Breckland Training Services (Agenda Item 8)
To receive a verbal update.
The Breckland Training Services Manager gave Members a verbal update.
In June 2013 approval had been granted to increase the team by one member of staff to enable the design, delivery and marketing of workshops to outside organisations. The post was to be funded by the income generated from that work. To date £14,000 of income had been achieved and a further £29,000 worth of work was confirmed for the future. By the end of October, the Training Service would have exceeded its target of £40,000.
Current clients of the service were South Holland District Council, Luton Borough Council and the ARP. Work had also been done in partnership with the UEA. Discussions were taking place with North Norfolk, Waveney, Suffolk Coastal and St Edmundsbury Councils.
The Breckland Training Service (BTS) had recently hosted an event for the Local Government Association (LGA), running an apprentice style challenge which would be reported in the MJ magazine and should generate good publicity for the BTS.
24 October 2013 would mark the first anniversary of the BTS and a report would be presented to the Committee at that time setting out the future plans for the BTS, which included looking into the creation of a trading arm.
Councillor Bambridge acknowledged that the BTS was currently restricted and could only recover costs. He asked three questions:
- What work was being sought outside the Breckland ‘family’ of local authorities?
- Was the aim to provide training for businesses as well?
- Was the Service affecting other training establishments in the District?
The Breckland Training Services Manager advised that the BTS prospectus was being sent out to all east of England local authorities and to others further afield as well. However, the best form of advertisement was by word of mouth. Partnerships with the UEA and the LGA had helped and Stockton Borough Council had heard about the Service in that way and expressed an interest.
Discussions were taking place with Wayland Business Forum about setting up an academy for small businesses providing IT, presentation and social media skills. Other local training providers would be used to help deliver that service.
The key products of BTS were not offered by anyone else. The main competitor was Broadland Training Services and they offered NVQ and accredited sessions. It was not the intention of BTS to be in competition with other providers but rather to work in partnership with them.
Councillor Bambridge congratulated the BTS Manager on how far the Service had come already.
Councillor Steward agreed but thought that the opportunity was being missed to use Members to promote what was being offered. Members had links with other organisations and could expand the network of contacts. She also cautioned against working with just one local business forum and advised that a more cohesive approach was needed.
Councillor Carter thought that a lot of progress had been made in the first six months and that the Service would grow and develop. He encouraged the BTS Manager to keep ‘tweeting’ as it was a good way of publicising the Service.
The report was noted.