• Minister Nash sees Regional Development in action. • Up to 50 Silver Hill managers avail of ISME Skillnet training. • Local training company Optimum Results deliver unique programme. • 19% increase in local employment.
ISME, Monday, 30th March 2015.
On a visit to the Silver Hill duck processing facility in Emyvale today, Minister for Business & Employment, Ged Nash TD, experienced first-hand the progressive attitude of management and staff at the state-of the-art facility. As part of the ongoing investment in staff, Silver Hill has recently embarked on a unique training programme for their middle and senior management staff. The programme is being run by Co. Louth based Optimum Results and is part funded through ISME Skillnet.
Speaking during his visit Minister Nash said, “People are the best asset that any company has and investing in staff makes good business sense. I am delighted to see that as Silver Hill expands it is keeping the skills of its workforce at the cutting edge – it is an example to small and medium sized enterprises right across the country.”
Micheal Briody, the CFO at Silver Hill, said, “Investing in our staff is a cornerstone of Silver Hill’s strategy and these courses are an example of respecting the value of our employees. It is also a fantastic example of taking feedback from staff and delivering on their request.”
A large part of the Company’s success is undoubtedly down to the quality of the people that are employed by Silver Hill Foods across their entire operation. As might be expected, there is very much a family ethos within the company and this is backed up by the very low turnover of staff. 80% of the current staff have been with the company a minimum of 10 years.
In congratulating Directors, management and staff, ISME CEO, Mark Fielding stated, “The recession is receding, and regional recovery is vital so that the whole country will benefit. SME businesses, like Silver Hill are driving the recovery through investment in their staff, which ensures that their brand remains synonymous with quality. We in ISME are proud to be a part of this project through our Skillnet programme.”
“Optimum Results is delighted to be working with Silver Hill on this programme. Our programme has been evolving for many years and is really designed by the client company to meet its own specific skills development needs in the time & budget available”, said Aidan Harte, MD of Optimum Results.
The company has grown by 22% with an increase in employment of 19% in the last two years, now standing at 181 people. It is anticipated that a further 30% will be employed by 2019.
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Silver Hill was founded over 50 years ago by Ronnie and Lyla Steele. The company now employs 181 in all aspects of duck production at their premises in Emyvale in Monaghan. Silver Hill Farm is involved in breeding, egg production, hatching and selection to processing and cooking. They even produce down for bedding products.
The Silver Hill Brand is synonymous with quality, not just in Ireland, but as far afield as Singapore and Mainland China, where it is commonly known as “The Mother of all Duck”. It’s worth noting there are only a small amount of companies who actually breed ducks commercially, but Silver Hill are one of the only one that keeps its breed and stock entirely to itself, where others sell their breeds to competitors. One of the main reasons for the quality of the product is the genetic consistency of the breed that is produced every day.
• Silver Hill has grown our overall business by 22%. They have increased their production and duck numbers by a similar percentage.
• Silver Hill has increased staff levels by 19% in the past two years, cementing their role as the largest employer in the locality. They have ambitious plans to increase employees by a further 30% by 2019. Currently they employ 181 people.
• Silver Hill is planning for the future by building a Centre of Excellence on the current site, whilst also completing ongoing improvement works on the current factory. This project started two weeks ago and is due for completion at end of 2015.
• Silver Hill became one of the first companies to be fully signed up to the Bord Bia Origin Green programme, showing their commitment to a cleaner environment and their drive to a sustainable future.
• In the past 12 months they have expanded their business in the following new and existing markets – Denmark, Holland, Belgium, South Africa, Singapore, Iceland and Germany
• Silver Hill has won many awards for their duck including;
o Great Taste Awards – 1 Gold Star for Duck Confit, Yummy Duck, Duck Fillets and Duck Fat.
o Irish Quality Food Awards – Gold for our Duck Confit for the second year running.
o Blas na hEireann – Gold, Silver and Bronze awards won for Garlic & Black Pepper Duck Fillet, Boned & Rolled stuffed duck and Fresh Whole duck respectively.
• Their management has won awards for Deloitte Best Managed Company for the past five successive years.