8 West Consulting Case Study | Skillnet Ireland

"Put very simply, our membership of it@cork Skillnet makes our training budget go further."

Michael Logue, HR Director at 8 West Consulting

Challenge

  • Limited resources to organise and co-ordinate relevant training
  • Graduates not commercially ready for client projects
  • Issues with employee retention and graduate career progression

 

Solution

8 West Consulting have established a graduate development programme over the past 10 years, recruiting on average 7 graduates per year. With new entrants to the company, internal training can be a drain on resources and can reduce productivity within the team, with time spent training-in new recruits. This meant a requirement for training to be shorter, more concise and highly relevant.

Michael Logue, HR Director at 8 West Consulting explains; “The company’s multi-disciplinary approach requires upskilling and continual professional development in order to react to new work. With multiple technology stacks in the company, it’s important to be able to move staff around to be able to respond to client projects and also to keep staff engaged.”

Joining the it@cork Skillnet Network offered 8 West Consulting economies of scale with a compelling argument on the financial side. Having funding available and a centralised resource to tap into for the training research and tendering process helped the company get the best quality training available in a cost and time-effective manner.

Delivering short, sharp training enables graduates to upskill quickly for maximum impact on their contribution to projects. The in-work training setting that 8 West Consulting enjoy is different from the academic environment, placing value on the learning taking place in a commercial setting, surrounded by peers. Within shorter training programmes, graduates can be exposed to more advanced concepts in software programmes.

 

Outcome

  • Graduates are commercially ready for client projects after initial training
  • Increased staff retention: graduates stay on average four years
  • Company-wide shift to encourage continuous professional development

It is essential for 8 West Consulting to ensure their employees technical knowledge is up-to-date, so that they are project-ready and know how to respond to their evolving clients needs. The management team have established the delivery of the course criteria on a monthly basis, which allows the training received to be applied both practically and regularly. It is also in the employees professional interest to stay ‘current’ for their own career development.

Michael outlines that there is now an expectation among team members that the company has their professional development in mind; “We need to keep people up to date in order for them to feel happy and content with their professional development, it makes good strategic sense. We do around 8 courses a year with it@cork Skillnet. It allows us to have a training plan with a more dynamic approach, up to 40% of our budget is spent on our graduate training plan.”

8 West Consulting have a high retention rate; 30 people who started with the original company are still with them and the company actively promotes a career path for new graduates. The ability to provide flexible training with an external expert resource to call on is essential for this and also for business growth and agility.

According to Michael, “We’d be lost without the support of it@cork Skillnet. The contribution they give in supporting courses and the logistical support in having someone to liaise with is so important. We don’t have admin capacity to deliver that quality of training and I’m well aware of the pain and frustration in sourcing training. Working with it@cork Skillnet is like having a training department for ourselves, allowing us to concentrate our limited resources to other key areas.”

8-west-consulting

Company Background

8 West Consulting is an enterprise software development company with over 200 professionals specialising in insurance software, commerce systems, innovating in search and rescue apps and IoT products. Clients include Amazon, Bloomingdales and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard. A recent management buy out means this is now an independent Irish owned business with increasing agility.

Website

www.8west.ie

About the Network

it@cork Skillnet is a learning network for companies of all sizes in the technology sector based in the South West Region. Member companies work collaboratively to share best practice and to respond effectively to the specific skills needs of the sector. The network addresses both technical and non-technical skills needs of members.




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