Skills for Growth Bank awards £70,000 training pot to Wirral company

The Contact Company in Wirral has been awarded £70,000 by the Skills for Growth Bank to enhance staff training and development.

The Contact Company

A successful bid was submitted to the Bank, which will be used alongside their own training budgets to help them recruit staff, train them and boost their productivity.

The Birkenhead based business – which employs more than 550 people – is itself contributing £70,000 to create a £140,000 training pot.

Almost 500 staff are now undertaking Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), NVQ courses or similar, thanks to The Contact Company’s continued investment in people.

Karen Russell, training and development manager at The Contact Company, said:

“This is a significant award which will support our training initiatives for the coming year. We currently have over 100 people taking Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) courses, 20 on Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) courses and more studying for NVQs in Learning and Development, Customer Service and Business Administration.

“The majority of our workforce will receive some form of training within key business areas such as IT, sales, collections, HR and management.”

“The Skills for Growth Bank is operating a truly innovative employer ownership pilot for businesses providing funding for apprenticeships alongside regulated and non-regulated training. It gives employers full control to invest in the skills their workplaces need to grow.”

Skills for Growth Bank

The Skills for Growth Bank is open to Liverpool City Region businesses and organisations to bid for money to up-skill their employees until the end of July 2014 (an extension is currently being considered).

It can be used to part-fund a wide range of training, from individual courses to workplace-wide comprehensive training plans. Based on a typical grant award, funding of up to 60% of the costs of the training could be made, with the remaining 40% paid for by employer co-investment.

Karen Russell added:

“The continued development of our staff is at the heart of what we do – since the company launched in 2006 it has committed to investing 20% of annual profits on training and development. This is one of the key reasons that our staff attrition is so low; our people can see on a daily basis that the business believes in them and wants to invest in them for the long-term.

“By empowering and up-skilling staff, we are creating a loyal and sustainable workforce. There used to be a perception of contact centres as a very short-term job option with a high turnover. We’re proving that it’s possible to build a long-term career in the customer service sector and continue to learn and develop along the way.”

The Contact Company launched in 2006 and is now one of the UK’s biggest independent customer service contact centres, with clients such as Argos, River Island and The Health Lottery.

For further information please contact the Skills for Growth Bank on 0151 443 3237, e-mail or visit

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