A training provider is celebrating a landmark year after investing in new offices in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Stepping Stones Education and Training has passed its external Ofsted examination and Matrix reassessment in Autumn 2019 and has a growing portfolio of clients across Staffordshire and beyond.
“It has been non-stop in the past few months,” said Director, Andy Talbot. “We have completed our location to Brindley Court, Lymedale, and now own our own offices for the first time and also faced assessments by Ofsted and Matrix and we’ve come through it all well and on track to grow our services in 2020.
“Stepping Stones is almost 10 years old but for our first eight years we were categorised as a sub-provider for other education and training organisations and were not given a separate Ofsted approval.
“We now provide all education and training under our own banner and I’m pleased to say we have won Ofsted’s approval. The timing of that inspection also coincided with our Matrix reassessment. Matrix is the national kite mark for organisations supporting people through education and training.
“These are important assessments as they give peace of mind to the companies who entrust Stepping Stones to provide high level service for the development of their staff.”
Stepping Stones is a family business and is run by Annetta Talbot, who has more than 20-years experience in adult education and training, and her two grown up children Andy Talbot and Rebecca Miller. The company has a team of 15 staff and previously rented offices at Berkeley Court, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Andy added: “Our new offices give us space to grow and we own them, which is, in itself, an investment in the company. We see the Lymedale Business Park as an ideal location, close to many of the companies we work with and easily accessible, close to the M6.”
Stepping Stones specialises in lifelong learning services for companies and their staff, from apprenticeships to short courses, such as safeguarding training.
They work regularly with many companies in North Staffordshire including Best of British Beer, Woolcool, the Paragon pub group and John Belfield International.
Will Sherwin, Director at Best of British Beer, said: “We are passionate about what we do and we’re proud to support all the independent beer producers we work with. We’d like to feel that this passion has been instilled in our apprentices and they’ve grown to understand a lot more about the brewery process. One of the best ‘off job’ training sessions we do is to spend a day at a brewery helping to make beer.
“Having worked with Stepping Stones for over five-years and taking a steady stream of apprentices in that time, we believe that they understand our business. They have a great idea of what an ideal candidate’s experience and qualifications should be to enable apprentices to flourish with us.
“The apprentices we’ve had are given a wider remit than might be expected with the original job description. This means that warehouse staff are often empowered to help with social media and the office team will help out creating corporate orders in the warehouse. Our fulfilment for third party companies means that apprentices have had products they’ve created shown on TV or featured in well- known department stores.”
To find out more about Stepping Stones, please go online to www.stepstones-uk.com.
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