Rogers, manager of the Wallingford branch, was one of the people on the scheme.

He said: “Although I been at Robert Stanley Opticians for eight years and at managerial level for many years before, it was extremely beneficial to receive this training as it not only provided a ‘refresher’ on certain aspects but also increased my skills, particular the role of internal and external communications.

“Along with the six other branch managers, training was provided across three to four sessions covering subject areas such as the role of the manager, communications and issues management such as health and safety. One particular area of benefit was the ability to contact the trainer on a one-to-one basis should there be any subject area that was not raised in group training.”

The initiative has not stopped there as the company is committed to providing ongoing training and is looking at introducing additional training for all its staff from support personnel to lab technicians.