Seven staff members have begun Howarth Timber’s Essential Foundations of Sales Management programme.

The 12-month course is accredited by the Institute of Sales Management, and covers a range of subjects including health and safety, IT, customer service and project management.

The first set of graduates completed the course earlier this year. Participants’ success is measured in a number of ways, such as commercial results and return on investment.

Participants are selected from across the company’s branch network, and the aim is for them to develop their understanding of the company and receive practical experience, eventually progressing to a Sales Account Management role.

Anadi Dey, Head of HR, said the programme demonstrates how “passionate” the timber merchant is about improving employees’ skills and progressing their careers.

Joshua Chaplin called it “a fantastic opportunity for both professional and personal development, especially for anyone who is new to sales or the industry”, adding: “It has changed how I approach challenging situations.”

“I’m excited for those taking part in the programme this year – my advice would be to remember there is always a different approach to the task in hand and to use the network that you build throughout the programme, as well as to always challenge yourself.”

Paige Blanchard is currently undertaking the course. She said: “I’m really happy with my role and I’m enjoying the programme so far.

“There is a lot to learn, but I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge of sales and the business while gaining valuable, hands-on experience that will be beneficial to me in my career.”