A SHOE manufacturer has announced plans to upskill its Lancashire workforce with the biggest training programme in its 50 year history.

Hotter Shoes, which is the biggest shoe maker in the UK, says that this comes after the company say significant rises in online sales and growth in 2020 and 2021 despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

As such, the company, which employs over 330 people in its Skelmersdale headquarters, will now be investing in new career development schemes for its employees across its manufacturing, customer service, distribution and engineering departments.

Operations director Paul Harnetty said: “We’re an exciting, people driven and dynamic business with a fantastic team of specialists manufacturing high-quality products.

"I’m thrilled that we have launched Hotter’s biggest people development programme yet, encouraging people to complete a range of qualifications and helping to maintain our ethos of exuding optimism and positive attitude as we invest in our teams.

"It’s all part of our focus of instilling a culture which promotes staff engagement and motivates people to be the drivers of business change, as well as invest in future leaders.”

The training will include courses in forklift driving, first aid, IT and shoe quality.

There will also be management training courses which will allow employees to gain skills in leadership roles.

Hotter Shoes CEO Ian Watson said: “There’s no doubt that our teams do an incredible job, manufacturing 1.3 million shoes a year is no small feat!

"They’re the experts in their disciplines and we’re pleased to be equipping them with leadership and new technical knowledge alongside this, bolstering their career development and allowing us to become a thoroughly agile business.

“As a major employer in Skelmersdale, I’m proud we’re rolling out a wide-ranging training programme which invests in people in the local community, future-proofing their valuable shoe manufacturing skills as well as the Hotter factory for years to come.”