Developing legendary people at DB Breweries

Better working lives are the result of The Learning Wave’s successful literacy and numeracy programme at DB Breweries. Increased productivity and improved skill levels, communication and confidence are among the noticeable differences from the team of 20 who undertook the training.

“Literacy and numeracy are the foundation to allow DB to achieve our ‘Brewery of the Future’ vision,” says DB’s National Training and Development Manager, Simon Williams.  

The key to success was to centre the programme directly on business outcomes, focusing on ownership of problems - with literacy and numeracy as the basis. The kaizen problem solving approach brought teams together to gather data and present their findings on real workplace problems. For example, solutions were presented on how to reduce the DB cleaning process from 6 to 4 hours. 

“We have a vision of what the shop floor will look like in five years. We want to take the operators and turn them into technicians. We share our ideas with the guys,” says Packaging Manager, Paulo Sua.

Delivered in four-hour training blocks over ten weeks, workers were paid overtime to attend class either side of their shifts. “The things that kept me going was the knowledge, and getting paid to learn. It’s a win-win,” says Kalina, who completed the programme last year.  

The clear benefits to both the business and individuals have given rise to a second wave of the programme, to begin in 2016. Says DB’s TPM manager, Ken Pala’aia: “As a business we know where we want to go and we are taking our workers with us.”

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