Hella Manufacturing Case Study

Industry: Manufacturing
Location: Banbury
Solutions: Workshops, 1:1 Career Coaching, Virtual Resource Centre


In September 2006 Hella announced that its Banbury manufacturing site was being considered for closure – a proposal that was confirmed in December 2006. The plan was for production to end in July 2007 with final closure in November 2007. All 450 jobs at the plant would become redundant. Chiumento was approached and asked to provide outplacement support to individuals in support, technical, management and senior management roles.

There were several principles that Chiumento had to take into account. Firstly, a comprehensive yet cost-effective support programme was vital. Secondly, the delivery style had to complement the close-knit community and strong team working culture at Hella. Thirdly, the content and programme approach had to reflect the group profile, which included individuals with long service and no recent experience of career transition or the external job market.


The Chiumento support programme had to balance the career transition needs of the individual with those of the site closure process. Furthermore, flexibility was key as not only did the service have to accommodate a complex site closure plan but it also had to meet the needs of some individuals who were on overseas assignments for a period of time. Chiumento therefore, designed a menu of support options from which individuals could select the components that they considered relevant and valuable to them.

In March 2007 affected employees attended a session designed to raise their awareness of the outplacement support available. They then attended an initial one-to-one career review meeting with a consultant to review their individual careers to date and plans for the future. These sessions were followed by a series of career workshops on topics such as, career review and objective setting, writing a powerful CV and self marketing, unlocking the hidden job market, interviews and consultancy and interim management. Email and telephone support in between sessions was also available.

After attending these workshops employees were feeling positive and enthusiastic about their future. Personal one-to-one meetings with a Chiumento career consultant were held to build on the skills developed in the workshops and to share any personal anxieties. These individual sessions also gave staff a chance to further develop and complete their CVs and receive personalised feedback and support.

In addition, consultants ran ‘drop in’ one-to-one sessions, which proved popular and enabled individuals to come along and ask questions, seek advice or discuss anything relating to their job search.


The duration of the outplacement support was until the end of June and the outcome was extremely positive. There was a high level of satisfaction recorded for each workshop. One staff member who found the support to be of particular benefit said, “the hidden job market was something I was unaware of, so it enabled me to understand more productive ways of seeking employment. The interview skills section gave me confidence and has already allowed me to feel a lot more comfortable in interview situations”. Another commented that the consultants “were absolutely fantastic. Their passion and genuine desire to help the HML team and myself was wonderful”. Affected staff also praised the flexibility of the consultants who were happy to accommodate individual needs whether that was a quick self-confidence boost, ‘popping in’ to ask a question, or help with job application forms and cover letters.

There was positive feedback from the organisation too. The Hella project team was happy that it got full value from the on-site consultancy days with the resource being used to best effect. The team also liked the on-site consultancy day arrangement and the fact that individuals could book a session as and when they needed it. Both corporate and individual clients said that this proved a good way of ensuring everyone had access to the level of support they required with some people needing a high level of support and others becoming quite self sufficient after the initial phase of the programme.

Chiumento consultant, Gill Evans concludes

people that I have been in contact with since the programme finished, have told me that they have been successful in getting jobs and want to thank Chiumento for its support and help