Omega has flung open the doors of a new national training academy based at its Yorkshire headquarters, with celebrity chef and Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith (pictured) officially cutting the ribbon.
Andrew North, retail sales and marketing director at Omega (pictured), said the new centre will provide training for hundreds of its customers in the first year, as well as enhancing and upgrading its own internal training provision.
“We are committed to providing first-class support to all our retailers and merchants and this is a very hands-on and engaging way of doing it. All our customers, new and old, will benefit massively from our academy,” he said.
Omega said the new centre will offer bespoke courses in areas including kitchen planning and design, product knowledge, marketing, sales and customer service skills.
It will also provide high-quality meeting facilities for its customers to host their own national and regional meetings with access to factory tours and Omega’s showrooms.
“Our training facility will help Omega to engage with its customers and build loyalty to drive sales.
“It will increase productivity and deliver a consistently high-quality approach to training while making factory and showroom visits more efficient, engaging and interactive,” North added.
Leith was a non-executive director on Omega’s board when it was listed on the London Stock Exchange.
“We have no qualms about the future and we are totally confident about the kitchen industry in Britain”
Sir Bob Murray, owner and founder, Omega
The Omega academy was the brainchild of the kitchen furniture company’s owner and founder Sir Bob Murray, who is the chair of sports charity Foundation of Light and Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University.
“We have created an exceptional facility on-site with a tailor-made curriculum designed around the UK kitchen market to specifically support our consumers, which will provide specialist and unique training programmes to drive business,” he said.
Sir Bob added: “We were delighted that Prue Leith agreed to open the Omega academy. Prue still takes a close interest in the company and comes back to visit us when she can.
“She was very impressed with the academy and what we are aiming to achieve.”
Mel Armsby of Holme Design, with showrooms in Bedale and Northallerton, was one of Omega’s first retail customers to visit the academy. She said: “I think it’s a fantastic idea that Omega has opened its own training facility. The first session was really informative and inspirational and the whole experience was very friendly. Access to this type of specialist training as well as Omega’s unique facilities will definitely be a great benefit for us.”
Omega said the academy has the potential to reach a wide audience from the internal training of colleagues and external business partners and customers, to local schools and colleges in the future to assist with recruitment.
Omega began a £20 million expansion programme last year, which brings its total site operation to 400,000 sq. ft and increased its stockholding capacity by 43% – five months worth of inventory.
In an exclusive interview with Sir Bob earlier this year, he said: “Some people are not investing because of Brexit, but we are taking the bull by the horns and investing now.
“We have no qualms about the future and we are totally confident about the kitchen industry in Britain – certainly for a decade.”
The expansion allows Omega to increase production to 44,000 kitchens a year.