Katy Connon – HR Business Partner

Katy joined the team in November 2017 following a secondment from UCLan to lead the HR team and support the whole business with all aspects of Human Resources. In her HR career Katy has worked in the education sector, manufacturing and digital marketing and has a real passion for HR adding value to a business.

Katy’s role within the leadership team is to drive forward the people agenda and to develop a people strategy that will create an inclusive culture to help attract, retain and develop our talented workforce. Katy believes the biggest asset a company can have is their people and is dedicated to making Training 2000 a great place to work.

Outside of work, Katy loves horses and spends most weekends in the summer months out competing with her horse, Puzzle. Alongside this, her other love is chasing the sunshine and visiting different places around the world.

John Westhead – Head of Operations and Learning

John joined Training 2000 in 2014, initially as a Business Manager for the Study Programmes. In 2017 he become the Head of Operations and Learning and is proud to hold this position and is committed to ensuring that we are successful at Training 2000. He has been in managerial roles for 20+ years and has worked in the education and welfare to work sector for around the last 10 years, prior to that he worked in finance, administration, planning and logistics, engineering and sales.

His role within the team is to represent the operational teams and to ensure that they strive to be operationally excellent in all that we do. John feels that it is vital that we all work together to a common goal and that we do so for the good of the whole of Training 2000.

He is fiercely passionate and proud about the work that Training 2000 does and is fully committed to ensuring that we are successful going forward. John believes we have so much to offer and some wonderful individuals that work here. Part of his role is to help people realise their ambitions alongside ensuring that we create the highest calibre apprentices and talented individuals for Lancashire and beyond.

He is excited that we now have the opportunity to really drive and influence the change needed for the organisation and is fully confident that we can realise this goal together, this is our company and together we can achieve so much more.

Outside of work he enjoys spending time watching and also coaching football, he spends most of his ‘free’ time coaching a grassroots team alongside making time to get out and about with his family as much as possible. John’s real passion will always lie in helping others to achieve in various contexts.

High Flyers Head For Euros Final

‘Do Your Country Proud Team UK’ – Says Skills Chief

Training 2000 and FortVale apprentice, Elliott who is heading to the EuroSkills Finals in Budapest (September 26th -29th), was urged to ‘Do Your Country Proud’ at a rousing Parliamentary reception attended by Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills Anne Milton MP.

Team UK – 22 of the country’s elite apprentices and students working in the engineering, digital, construction and professional industries – are facing the stiffest competition imaginable when they face the best of the best from across the Continent.

Dr. Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK, which selects and accelerates Team UK with intensive training, mentoring and elite competitive experiences, told those gathered on the Terrace of the House of Commons that the country is approaching a significant moment.

He said: “Team UK go and do your country proud – this is a momentous moment for our nation!”

“With Brexit now only months away, we need to benchmark our young people’s skills against the best of the rest of the EU. It’s only through putting our young people to the test in a time-pressured environment against the highest of specifications that we’ll know whether we are developing the skills levels we need in the UK to boost productivity, compete economically and attract inward investment to help create jobs into the future. And it’s through investing in our young people that we will grow these skills to the advanced levels we need.”

Members of Team UK have all spent a minimum of two years in intensive training winning regional and nation competitions, highly intensive team selection processes, and months of accelerated training – to reach international standard.

Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills said: ““You are the future, you are representing the country – and doing us proud.

“We are moving to a World where it’s not about where you come from, or whether you went to university – but what skills you can offer to an employer and help them become more productive.

“Visiting the WorldSkills Competition last year was probably the most mind-blowing experience of my life. It’s about endurance and fortitude – when you get there don’t let anything get in your way – you are the best.”

Engineering Apprenticeships Approved by IET

Our engineering apprenticeship programme has been re-approved by the The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for the next three years. We are the first training provider in the country to have the new Engineering Technician Standard approved by the IET.

This is great news for our apprentices as they are eligible for registration as an Engineering Technician, this provides them with professional status (EngTech) which will be understood and sought after by peers, employers, suppliers, customers and their wider professional network.

Our 1st year apprentices have been given a presentation by the IET to highlight the benefits being a member can bring to their career.

Team UK Hungary For Success

The finest young skilled apprentices from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have been selected to represent the UK at Europe’s most important and prestigious skills competition, including Training 2000 and FortVale CNC Milling apprentice, Elliott.

Team UK – which heads to the EuroSkills Finals in Budapest from 26 to 28 September – will comprise of 22 elite competitors skilled in a broad spectrum of disciplines from engineering to construction, digital to creative.

Dr Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK, which selects and trains Team UK to the highest international standard, said: “This will be a life-enhancing opportunity for these remarkable young people.

“After Brexit, our economic success as a nation will be dependent on our ability to close major trade deals and attract inward investment – and this will always hinge on demonstrating we have people with the right skills.

“Team UK are the embodiment not only of the kinds of traits and characteristics that we should aspire for in a young workforce, but for the UK Government’s ambitions for Global Britain too.

“They are leaders of their generation – and will inspire many more to walk in their footsteps.”

Governments and industry will be watching with interest to benchmark how well Team UK performs compared to the country’s main European competitors.  At the previous EuroSkills finals, held in 2016 in Gothenburg – Team UK finished seventh.

To secure a place in Team UK, the apprentices and learners have been through an exhaustive selection process, taking part in the prestigious WorldSkills UK National Competitions, the finals of which are held at WorldSkills UK LIVE.

Good luck Elliott!

National Recognition for Accountancy Apprentice

Huge congratulations are in order for Training 2000 Level 4 AAT accountancy apprentice, Joe.

Joe’s employer, Gow & Partners from Blackburn, submitted an application to the GTA England National Apprenticeship Awards.  Out of 12,500 apprentices in the Business Services category, Joe was shortlisted to the final four . The awards were presented at the prestigious SEMTA Skills Awards in London.

Sandy Gow, Director of Gow & Partners said “Joe has a gift that gives him the ability to talk and feel comfortable with clients and partners alike, as well as concentrate on the figures. He has grown in confidence and can relate to the individuals needs and understand them. Through communication with them, he ensures they receive an excellent service. He is an inspiration being so young, aged 20, with so much potential to continue to grow the business. Being shortlisted for an industry-leading national award is a fantastic achievement. I am so proud.”

Joe added “When I first started my apprenticeship my confidence was very low, but because of the help and guidance I’ve received from both Sandy and Training 2000, I’m now able to go into important business meetings and talk confidently. When I heard that I had been shortlisted for the award, I was so proud of myself.  It’s a huge achievement.”

Joe was recently presented his award by Steph Whalley, Director of Business & Educational Standards at Training 2000 and Mark Maudsley, Chief Executive of GTA England.

Steph Whalley, said “It’s fantastic to see how much young apprentices can achieve with the right determination, support and opportunity. I am proud that Training 2000 has been able to be a part of Joe’s journey to success and a worthwhile career in accounting. He is a credit to his company – Gow & Partners, who really do go the extra mile to help their apprentices  gain skills, experience and knowledge which sets them up for life.”

Chief Executive of GTA England. Mark added, “We were delighted to hold our awards at such a prestigious event, this allowed us to showcase the work of Group Training Associations (GTA); if employers and our members are the crown of GTA England; then the apprentices are our jewels.”

Sonya becomes Blackburn Carer Champion

One of our Engagement Advisors, Sonya has recently  officially been trained to become a Blackburn Carer Champion.

She was asked to become Care Champion after making a number of referrals to them and they recognised that Training 2000 support young adult carers and wanted to formalise this.

Sonya said “It’s an honour to be made a champion, the work that they do is essential to the young carers of Blackburn. I’m in a great position working at Training 2000 with young people to give the help and support to young carers if they need it.”

Carers service can offer lots of help and support to young people to stay in education and employment by supporting with their care responsibilities and helping them to understand their benefit options. They also offer lots of fun rest bite sessions.  

For more information on how the Blackburn Carers can help support you visit their website.

A Busy Week for Mark!

Mark, one of our Advanced Technical Tutors in Engineering who is also the WorldSkills Training Manager for CNC Turning has had a busy week talking to apprentices and businesses about WorldSkills as well as supporting his competitors at a WorldSkills training camp.

Last week, Mark spent four days at the MACH 2018 exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham with fellow WorldSkills Training Manager, Mike Watson, GKN (CNC Milling). He spoke to hundreds of apprentices and business owners telling them all about the amazing work WorldSkills do (as well as telling them how amazing the facilities are here at Training 2000!)

Then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday he went to Loughborough University (again with Mike) for a WorldSkills Training Camp with all the competitors across all disciplines. There he met up with his competitors – Training 2000 apprentice Kris from FortVale Engineering and Jack, an apprentice with DMG Mori. Another Training 2000 apprentice was also there, Elliott from FortVale who is working with Mike in the CNC Milling category.

They had sessions with performance coaches as well as a workshops based about sports psychology and a presentation from an Olympic Volleyball player – all to mentally prepare them for the WorldSkills Competitions.