Essex Skills Centre signs-up to the LCL Awards Inclusivity Charter

23 Jan 2023

Ben Bayliss is proud that his training centre, Essex Skills, has recently been awarded LCL Awards’ Inclusivity Charter. The award-winning initiative was introduced by LCL Awards in 2022, to encourage their training centres to be more inclusive and encourage learners from diverse backgrounds.

Ben set up Essex Skills two years ago, having run his own plumbing and heating business. Previously, he worked as a trainer, and a senior manager in both further education and private training settings.

The company is based in Colchester and he and his team work hard to provide high quality training to everyone. Ben explained:

“We’ve always been inclusive at Essex Skills, catering to the needs of diverse range of candidates – of different races and religions. We work hard to make everyone feel welcome and to accommodate those with specific learning needs. We provide practical help for those with dyslexia; overlay sheets to help them with the written work and extra time for assessments etc.  It’s great that LCL Awards has recognised our approach and given us their seal of approval.

“We’ve started thinking about how we can make our timetabling more flexible, to cater to those who can’t necessarily take time during the working week to learn new skills. We ran our first Saturday course in G3 Unvented in December 2022 and it was a great success. Seven of the eight candidates were new customers, so that’s excellent for business.

“The approval process for the charter has brought various things to our attention and we’ve improved our toilet facilities for women. We now have sanitary bins in the women’s toilet - and even a mirror!”

“Now we have the Inclusivity Charter, we’re going to focus on attracting more women learners to the centre. For a while now, we’ve had a female trainer, Jennifer, who complements the rest of our team, which also reflects a good range of ages. Jennifer has over twenty years experience working as a heating engineer and trainer, so she really knows her stuff.

Ben, who is also a Senior Forensic Investigator and technical advisor for CIPHE understands the value of working with other companies and organisations. The equipment in Essex Skill’s training rooms has been sponsored by Vaillant and Ideal and the company has a number of partnerships with other local commercial gas companies. Essex Skills Centre works closely with PlumbCity, located in Colchester, and looks after the majority of their account holders’ training needs.

“When we took the company on, we could see that it hadn’t been running to its full potential. We put a lot of time and money into promotion; broadened our online marketing reach and now use social media such as Google ads, Instagram and LinkedIn to spread information about what we’re doing.

“Most of our business is repeat business, but we do attract new customers and we see that the Inclusivity Charter will help us reach out to a broader cohort of learners. I think it’s great that  LCL Awards has set this up and we look forward to developing the opportunities that such an award will bring. “

To find out more about Essex Skills and Ben’s team in Colchester, please click here.

To find out more about LCL Awards' Inclusivity Charter, click here.