Burlington Stone Company

Burlington Stone is a prestigious natural manufacturer of British natural stone which has been quarried for more than 400 years from the heart of the English Lake District.

It digs green, blue and grey slate and limestone out of the Lake District and produces roofing slates, wall cladding and kitchen tops.

The firm employs between 70 and 80 staff.

Following risk of redundancies, the company needed to better equip its workers with more skills so they could take on extra responsibility and carry out new roles. It needed to increase the variety of plant that each employee operates.

It was also keen to promote staff onto the next level of their career by becoming supervisors.

The firm had a meeting with Barrow Training Partnership (BTP) to establish how it could assist them to gain competency based plant NVQs for their employees.

Two employees were selected to become assessors. They were then able to carry out the assessment for the Edge learners.

As a result, the first batch of Level 2 potential supervisors were identified and signed up to join the L3 Supervisor upskilling programme funded through The Edge and delivered by BTP.

Ian Kelly, quarries manager, said: “It was basically to upskill the workforce as well as for the benefit of the company.

“And to help any workers who got redundancy to assist them with finding a new job.

“We found it quite a good thing really.

“The course we did was for plant operators and we are now looking at doing one in hard rock drilling.

“I would definitely do some work like this again for my workforce. It was really good. 

“One of the workers left and went for a job at Sellafield. They asked him about his qualifications and he said he’d done the L2 NVQ in Plant Operations. They were over the moon with that.”

Mr Kelly said having a specially trained workforce in a stone and slate industry is “very important”.

He said: “It’s a niche industry. I have done most of the jobs myself and I’ve always enjoyed passing my knowledge on to other people.

“What we do is unique. It’s not something that you can get off the shelf.

” In total, 25 employees completed the L2 plant qualifications. Six are now on the L3 supervisor upskilling programme through The Edge and Barrow Training Partnership.

The staff appreciated the investment and an event was held for the first 10 learners with certificates presented by the Managing Director.