Name – Rebecca Lightfoot
Age – 28
Job role – Learning and Development Manager
Company – Ford
Summary of current job role:
I work as part of a European Learning and Development team and have a team in the UK and Germany. My role is broad, covering governmental funding for training opportunities within Ford Britain, managing non technical and functional competence training, managing educational training programme, looking after the relationship with our tier one training supplier, as well as the Ford Advanced Apprenticeship Programme.
I am currently transitioning to a new role within Ford to HR Manager, Marketing Sales and Service.
How did you get into the job?
Prior to joining Ford I was employed by the John Lewis Partnership, ‘Peter Jones’, as a Graduate Trainee Manager, working on the shop floor. After taking my G.C.S.E’s and then A Levels, I studied for a degree in Business, obtaining a first class honours degree. Ford sponsored my development through my Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, which equipped me with HR policy and Employment law, as well as opportunities to practice with other organisations.
What kinds of training have you received to succeed in the role?
I have been in the privileged position to have received a significant amount of on the job training throughout my time at Ford. This has ranged from formal training on corporate policies and procedures through to informal coaching and mentoring and information sessions on the latest employment legislation. Additionally, I have been given the opportunity to coach and mentor others both within the organisation and outside of Ford through the strong relationships that we develop with community organisations.
Why did this career path appeal to you?
After graduating from university, I spent some time working in the retail sector, which although a good experience, made me realise that this was not the career most suited to my strengths. After researching different roles and organisations, I applied for a position in the Human Resource team at Ford Motor Company Ltd. I knew from the outset that this was the organisation where I wanted to develop my career and that HR was the right area of work for me.
The automotive industry itself is dynamic, presenting different challenges on a day to day basis. We have a strong leadership team who set the standard for the rest of the organisation. My early responsibilities were extremely diverse and I was able to get involved in key aspects of running the business from the outset. I was involved in the Operational Management Committees and all aspects of employee relations, from absence management to resource planning and recruitment. Since then I have been lucky to have experienced four different roles within HR. I also relocated with the company twice, firstly when I joined moved to Southampton from London and lived there for four years, and more recently moving to Essex, where I have lived for the past two years.