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Pitman Training, one of the leading providers of office and IT based skills training in Britain, has announced a number of new offices to be opened as part of their on "“ going strategy to meet skills shortages around the country.

New training centres are being opened at Dumfries, London Bridge, Bishops Stortford and Greenwich, with each centre being expanded to meet the specific skills demands of their area. Working in conjunction with stakeholders such as recruitment centres and employment agencies, and with participants expected to range across the spectrum, it is hoped that this expansion will serve to move the skills development in the right direction.

The Expansion in Greenwich and Dumfries

The Centre in Greenwich will be aiming to address the local skills gap in the secretarial market and to assist in the training of the areas private and corporate market. The centre manager Christina Samachetty said: "I have high hopes that our new centre in Greenwich will succeed in helping both individuals and local businesses achieve their training goals." She went on to comment on the requirements of the area, stating: "Everywhere you look, whether it's in a recruiter's window or the local paper, businesses throughout the area are calling out for people with good secretarial qualifications."

Tricia Hunter and Rosemary Slack are the managers of the new centre in Dumfries, which will target assisting locals gain new skills to meet the demand highlighted by employers in the area. With their experience as recruitment consultants and in training in the area, they know only too well of the skills shortage and the demand for better training. Tricia Hunter commented: "Businesses throughout Dumfries and Galloway are experiencing a significant skills gap."

There is often a fear on the part of employers that providing better training for employees will only help them to leave the company, and this is a fear that Rosemary Slack feels she and the centre can allay. "We see lots of scope for businesses in terms of the recruitment, and more importantly, the retention of their workers," said Rosemary. "All too often businesses make the assumption that, by training their workers, they are simply equipping them with the skills they need to move to better jobs. But this couldn"t be further from the truth."

London Bridge and Bishops Storford

The other new centres are at London Bridge and in Bishops Stortford. The first of these has been working closely with local employment agency, Work Direction, presenting the benefits of gaining new skills to those people attempting to return to the workforce. London Bridge station serves over 42 million people every year, and amongst the courses on offer are diplomas, finance courses, secretarial (including medical) and PA courses. In an attempt to meet the demand of certain sectors that might not ordinarily be able to afford access to training programmes, discounts are also available to NHS workers, those in the Armed Forces, 16-24 year olds, the 50 + age group and lone parents.

With the largest local employer to Bishops Stortford's new centre being Stansted Airport, David Amos, the centre manager, hopes the new centre will encourage school leavers and those returning to the workforce to gain the skills they need to increase their competitiveness as candidates for the multitude of administrative roles at the airport. To that end, the courses that the centre will focus on will be Microsoft Office and Sage accounting training courses as well as secretarial and business diplomas.

Jethro Marsh

Where next for Pitman? Tell us in the FE Blog

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