Here at Bright Direction Training, we’ve just celebrated our 8th Birthday. Yet it seems like only yesterday that founder and MD Jamie MacGregor, disillusioned with his job at an SME training centre, finally quit to follow his dream of setting up a National Training provider specialising in Leadership and Management Development. So what better time to look back and see how far we’ve come?
Bright Direction opened for business on 22nd December 2010 in the basement of Platinum Hair Studios, Bolton.
Here, Jamie and long-time friend, colleague and mentor Mick Chew started the long slog of reaching out to develop a network.
A call to Aiden Murphy, a management trainer at Wigan and Leigh College, soon saw Jamie working as a consultant at the college delivering Team Leader NVQ’s on a national project – Bright Direction Training’s first proper customer. (Remember Aiden’s name, though. He features again in a few years’ time.)
Another small contract in the Welfare to work sector allowed Jamie and Mick to establish a foothold in the local area. And from there, guided by the company values of helping others to develop and grow with integrity and a passion for learning, the business went from strength to strength.
Adding to the team
During one employment course, a student called Christina Turner impressed Jamie and Mick so much that she finished not just with a professional qualification, but with a job offer to become Bright Direction Training’s Admin Assistant as well.
With three people to accommodate, the company moved from its Salon basement to the Bolton Council Workshop offices on Newport Street, complete with spacious classrooms and teaching facilities.
The focus was now fully on welfare to work and facilitation of the Government’s Adult Education Budget, with Jamie, Mick and Christina all putting together different routeways to help people back into work.
Innovative training sessions, qualifications and our unique organisational values all helped ensure continued growth and, in 2014, Kim Fletcher joined the team to take on additional Admin and Due Diligence responsibilities.
A qualified teaching assistant before she was made redundant, Kim brought her passion for teaching and learning with to her to Bright Direction, where she was able to enjoy the flexibility of managing the new role around the demands of her family life.
We’re going to need a bigger office… again
Another move in 2014 saw 19, St Andrews Court, Bolton become the new home of Bright Direction Training. The new office was spacious and well-appointed with its own fully equipped classroom. It soon started to feel like home as Jamie, Mick, Christina and Kim quickly settled in.
Jamie had never lost his vision of delivering management development courses and management apprenticeships. He had never lost contact with Aiden either and, after a couple of phone calls later in 2014, a series of clandestine meetings and numerous cups of Starbucks Coffee, Aiden quit his job and became a shareholder and Director at Bright Direction Training.
With the values and vision for lifelong learning that Jamie and Aiden shared, it wasn’t long before Bright Direction became an ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) approved Centre and began to deliver a suite of management courses as well as the existing Welfare to Work programmes, which continued to grow.
In 2016, the office at Andrew’s Court was extended to take over the second floor, providing space for two more classrooms and a fully furnished IT suite.
In the same year, Mick took up the mantle of Head of Quality and began to raise the bar in the quality of delivery and assessment.
With the advent of the Apprenticeship Levy and new apprenticeship standards came more opportunities for growth. Turnover was doubling year by year and the company successfully applied for inclusion in the Register of Training Organisations and Registration of Apprenticeship Training providers.
The end of an era.
Mick retired at the end of 2018 but leaves behind a quality system that’s second to none and a legacy that will always remain at Bright Direction Training. We continually strive to live up to that legacy, developing and improving so we can be the best at what we do. Our recent Ofsted monitoring visit serves to validate that claim and drives us to be even better.
An increase in workload has also meant two additional support staff, Gemma Coward and Becca Crompton, have joined the Bright Direction family.
The office team are supported by a fantastic cohort of consultant teachers, each a specialist in their own field. All have relevant teaching and assessing qualifications but more importantly, all share the values that the company was founded upon
In 2018 Bright Direction Training started to extend its reach across the North West and beyond delivering courses in Leigh, Wigan, Blackpool, Huddersfield, Bradford, Lancaster, Preston, Manchester, Rugby and Worksop.
So if you ask Jamie or Aiden as we enter 2019 ‘where is the end point?’ the answer will be exactly the same: ‘There is no end point … anything is possible.’