A Berwick accountancy firm is half way through updating its entire 100-strong workforce in IT skills through NECC Training.
Greaves West & Ayre (GWA) staff are increasing their Microsoft Office programme knowledge as well as learning about innovations in internet security.
Angela Bruce, GWA Operations Manager said: “Some of our staff joined us from leaving school when there were no computers. We realised there was quite a bit of discrepancy between different members of staff’s knowledge of IT and the NECC Training programme has helped increase skills levels across the board.”
Andrew Robson, Head of NECC Training, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this in-house training programme for GWA apprentices and other members of staff. At NECC Training we pride ourselves on tailoring courses to precisely suit a company’s requirements. For this firm we were able to deliver the training on site in Berwick which meant it was much more convenient for their employees as well.”
One of the first employees to benefit from the initial training programme was Dianne Bradshaw, GWA PAYE Manager, who has worked for the firm since leaving school 30 years ago. She started as an office junior and her computer knowledge was self-taught.
She said: “I found the NECC Training course saved me huge amounts of time straightaway, in terms of using short cuts, raising technical knowledge and teaching me about the importance of computer security. You tend to assume the way you have always done something is the only way and it has been enlightening to learn new skills. I have also used the knowledge to improve my computer experience at home.”
Angela Bruce said: The GWA partners supported and paid for our staff to undertake this IT training to enhance our client service as cloud accounting is becoming increasingly important. Some members of our team have worked for us for 30 or more years which meant they hadn’t learnt anything in a classroom situation for a long time so for these people the training also increased their self-confidence.”
GWA’s training lasted two hours a week for approximately 43 weeks and they were taught by an NECC Training tutor. A total of 40 staff completed the training last year and achieved IT user Levels 2 or 3. 23 are currently studying for the same IT User qualifications.
Three members of staff who have joined GWA in the last year are already on the second group getting the training and finding the benefit. They are Amber Thomas, 24 from Tweedmouth, a tax trainee, who attended Queen Margaret University. Andrew Cockburn, 22, a former student of Biochemistry at St Andrews University and 27 year old Alisdair Hamilton, from Coldingham, who studied Geography at Newcastle University.
NECC Training offers IT training up to Level 4 across the region and also has Social Media Apprenticeships available for companies. Businesses can also use the NECC Training recruitment service for apprentices.