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A Growing Concern

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A Growing Concern

BDM are busy working with Worcestershire clients as part of the latest Worcestershire Skills Support for Workforce initiative and one of our most popular courses is Team Leading. This type of course is ideal for a thriving and growing business like Housing Partners, based in Worcester. As part of this growth, they have recently recruited more staff. Consequently, we arranged a visit and already their core complement of team leaders have completed our Team Leader module which encompasses the skills of leading a team, developing a work team and effective team member skills .

Dawn Churchley, Head of HR at Housing Partners, said ' This initiative came at exactly the right time for us as we expand which puts an increasing emphasis on ensuring a robust team ethos with everybody pulling in the same direction. Our team leaders are a critical part of this process and following their recent training, we are looking to progress them all onto a Level 3 course to enhance their team working skills even further. The process of undertaking a Training Needs Analysis with BDM was also a really valuable process and I would recommend this
initiative to any business who need to develop their management capability.

IMG_5189housing partners (1)

Photo showing Housing Partners Team Leaders taking part in a team building exercise where the training was delivered at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.


BDM are pleased to announce that they have been approved as an apprenticeship training provider by the government's Skills Funding Agency, and consequently placed on the official Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (ROATP) .

This means that, from May 2017, employers liable to the levy will be able to select a provider from the ROATP register and through this, BDM will be able to offer locally delivered quality apprenticeships to levy payers keen to make the most of the levy resources at their disposal'


After several years of BDM working successfully in Worcestershire with over 100 companies, we were pleased to recently learn that we had won a contract, in partnership with Serco, to deliver further training in the area in line with the priorities of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). We intend to run both accredited and non accredited courses which can also be run as short impact workshops to minimise disruption to business whilst maximising their beneficial impact.

These courses will cover a wide range of topics critical to business operation such as leadership and management skills, sales, customer service, finance and social media.

This training is funded through the European Social Fund so with BREXIT allegedly around the corner, now is the best time to access funding streams whilst they are still flowing!



Export.svgBDM have just returned from the City that gave us the Beatles and Bill Shankly after being shortlisted for the UKTI 'Open to Export' Award for Best Action Plan. Whilst it all sounds a bit 'Civil Service', the process of developing an Action Plan has really helped concentrate minds back at BDM as we seek to make inroads into South East Asia and more particularly Vietnam.
So to hear that from a field of over 100 businesses , we were shortlisted in the top ten was a great spin off. We didn't win but both presenting 'Dragons Den' style and meeting lots of interesting businesses making their initial forays into the international markets, was a very worthwhile experience.
Good publicity is another spin off to the extent that we understand the Vietnamese Ambassador has expressed interest in our initiative, recognising the importance of good leadership and management skills in business if the country is to benefit from the ASEAN initiative.

Unless you're a 'BREXITER', it's not been a particularly good weekend with economic 'experts' warning of stormy seas ahead. I don't think any of us really know whether leaving the EU will be of benefit in the long term but it seems certain that things are likely to lack stability in the short term.
However, at BDM, we prefer to look on the bright side having been shortlisted for the prestigious 'Open to Export Action Plan' Award. This is a result of our developing partnership in Vietnam and perhaps all our ties with Asia will become closer following the Referendum result. Notwithstanding this, it's good to see the Government backed 'Open to Export' team encouraging businesses to spread their wings away from these shores.


Did you know that it's never been more cost effective to employ apprentices following a recent relaxation in Employer NI contributions for anybody on an apprenticeship between the ages of 21 and 25?

The new relief came into force from 6th April and could save an employer of an apprentice earning £10,000 p.a. approx. £244, and an employer of an apprentice earning £15,000 p.a. approx. £947. The good news is that this ruling applies not only to the recruitment of new staff on an apprenticeship scheme but to existing staff who are given the opportunity to take the apprenticeship route. With some government funding still available to help fund apprenticeships, there has never been a more cost effective opportunity for employers to increase their staff's effectiveness through the type of structured, work based training that an Apprenticeship brings to the table.

Lithuania Bound

Business Development Midlands Ltd (BDM) continued with their international training crusade ,ably supported by UK Trade and Industry, by visiting Lithuania. Keith Fielding, one of BDM's most experienced tutors attended a number of meetings to both network and explore training opportunities. With BDM having recently joined the prestigious British Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania, Keith attended their Annual General Meeting to network and make important contacts.
Further education institutions were also on the itinerary and a very positive meeting took place with the International School of Law and Business followed by a meeting with the Vilnius College of Political Sciences.
Keith certainly got the most out of his visit because he was even able to take in the Vilnius Trade Show at the Airport on his way rest for the wicked!
The upshot of the visit is that BDM are hoping to launch a pilot Leadership and Management module scheme in the Autumn.

Keith Fielding (BDM Tutor) attending the AGM of the British Chamber in Lithuania

Update on SSW

Everybody knows about the proposals for the apprenticeship levy although, despite the plethora of well meaning seminars and events, outlining the changes, the devil is in the detail and it seems that things are being thought through a bit 'on the hoof ', at present.
However, when BDM were delivering training in Worcestershire to upskill the local workforce, short, accredited courses always proved popular with businesses going through busy periods whilst recognising the need to bring out the full potential in their staff.
Yet it appears that there's a question mark behind the government (and their agencies) commitment to Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) initiatives. Let's hope that the powers that be realise the need for this sort of flexible funding. Calls for SSW tenders are starting to appear in different parts of the country but so far ( if you'll excuse the mixing of metaphors) there's been a blinding silence for the West Midlands area.

Success Breeds Success!

The final figures are in on BDM's highly successful scheme aimed at up skilling Worcestershire businesses through fully accredited training.

Eighty five businesses were supported under the scheme and there was an impressive pass rate of over 90% amongst the 221 learners trained by BDM. This was a programme that spanned 18 months and was funded through Europe. Subjects ranged from leadership and management aimed at team leaders to customer service and sales skills for front line staff.
BDM currently have funding available to support employees in businesses across the West Midlands who want to undertake a Diploma in Leadership and Management (Levels 3 and 5) and Sales and Marketing. This represents an excellent opportunity for employers to up skill key staff whilst taking advantage of available funding. For more information, simply contact Ian White on 0121 222 5738 or by simply emailing [email protected]


Flag_of_Vietnam.svgNow, we're back time to reflect and follow up on contacts, drafting agreements etc. It looks like a result in terms of moving  forward delivering leadership and management training with our Vietnamese partners. Things we learnt? We should have gone for a fortnight and what we accomplished would never have happened without establishing trust through face to face meetings rather than attempting a chain of e mails! Oh..and it's been well worth joining the proactive and supportive UKTI Passport to Export initiative. Are they  Civil Servants ?  But not as we know it,Jim!
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