New Technology Institute (NTI)

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Digital Businesses urged to capitalise on Training Support

The University of Hull's New Technology Institute (nti), is urging businesses in Hull & the Humber to access money for staff training before the funding ceases in March 2006.

The training brokerage service, funded by Yorkshire Forward, has been running for just over two years and has seen businesses in the area gain more than £500,000 in funding for staff training.

Gill Cutting, the Digital Industries Skills Broker explains: "Our aim is to promote the benefits of staff training to those businesses operating in the digital and ICT sectors. We have already engaged many companies across the region. Nearly 50% of the companies benefiting from this funding have never previously funded any staff training initiatives - it had always been expected that staff participated in training programmes during their own time and at their own expense."

"This initiative offers 50/50 funding for employee training where the employer's contribution to training is matched by money available from Yorkshire Forward. Access to this funding has made an enormous difference to the productivity of the organisations involved and has bolstered staff morale and motivation. "

She added: "There is still money in the pot for further organisations to benefit from this initiative although the funding will cease in March 2006. I therefore urge interested companies to get in touch with me to discuss the opportunities available."

Two companies in the region who have benefited from this scheme are ECM Systems, a digital gaming equipment supplier based in Burstwick and Cablepoint, a digital cable and electronic systems manufacturer based at Sutton Fields in Hull.

At ECM Systems Ltd, the company had a broad range of training needs that had not been addressed prior to engaging in the skills brokerage programme.

John MacDonald, Operations Director explained: "We needed a bit of support because we knew what our training needs were but we weren't clear what level of provision there was. The digital broker talked us through what was available, following a discussion around the business and its needs, then provided us with a range of alternatives to look at. Once we had made a decision it was very quick to sign up."

In terms of the impact to his business, Mr MacDonald said: "It has provided a really good introduction to the value of training for everybody in the organisation. We have had comments at all levels from the manufacturing area right up to the MD, about how various aspects of the business improved as a result of it. Across the board, we have seen the benefits and I urge other businesses to pick up the phone!"

Cablepoint Ltd had training issues posed by succession management of the business and had always shied away from training provision, partly due to being put off by the sales driven approach of many training consultants.

Terry Wilson, the Managing Director explained: "I was sceptical that it was too easy in some ways but people are now welcoming and enjoying training and feel part of the business as a result."

He added: "We have gone through a whole range of training and now the day to day business is now being run by people within the organisation. It was very good for us."

Organisations interested in finding out more details about the Digital Industries Skills Brokerage are invited to call Gill Cutting on 01482 466582 or e-mail

Yorkshire Forward offers Brokerage services for other business clusters and organisations are invited to contact Yorkshire Forward (details) for further information.