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VFE on Sharing a Culture of Learning and Development with Busch Vacuum Solutions

06 October 2021 /

VFE’s acquisition by Busch UK, of the global Busch Vacuum Solutions family, heralds new training and personal development opportunities for employees of both brands.

The technical expertise of your advanced manufacturing equipment service provider plays a key role in helping to differentiate them and their capabilities. Consider that: 

  • the integrity of your routine servicing and maintenance hinges on the capabilities of the field service engineers carrying them out

  • sites with multiple makes of equipment or manufacturers benefit from field service engineers capable of servicing and repairing all of them in a single visit

  • training in these areas requires more than classroom knowledge; hands-on experience with equipment is vital for building proficiency and confidence

Our commitments to learning and development — and the initiatives we have rolled out over the years in response to this — directly support the quality of the servicing and maintenance you receive. But of equal importance to us is the impact these initiatives have on our teams.

What does that impact look like? How do our learning and development initiatives benefit the wider industry and what new opportunities has our acquisition by Busch UK created?

Supporting our people through learning and development

“Studying for an MBA has been challenging but really worthwhile. I have gained confidence and valuable business management, problem-solving and leadership skills that I use in my role at VFE to better help our customers.” Michael Jones, Head of Projects, VFE

Learning and development opportunities play a fundamental role in enabling our teams to meet the exacting service standards we promise our customers, but they’re also the key to our company culture and our core belief of looking after our people first and foremost.

“I’m a great believer in looking after our people”, David Byrne, VFE’s CEO, tells me. “They’re pivotal to our success. Get that right and they’ll look after our customers just as well.”

Under David’s watch, VFE has invested significantly in a series of employee development programmes available to all its teams.  

The Master’s Degree Support Programme gives employees the opportunity to broaden their business, leadership and critical thinking skills alongside their technical engineering training. By the end of 2021, VFE will be funding four master’s degrees covering both Business Administration and Science, with the aim to expand on this number going forward.

Read about our Head of Projects Michael Jones’ experience of the programme.

VFE’s Engineering Apprenticeship Programme helps to attract and nurture new talent into the company in the midst of an industry-wide skills shortage. The scheme, which gives each apprentice the opportunity to gear towards their chosen engineering career path after the first year, offers the next generation of engineers the opportunity to learn alongside VFE’s expert staff while studying for a recognised engineering qualification.

Training Academy Manager Nathan Richards talks more about our apprenticeship scheme. 

Finally, VFE’s Training Academy opened in 2020. The facility, which boasts a full suite of working equipment to enable real-life training scenarios for engineers, offers both employees and VFE customers the opportunity to get hands-on experience across a wide variety of heat treatment and advanced manufacturing machinery in a controlled learning environment.

Depending on their role, VFE employees have access to product and non-product related training at the facility through their personal development programme, enabling them to expand their skillsets and achieve their full potential as part of a multi-skilled workforce.

“The Training Academy will support the internal training and development of VFE engineers, apprentices and staff, demonstrating VFE’s ongoing intention to promote excellence within its own business.”VFE invests in Engineering Training.’

New personal development opportunities with Busch UK 

VFE’s acquisition by Busch UK promises to build on our already firm foundations by offering new training and personal development opportunities for employees of both brands.

“We have acquired VFE, but our long-term plans are based around a partnership ethos and the combined strength of our teams”, explains Tim Hulbert, managing director of Busch UK.

Tim welcomes all of VFE’s employees to the extended Busch family and the future opportunities that the acquisition will bring for them: 

  • Busch’s global footprint will create future opportunities for VFE employees to train in a wider variety of regions and manufacturing environments.

  • Busch serves a broad range of market segments, including Food, Medical, Chemical and Pharmaceutical, which will allow our people to apply and expand their expertise in new, exciting ways.

  • The coming together of Busch and VFE unlocks a broad relevance to trends that will drive service development and future growth across a wide range of industries.

In the coming months and years, we look forward to catching up with employees from both VFE and Busch UK to share the stories of how their personal development plans benefited. 

“As a service provider first and foremost, we are committed to helping every one of our customers to future-proof their operations for the road ahead”, adds Tim. “That starts at home with the people we depend on to deliver service excellence and provide value.”

To find out more about our learning and development initiatives, or to request training for your own team, get in touch.

You might also be interested in our guide to simplifying your heat treatment servicing and maintenance:

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