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Gateshead company announces growth as it celebrates 40th birthday

Gateshead-based Access Training is celebrating its 40th birthday and has announced it is on track to grow turnover by a third by the end of its financial year in July – bringing an impressive 85% growth in revenue over its last two financial years.

The expansion is largely down to high demand for its North East Workforce Skills programme which delivers ESF fully-funded one and day-two CPD courses to employees of north east businesses. Interest in these courses, particularly, team leading & management, project management, and HR principles – which can be used to quickly impact local businesses – have proven extremely popular and this has been mirrored by an increase in apprenticeship enrolments.

Access Training – originally called English Estates YTS – was set-up in 1983 to tackle high youth unemployment by running the government’s Youth Training Scheme, and to date the firm has helped over 5,000 people into work, mainly via modern apprenticeships. Over the years – a significant number of these learners have remained with their original employers and, or have progressed into senior management roles, often recruiting apprentices of their own.

The firm has 28 employees and is based at Gateshead Skills Academy on the Team Valley in Gateshead.

Speaking at Access’ 40th birthday event where guests included some of its very first learners, employers and team members both past and present – managing director, David Armstrong, said the company has exciting plans for further expansion, investment and a recruitment drive:

“We’re so proud to be celebrating forty years, having supported over 5,000 people get on the career ladder and well over 2,000 north east businesses prosper through providing quality training for their people.

“We have a strong, talented team to thank for our success so far and we are recruiting for more staff to join us in fulfilling our growth plans.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last four decades as we look forward and continue to listen to what north east businesses and organisations need from us in order to thrive.”

Access Training has recently introduced new apprenticeships in human resources, project management, teaching assistant and school business manager, which are proving popular.

Access Training’s biggest clients include British Engines, Newcastle University, Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust, TT2, KAEFER, Pyrocel Limited and Miller UK Ltd.

After 38 years with the company, Malcolm Armstrong stepped down as managing director in 2020 and was succeeded by his son, David Armstrong who was formerly finance director.

Malcolm is now chair of a new senior leadership team comprising of managing director, David Armstrong; director of training, Sharon Wallace, and Valerie Green who heads-up business development and marketing.


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Access Training's team at the Angel of the North

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