Hewden’s summer investments
By Helen Wright01 September 2014
UK rental company Hewden has undertaken a number of initiatives this summer including investing in a new Southampton depot, appointing a new external customer training manager and recruiting new operators.
Hewden invested £100000 (€126535) in a new, larger yard in Southampton – an upgrade that it said was down to increased demand across the south for rental equipment.
It said the new Hamilton Road yard was 300% bigger than the depot it replaced, at 3.35 acres, and featured an increased rental range including telehandlers, excavators and access platforms.
Hewden commercial director Sharon Shardlow said, “We hope that customers will find the new Southampton depot easier to navigate. We have increased the number of machines here to meet increased demand. The new wash facilities will also make the hire process more customer-focused.”
Meanwhile the company also announced the appointment of Sharon Brown as external customer training manager. Ms Brown joined from Speedy Services.
Ms Brown said, “We want to add value to our customer relationships. We know that one of the biggest issues on site at the moment is the skills shortage. We will be looking to meet that demand through our dedicated academies and training schemes.
“Hewden has ambitions to be the training provider of choice and I am looking forward to taking up this role and driving that forward.”
Hewden said it delivered training, through its colleges, academies and expert trainers – it has five dedicated training hub centres across the UK as well as local training services operated at 34 of its depots across the country.
The company said it had also more than doubled the size of its in-house training team with more than 20 trainers and training delivery managers.
And Hewden has also recruited 22 new operators in recent months, taking the total number to over 60. It said it had plans to reach 200 by the end of 2015.
The company said the recruitment drive was part of a plan to plug the skills gap in equipment operation.
“Whilst the industry is showing signs of recovery, the skills gap is making times hard for many of Hewden’s clients with a loss of an estimated 350,000 construction workers since the beginning of the recession”, it said.
Hewden added that it would be taking on a further 12 apprentices in September, based at the company’s National Training Academy.