1982: Project Management Training begins

1982: Project Management Training begins

Project Management Training is set-up by local businessman, Sean Canavan. After working abroad for a number of years, in shipbuilding and off shore construction, Sean was inspired to create an organisation which ran training programmes based on the German apprenticeship model combining on the job and classroom learning.

1986: The National Garden Festival

1986: The National Garden Festival

The National Garden Festival in Stoke-on-Trent is opened by the Queen in 1986. Involved in the setting up of the festival, Sean and his two children, Daniel and Nina, work on the souvenir shop and oatcake stand throughout the five-month celebration. Today, the site is known as Festival Park.

1988: Sir Stanley Matthews visits Project Management Training

1988: Sir Stanley Matthews visits Project Management Training

Stoke City legend Sir Stanley Matthews pays the apprentices at Project Management Training a visit. Over the next few years, he becomes a regular friend to the staff and learners, visiting frequently and posing for photos.

1989: First IT class at Project Management Training

1989: First IT class at Project Management Training

The first ever IT class at Project Management Training takes place in 1989. Since then, the company has seen more and more learners develop skills in the constantly evolving technology with IT apprenticeships at an all-time high.

1996: Homeworks launches

1996: Homeworks launches

A snap decision to get son, Daniel to respond to a radio appeal to help tidy an elderly tenant’s overgrown garden in Bentilee, led to the property maintenance division, Homeworks being created. Offering pre-employment work experience, 250 young people work on real projects every year. 

2005: Create the ‘Swans’ at Trentham Gardens

2005: Create the ‘Swans’ at Trentham Gardens

The coming in to land sculpture is unveiled at Trentham Gardens. PM Training’s first commission was the creation of five life-size steel swans, each with a wingspan of six feet. Used as part of an introduction to engineering, a number of apprentices were involved in the making of the sculpture. 

2007: 25th anniversary of Project Management Training

2007: 25th anniversary of Project Management Training

In 2007, Project Management Training celebrated its 25th anniversary. During the quarter of a century, more than 500 training places were delivered in North Staffordshire each year, 170 placements were arranged at companies including JCB and Trentham Leisure, and more than 5,000 young people were put into work.  

2008: Project Management Training joins Aspire Housing

2008: Project Management Training joins Aspire Housing

Project Management Training joins Aspire Housing and becomes PM Training. Will Nixon becomes the new chief executive, while Sean Canavan retires after handing over the reigns. Aspire plans to expand PM Training’s reach across Newcastle-under-Lyme to ensure positive progression for young people across the whole of North Staffordshire.

2010: PM Training reaches 10,000th learner

2010: PM Training reaches 10,000th learner

Celebrations were in full swing as Jess Wakefield was crowned PM Training’s 10,000th learner. The 17-year-old from Cross Heath, who embarked on a painting and decorating apprenticeship, was presented with an annual pass to WaterWorld by Mo Chaudry to mark her achievement.

2010: PM Training’s Jak Forester wins Apprentice of the Year

2010: PM Training’s Jak Forester wins Apprentice of the Year

PM Training engineering apprentice, Jak Forester, comes top of his category in the West Midlands Apprenticeship Award 2010. The sculptor and metalworker receives his award at a ceremony hosted by television presenter Suzanne Virdee in Birmingham.      

2011: PM Training praised by Ofsted

2011: PM Training praised by Ofsted

PM Training achieves a positive Ofsted report – assessed as ‘good’ overall, 90% of the company’s functions are rated either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’. Ofsted inspector, Derek Spragg, said: “Practical training starts straight away and learners are well prepared for each stage. Support for learners by PM staff is outstanding.”

2011: PM Training opens new centre

2011: PM Training opens new centre

The Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Cllr Trevor Hambleton, officially opens PM Training’s new £500,000 centre at Brick Kiln Lane, Chesterton, on 8 December 2011. The centre features workshops, training areas, classrooms and offices and helps young people learn essential skills for the housing and construction sectors.

2013: Creates ‘The Hand of Recycling’ sculpture

2013: Creates ‘The Hand of Recycling’ sculpture

The steel sculpture resides on the Botteslow Street roundabout in Hanley, measuring two metres high. The project started as a way of both recycling scrap metal and giving learners a real-life taste of metal working. Over 18 months, every learner who came to Artworks added to the piece.  

2014: Vince Cable visits PM Training

2014: Vince Cable visits PM Training

Business Secretary Vince Cable visits PM Training to see young apprentices in action. Dr Cable said: “This is a brilliant institution. Unlike a lot of training organisations, it takes the young people who would otherwise be lost and helps get them ready for work and ready for apprenticeships.”

2014: PM Training win Social Enterprise UK award

2014: PM Training win Social Enterprise UK award

PM Training are honoured during a ceremony at LSO St Luke’s in central London, hosted by Social Enterprise UK. Recognising the achievements of social enterprises and supporters in 11 categories, the company won the Education, Training & Jobs Social Enterprise category, for providing work opportunities to 16-18 year olds.

2015: Sean Canavan receives Lifetime Achievement award

2015: Sean Canavan receives Lifetime Achievement award

Sean receives a Lifetime Achievement award from The Sentinel for his pioneering work across Staffordshire. Through the creation of PM Training in 1982, Sean has helped 11,000 young people into employment and created a legacy that continues to support employers and school leavers to this day.

2016: PM Training opens new gas and plumbing centre

2016: PM Training opens new gas and plumbing centre

PM Training opens a new £100,000 on-site plumbing and heating centre in 2016. Launched to help fill the skills shortage in the construction industry, the centre boasts practical work areas and class rooms to deliver gas and plumbing apprenticeships to up to 32 young people at a time.    

2016: Andy Wilkinson becomes PM Training ambassador

2016: Andy Wilkinson becomes PM Training ambassador

Former Stoke City defender, Andy Wilkinson, is revealed as an ambassador of PM Training. He said: “The work they do here is brilliant. I was honoured to be asked to be ambassador and I believe if you work hard enough you can achieve anything. Hopefully I’m proof of that.”

2016: Creates ‘The Buzzard’ sculpture

2016: Creates ‘The Buzzard’ sculpture

The 12ft steel buzzard sculpture, commissioned by the borough council was created by internationally renowned sculptor Andy Edwards and PM Training’s Artworks team. Installed on the Midway Roundabout on the A34 in Newcastle, apprentices helped to create the ground-breaking piece in under six weeks.  

2016: PM Training becomes the place to go for apprenticeships

2016: PM Training becomes the place to go for apprenticeships

For more than 30 years, PM Training has helped to train over 25,000 apprentices, doubled its workforce to a team of 120 dedicated employees – including around 30 NVQ assessors, and developed relationships with 1,000 businesses, making the company the largest provider of apprenticeships in North Staffordshire.  

2016: PM Training raise £3,000 in memory of Sean

2016: PM Training raise £3,000 in memory of Sean

Sean Canavan sadly died aged 69 in March 2016. Friends, family and former colleagues scale Ben Nevis to raise £3,000 in his memory. The group of climbers, including Sean’s son Daniel, present the proceeds to the Blurton Douglas Macmillan hospice on what would have been his 70th birthday.  

2016: PM Training’s Lianne Birch-Barnett awarded BALI Best Student

2016: PM Training’s Lianne Birch-Barnett awarded BALI Best Student

PM Training’s Lianne Birch-Barnett is presented with the national BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) Best Student 2016 award for her dedication and amazing work at Carmountside crematorium in Stoke-on-Trent. The award came just as Lianne had completed her Level 2 NVQ in horticulture.

2017: The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity

2017: The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity

The we are aspire group receives the highest accolade, a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2017. The ‘Promoting Opportunity’ category is the first of its kind and Aspire Housing, PM Training and the Realise charity have all played their part in helping people to find homes and employment across Staffordshire.

2017: PM Training HQ renamed the Canavan Centre

2017: PM Training HQ renamed the Canavan Centre

PM Training’s HQ becomes the Canavan Centre in honour of the pioneering mentor and businessman who set it up 35 years ago – Sean Canavan. Based on Sean’s signature, the sign is a fitting tribute to the man who helped 11,000 young people into employment.