"WMG offers a structured programme for people whom we see as having emergent talent who could go on to senior positions."
Chris Lewis, Head of Processing and Formulation, Astra Zeneca
Leading pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is providing the ideal formula for employees who want to go that bit further. Potential high-flyers are encouraged to join the firm's Manufacturing Professionalism Programme, which has been developed over a number of years with WMG.
The programme started in the 1990s in the days of Zeneca and has evolved in conjunction with biotechnology company Avecia, agri-business Syngenta and, more recently, wash products manufacturer PZ Cussons. Hundreds of employees from all over the world have taken the seven modules, each a week long, over the course period of 18 months.
There have been tangible benefits to the company in terms of savings and, according to Chris Lewis, head of processing and formulation based at Macclesfield, the courses offers a form of 'accelerated learning' which might not otherwise be possible.
Chris, who himself is involved in development of two of the modules, says: "If you are going into the manufacturing or supply chain profession there are no vocational courses. People have to fix their development themselves as part of their normal job.
"So this offers a structured programme for people whom we see as having emergent talent maybe as junior managers and who could go on to senior positions. They will start on the strategic decision making module, which can give them a business concept, and from there they start to apply the tools and techniques they learn on the modules to their job.
"It is a very professional set-up and although a lot of the processes were originally associated with the motor industry the course content has been adapted to meet our particular business needs, which is a very positive thing."