As the economic downturn affects businesses, some firms are looking at ways to cut costs, but one company has taken it as an opportunity to invest in its staff in a bid to survive the credit crunch.

Halesowen News reported on G John Power, a Halesowen-based firm which manufactures wire and steel, and its decision to spend now in the hope of getting a good return on its investment.

The company has sent all 16 of its employees on training courses for NVQs in Business Improvement Techniques and Business Administration.

Commenting on the outcome of the employee training, Dean Horton, the firm’s Hayseech Road’s operations manager, said it had “made everyone totally focussed on making the company more competitive and has enabled us to monitor the costs in this tricky manufacturing climate”.

Mr Horton explained to the paper that the firm had reduced its costs by 28 per cent from October to November 2008 and that those figures were “proof training your workforce is critical in hard times”.

David Fairhurst, senior vice president of McDonald’s, recently said that companies who invest in training now “will come out better from the downturn”.