Simon skills up for the future

Gillian Baker

Simon Storage Ltd (“Simon”) is skilling up for 2012 and beyond with a forward-thinking recruitment strategy designed to deliver commercial benefits now and into the future. In addition to strengthening its management team with the appointment of a new Business Development Manager, Simon is harnessing fresh new talent by providing a number of engineering apprenticeships at its UK bulk liquid and gas storage terminals.

Business Development
Gillian Baker, who recently joined Simon’s commercial team as Business Development Manager, has ‘hit the ground running’ with her extensive knowledge of the North East’s petrochemical industry. Gillian is working with Simon’s Commercial Director, Paul Oseland, and the commercial team to define best-in-the-market solutions for bulk liquid and gas storage and logistics for existing and potential customers. Gillian has sales and marketing expertise, backed by a BA Hons degree in economics and politics.

In other senior management news from Simon, Keith Jackson, a director of Immingham Storage Company Ltd since January 2010, has recently been appointed director of Simon’s Irish Bulk Liquid Storage Ltd.

Shaping the future
Simon’s apprenticeship programme demonstrates the company’s proactive approach to developing a workforce equipped with the specialist skills it needs for today and tomorrow. Through a mix of on and off the job learning Simon’s apprentices are acquiring sector-specific knowledge and qualifications that will help the company build on its position as a leading European independent bulk liquid and gas logistics service provider.

At Immingham Storage, two second year engineering apprentices, Joel Baumber (electrical) and Daniel Logan (mechanical), are advancing through a structured training and mentoring programme supported by Simon’s experienced engineers and technicians. Both Joel and Daniel enjoy the practical aspects of their studies and show great promise as future engineers. Joel’s academic achievements in particular have already been recognised by Humberside Engineering Training Association Ltd (HETA) with the Apprentice of the Year (Grimsby) 2010/11 award. Lee Cook, Terminal Engineer with Immingham Storage, says: “Both apprentices have settled in well on the West Terminal and have received glowing reports from work peers and HETA. Sponsoring Joel and Daniel reinforces Simon’s engineering focus and support for future years on both East and West Terminals. We are very proud of our apprentices for achieving NVQ Level 2 and VRQ Level 3 qualifications in their respective engineering disciplines.”

Simon’s Seal Sands Terminal offered Dean Robinson a training placement in the final year of his apprenticeship after his previous company placement closed down. Dean has successfully completed his CompEX training to enable him to work on electrical equipment in hazardous areas, alongside a measurement and control appreciation course to help broaden his knowledge base. At the Terminal he has been involved in all aspects of both hazardous and safe area installations and has installed, inspected and carried out remedial works in both fields. Chris Pearson, Seal Sands’ Senior Terminal Engineer, says: “Dean is hardworking and keen to learn, and has integrated well with Terminal staff and contractors alike.” Once Dean has completed his final exams, both he and the Terminal’s engineering team hope to continue their working relationship.

Apprentice engineer, Adam Smith, is on a training placement at Simon’s Tyne Terminal. He is currently in his second year of an HNC electrical engineering course at South Tyneside College, whilst working towards an NVQ Level 3 in mechanical maintenance with the North East Chamber of Commerce. Adam is well on the way to achieving an overall Merit grade at the end of his course, and is already planning to start an HND in electrical engineering. Adam says that support from everyone at Simon’s Tyne Terminal has been exceptional, with work based training, assistance with college work and increased responsibility levels within his employment scope. “Simon has set up additional training courses for me,” he says, “and is offering great future training and career development opportunities.” Tyne Terminal Manager, Alastair Bulmer, is equally enthusiastic and comments: “Adam is making extremely good progress with us and fits into the engineering team, and indeed the terminal team, very well.”