21 September 2018

Building an amazing team - training and educationThe single most important part of growing a business is growing a strong, skilled, happy team. You can only do that when you have a real focus on training and education.

In an industry like tech, the skills gap threatens to wipe out the future of the industry. It seems that traditional education simply can’t keep up with the fast-changing tech landscape. Often students graduating university have skills that are already outdated.

That’s one of the reasons we launched our own apprenticeship scheme back in 2013 – taking on kids straight out of school and teaching them on the job. In the five years since, we’ve become accredited by the government to become an independent apprenticeship provider. It’s a service we now offer out to the wider community.

Amazingly, around 18% of our workforce is made up of current or former apprentices. They have an extraordinary impact on the business and the energy they bring is unrivalled.

In the past few weeks we’ve taken on a new cohort of young people to join the programme. It’s amazing to watch these young people grow and develop not only into incredible members of the team and assets to the business, but as adults in their own right. Watching people evolve on their journey here is one of the most rewarding parts of building a business.

Royal seal of approval

There are no two ways about it, we’ve made a huge investment into growing and developing the teams of the future. Our team of full-time teachers have taken an idea that Gail and I had to help tackle the skills gap and transform it beyond anything we could have imagined.princess_royal_training_award_900x260

Not only do we have the apprenticeship scheme, we also have an accredited examination centre. This means that the team and our community can sit tech exams on site. The investment in personal development equated to around £650 per person last year.

Equally, we reach around 60,000 young people across 50 schools and universities. This outreach means we can directly show people what a career in tech actually looks like. Our apprentices regularly speak at events to show young people first-hand that you don’t have to fit a stereotype to work in the industry. And that you don’t have to go to university to be successful.

With all of that in mind, it was an incredibly proud moment to hear that we have received The Princess Royal Training Award 2018. The honour, accredited by Princess Anne, recognises our commitment to go above and beyond when it comes to professional and personal development in the workplace.

As one of just 48 businesses to receive the award, it’s a pat on the back for the whole team. They drive our commitment to close the skills gap and continue to increase our collective skillset.

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