Commercial training is now available to major engineering and manufacturing players on their doorstep, thanks to an award-winning firm’s move to Aycliffe Business Park.
NC Group was started five years ago by managing director Ian Nelson and executive director Lee Childs.
The business partners recognised a gap in the market for commercial training, specifically in automation and control, mechanical and technical, leadership programmes and compliance training for major process operators and manufacturers.
The firm outgrew its former premises in Bishop Auckland within four years and moved to Aycliffe, where it is now the only private training provider focusing on the engineering and manufacturing Sector.
Ian, a senior specialist in apprenticeship provision for the manufacturing and engineering sectors, says: “We recognised that there was a skills gap within industry and set up our training company so we could support large employers across the North-East with specific skill sets.
“In our previous roles, we saw that there was always a huge need for a commercial training provider who could fulfil the needs of manufacturers in a timely fashion.”
The courses offered by NC Group do just that, ranging from professional programmes, through to maintenance and technical training, health and safety and much more.
The company also specialises in improving quality, lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, with highly skilled staff including tutors and associate trainers who have their own specialist skill set.
When they started out, Ian and Lee benefited from positive existing relationships with companies needing their services.
They also started NC Group with an immediate Customers base who are some of the largest employers in the region, such as Gestamp and INEOS.
“Throughout the last five years, we have been able to maintain positive relationships with these firms and support the senior staff, engineers, production staff and leaders who work there.”
“We run our developing leaders programmes for senior managers within those businesses – and that has allowed them to grow with other companies as well.”
After outgrowing its Bishop Auckland base, Lee Childs said it made sense to move to Aycliffe Business Park, where they are now well placed to allow industry to utilise their services on the park and continue supporting their clients such as Gestamp Ineos, Stiller, 3M and others.
The move also allowed Ian and Lee to build an Academy, with different training rooms clients can use as well as ample office space for growing numbers of employees.
Ian said: “We’ve moved from an office in Bishop Auckland that would hold 10 people to a huge training academy with state-of-the-art training rooms and a small workshop – and we’ve easily exceeded our five-year business growth plan.”
A year on from the move to Aycliffe, NC Group has enjoyed a period of growth despite the pandemic, after taking its training online and becoming one of the first training providers to return to face-to-face coaching.
“When Covid started, we had about 10 people working with us and now we’ve more than doubled that to 22,” says Lee.
Having grown their training provision in the across the North of England, Ian and Lee continue now offer their commercial programmes all over the UK.
In addition, the firm recently took the Apprenticeship Agency of the Year prize at the Northern England Prestige Awards.
The business also runs funded programmes for the unemployed and works with local colleges to provide apprenticeship training.
Now, the directors are keen to focus on building relationships on its doorstep at Aycliffe, as other companies are potentially unaware of the training powerhouse nearby.
“We are proud of what we have achieved and the skillset we have got to offer employers in the local area and want to showcase this to the region,” added Ian.
“Now, we want to grow our brand so we are recognisable within the engineering and manufacturing sectors as a high quality provider of skills training.”
For more details about NC Group and the firm’s services, visit www.ncgroupltd.co.uk.