A recent Forth Valley College graduate has shown how valuable Chartered Institute of Personnel Development qualifications are – by gaining industry recognition directly through work done on her course.
Lynsey Mitchell (27), who works as a Business Support Supervisor in her family firm John Mitchell Haulage and Warehousing based in Grangemouth, graduated with an Advanced CIPD in Human Resource Management at the recent Falkirk Town Hall ceremony on Tuesday 4 October 2022.
However, ground-breaking Lynsey was celebrating her work on the course long before she picked up her scroll, as she gained national trade press recognition for her innovative course project to create a research questionnaire to help address the HGV driver shortage affecting her workplace and across the country. She wanted to see what was attracting drivers to the business and making them stay here.
The well-respected Transport News were eager to feature her company and her research project in a recent edition and that has prompted interest in her work from several other large haulage and logistics firms across Scotland.
Modest as ever Lynsey, was keen to praise the FVC CIPD course – currently taking applications from business professionals - and its lecturers for giving her the confidence and inspiration to create the questionnaire in the first place and lead to her firm creating the environment which manages to keep drivers engaged within the workplace.
She, said: “As part of the course – the research project - I chose to focus on an issue that is a real problem for our whole industry… why firms find it difficult to keep drivers in post for more than a year before they move on somewhere else.
“I developed two questionnaires with 20 question in each one for drivers who had been working for more than one year with us on what kept them here and another on what attracted them to the role in the first place.
“I was very grateful that my colleagues bought into this idea and really took this relevant research seriously, with a view to gaining from it. I was able to put the project into action at John Mitchell Haulage and Warehousing and the results have been great. We have acted on the feedback and created an environment where drivers are positively engaged and motivated, which is fantastic.
“It wasn’t long before Transport News wanted to do a story on this research and as a result it has really got the industry talking about how useful it could be. We have already had requests to use it from fellow haulage and logistics firms.
As mentioned Lynsey has been delighted with her course which she began and completed during the pandemic lockdown working online remotely on Teams from home. However, now that restrictions have ended CIPD courses can consist of face to face and remote learning options.
She went on: “I’d already completed and enjoyed an Intermediate CIPD course at the Forth Valley College Alloa Campus which was great, but as I am passionate about Human Resources I knew I would like to try the Advanced course in order for me to progress in my career.
“I would definitely recommend these courses and the college as they have helped me develop my confidence to perform my role at work more completely. The lecturers were just great and as the class was relatively small – not like you might get at university – any questions you had were answered quickly and expertly by Brenda Harrison and her colleagues at the College. The course really is ideal for busy professionals as the flexible learning aspect allows you to attend classes remotely or now after lockdown restrictions have ended come into the campus as well.”
FVC Business Lecturer Brenda Harrison, said: “Lynsey was a hard working student who always gave her all to her studies and she embraced the opportunity to see how she could apply her learning directly to the workplace. This is clearest when we look at her management report where she was able to address a live problem and produce solutions which are recognised across her industry, not just within her own organisation. It’s always rewarding to see students blossom through their studies and progress in their careers. I’m sure Lynsey has a bright future ahead.”
Jennifer Hogarth, FVC’s Curriculum Manger in the Department of Care, Sport, Business and Communities, said: “We’ve seen huge changes in the world of work since 2020, with people practitioners operating at the very heart of these challenges as they navigate externalities that impact heavily on people. The spotlight is firmly on HR teams, so securing CIPD membership and qualifications has never been so important.
“CIPD qualifications set the international standard for people professionals. Whatever stage you’re at in your career, a CIPD qualification connects you with your peers and gives you the strategies you need to increase your knowledge and skills to not only boost your own career, but to help drive your organisation forward in these challenging and ever changing times.
“We offer the full suite of CIPD People Management qualifications here at Forth Valley College and our lecturing team can help advise on the right level for you. During your studies with us you will be able to meet and network with like-minded professionals, access up-to-the minute research and our workshops and assessments will give you the opportunity to explore topical issues and consider what this means for you and your organisation. We will support and encourage you throughout your studies and help you grow in confidence and deliver more impact.”
For more information on CIPD courses and Chartered Management Institute (CMI) available at Forth Valley College visit https://www.forthvalley.ac.uk/courses/management