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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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