Elite Training unveils the smart way for employers to upskill their workforces and to help employees realise their full potential

Brian Mackenzie, Senior Account Manager; Chris Bradley, Vocational Delivery Manager; Kelly Fisher, Business Systems Administrator and Stephen McDade, Senior Account Manager

GLASGOW-based Elite Training and Consultancy, trusted partner of a wide range of household-name companies, is rolling out an innovative and financially risk-free way for employers in Scotland to upskill their staff.

Its new training and assessment process also gives workers the opportunity to improve their employment status with recognised qualifications and therefore enhance their attractiveness in the workplace.

While Elite’s scheme is applicable to all existing employees, it is particularly suitable for Modern Apprenticeships, the scheme which combines the route to a qualification with on-the-job experience, allowing people to work, learn and earn at the same time.

There are more than 80 Modern Apprenticeship frameworks, from healthcare and financial services to construction and IT and Elite is focusing on the Diploma for IT and Telecoms Professionals and the Diploma in Digital Applications.

To facilitate the initiative, Elite, which was founded in 2006, is drawing down funding from Skills Development Scotland, which supports individuals in building their career management, work-based and employability skills throughout their workplace journey.

Stephen McDade, Senior Account Manager at Elite, said: “This is quite a radical new approach and we have created a specialist vocational qualification division to oversee the programme and brought in Modern Apprentice and SVQ expert Chris Bradley to guide it.

“Our approach is different in that we are looking at individual candidate’s learner journey in a much more comprehensive way than is standard in the industry by assessing their job needs and considering their career aspirations before proposing a tailored programme of learning and assessments.

“In tandem, we are consulting with the candidate’s manager to propose an SVQ pathway relevant to the person’s job role while ensuring any new skills learned through our training applies to the current and future expectations of their sector and industry – an approach which is obviously good for the employer as well.”

The vocational programme is now 75% of the way towards its first-year targets and is on track to exceed its numbers by the year end. It is projected that the candidate numbers will at least double in the coming year.

Chris Bradley, Vocational Delivery Manager at Elite, said: “We also help clients to recruit young candidates and part of our USP is that, unlike most others in the sector, we do not charge for that recruitment process.

“Instead, we maximise the use of the funding that is available to progress candidates towards registration and certification. Margins are necessarily smaller in this initial period, but the aim is to build long-lasting relationships to create a sustainable workstream.

“With IT, training is more focused on attainment of commercial certificates and accreditations. National occupational standards have not been updated for over 15 years, which is not acceptable in such a fast-moving discipline, and to keep the training relevant to the needs of the modern workforce I use my knowledge and experience as a Microsoft Certified Trainer to customise the vocational assessments so that they are based on the latest accredited courses and technologies.” 

Stephen Docherty, Managing Director of Elite, said: “This kind of training – which can take between a year and 18 months – requires a big commitment from both the client and the candidates, and the response we have seen so far from both sides of the equation has been particularly heartening.”

Elite employs a combination of full time, part time and associate staff, managing clients of all sizes across the full range of industry sectors. It had a turnover of £3.6 million last year.

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