Case Studies

Senior Nursery Nurse, Beth Rumsey, who originally studied Childcare at Macclesfield College and received Kids Allowed induction training through Macclesfield College

Senior Nursery Nurse, Beth Rumsey, who originally studied Childcare at Macclesfield College and received Kids Allowed induction training through Macclesfield College

Since 2010 the children’s nursery chain, Kids Allowed, has placed its trust in Macclesfield College to deliver training to staff across its North West centres.

With established sites in Didsbury, Knutsford, Cheadle Royal and Macclesfield, and a new centre soon to open in Stockport, Kids Allowed has chosen training provider Macclesfield College to help them deliver their primary purpose of ‘making children happy’.

In preparation for the opening of their most recent centre in Macclesfield, Kids Allowed HR Manager Carla Rogers approached Macclesfield College’s East Cheshire Business School to support the induction training of their 20 new colleagues.

Working with Carla to identify the nursery’s specific needs, Macclesfield College Employer Engagement Lead, Dawn Ridehalgh, developed a bespoke training package which included Behaviour Management and Duty of Care training as well as Pediatric First Aid and Food Hygiene, delivered by specialist trainers.

Kids Allowed Macclesfield Centre Manager, Harri Hawkins (pictured right) with employee Claire Hall.

Kids Allowed Macclesfield Centre Manager, Harri Hawkins (pictured right) with employee Claire Hall.

Since this first contact, Kids Allowed’s relationship with Macclesfield College has grown and strengthened, and Maxim Business Training at Macclesfield College now provides training for colleagues across all sites. The team of specialist trainers at the Business School has supported 23 Unit Managers through their Team Leading NVQs and 6 members of the Reception team, who achieved Level 2 NVQs in Customer Services.

Building on these successes, Kids Allowed asked Maxim Business Training at Macclesfield College to provide additional Customer Service and Food Hygiene training as well as bespoke Safeguarding training for coordinators across all their centres.

So happy is Carla with the service received from Macclesfield College and the visible benefits of a more skilled workforce that she is now planning to recruit 11 Nursery Assistant Apprentices through the College.

Kids Allowed HR Manager Carla Rogers (pictured left) with Nursery Nurse Amy Illingworth who studied Childcare at Macclesfield College and received Kids Allowed induction training also through Macclesfield College.

Kids Allowed HR Manager Carla Rogers (pictured left) with Nursery Nurse Amy Illingworth who studied Childcare at Macclesfield College and received Kids Allowed induction training also through Macclesfield College.

Carla commented: 'Working with a provider who can deliver a professional and high quality learning experience for our colleagues is extremely important to Kids Allowed. Macclesfield College have worked in collaboration with us to ensure that the training is relevant and interesting. The feedback we have had from the team is excellent and I can see them becoming more confident and knowledgeable in their roles.'

Macclesfield College is helping Kids Allowed recruit their Apprentices through vacancy advertisements, recruitment stands at College events and the annual Macclesfield Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair which took place in May.

Apprentice Lewis Munro with his mentor James Dawkins, Planning Executive at McCann Manchester

Apprentice Lewis Munro with his mentor James Dawkins, Planning Executive at McCann Manchester

McCann Manchester is the UK’s leading integrated marketing communications agency with an international client base including Aldi, London 2012, American Airlines, Clarks, InterContinental Hotels Group and Liverpool ONE.

In January 2011, McCann Manchester were looking to set up an Apprenticeship scheme as part of their ‘Talent Tree’ programme to attract, retain and develop talent within the business. After considering pitches from numerous training providers, they selected Macclesfield College’s East Cheshire Business School to deliver the groundbreaking training they needed.

As a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) accredited training provider, Macclesfield College worked with McCann’s Talent & Development Director, Darren Minshall, to develop a bespoke Advanced Apprenticeship in Marketing.

The programme breaks new ground by including the CIM Introductory Certificate in Marketing, in addition to the City and Guilds NVQ and Technical Certificates in Marketing normally studied with an Advanced Apprenticeship, giving McCann’s apprentices enhanced skills and a more complete set of qualifications.

St James's Place Administration Team

Marketing Apprentice Chris Davies shown here with Robin Wilson, Director of PR and Social Media at McCann Manchester

Commenting on the scheme Darren said: ‘Taking on apprentices is an excellent way to bring young, vibrant and diverse talent into our business. Macclesfield College was instrumental in helping us develop an Apprenticeship framework to suit our business needs and we’re so pleased with how it’s going that we are looking to double the intake to eight places for next year.’

McCann Manchester has posted a video detailing the success of their Apprenticeship scheme on their website and Darren also presented it to local employers at an Apprenticeship Business Breakfast held recently at Macclesfield College.

McCann Manchester’s experience of working with Macclesfield College is validated by the recent Ofsted inspection which rates the ‘quality of provision’ for Apprentices and work-based learners as Outstanding (grade 1), and reports that leadership and management of the programmes and the outcomes (the results) for students are Good.

Macclesfield College assisted McCann in the recruitment of their apprentices, placing the vacancies on the College’s Apprenticeship web page and by hosting an Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair, through which McCann found two of their apprentices.

Christine Allen

Christine Allen, Owner/Director of the Raw Sienna Art Gallery

In January 2011, Maxim Business Training at Macclesfield College IT team were asked to assist the development of IT skills for two businesses in the heart of Knutsford: Raw Sienna, an Art Gallery with an artist in residence, and Financial Services Consultants, St James’s Place Partnership. Each business had specific development needs for their staff.

Christine Allen, the owner director of the Raw Sienna Art Gallery, felt that although she had the IT artwork skills she lacked the business IT side which would enable her to effectively market the gallery. Christine discussed her specific needs with the IT specialist tutor, Lindsay Jones, and a one-to-one training programme was designed focussing on the development of email skills and the technology for marketing purposes such as e-shots, brochure creation and PowerPoint.

Christine is very enthusiastic about the training “Absolutely brilliant training - would love to do it again!” and her teenage children say that she doesn’t ask for help on the computer anymore!

St James's Place Administration TeamSt James's Place Administration Team

Partners at St James Place were keen for the Administration Team to develop their existing IT skills, in particular to become more proficient in the advanced use of spread sheets. A programme was devised which would fill gaps in their knowledge whilst ensuring that they were making efficient and effective use of Word Processing, PowerPoint as well as managing electronic diaries and multiple email accounts. The staff here completed the flexible iTQ 2 qualification.

Rob Allen, Senior Partner, was very pleased with the results of the training “Exactly as needed, I would recommend to other businesses”.

Vivien Doyle

Vivien Doyle, Personal Assistant to the Managing Director/Advisor

Honister Capital is the UK's leading privately owned financial advisory group. With no ties to any product provider or bank, they offer their members the freedom to operate on a truly independent basis.

Honister's partnership with Macclesfield College began back in 2005 when a cohort of fifteen employees studied for the ECDL qualification which was delivered in the workplace by Macclesfield College IT trainers This proved to be so successful that the company took the decision to offer their employees the opportunity to study for the ITQ IT User at levels 2 and 3. Fourteen employees took advantage of this and all participants achieved their qualifications. This success has been repeated each year as more staff have taken advantage of the IT training often progressing from iTQ 2 to iTQ 3 in record time.

Vivien Doyle, Personal Assistant to the Managing Director/Advisor, “there have been many overall benefits to the company, individuals have gained in confidence and the new IT skills that staff have gained have enhanced working practices and improved productivity.” “Without this training, knowledge and support, I would have been unable to continue or develop in my current role, and my desire to continually improve my skills which allows me to support, executive management, management and peers would have been impossible, or extremely difficult without the learning partnership between the company and Macclesfield College”

20:20 Mobile is Europe’s leading distributor of mobile phone products and provider of business process outsourcing services to the mobile telecoms industry.

20:20 Mobile UK Ltd.The IT team at Maxim Business Training at Macclesfield College, Macclesfield College was approached to assist 20:20 Mobile in the development of their IT skills in particular Spreadsheets.  The IT experts working with 20:20 Managers designed a package built around the iTQ Level 2 Certificate creating a unit profile that focussed on Spreadsheets, and allowed them to consolidate existing skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification for other areas of Microsoft Office.  The training was delivered at their base in Crewe using a flexible mix of group and 1:1 contact for 70 learners.

The roles of the learners had a wide range of responsibilities in the organisation and included members of staff from these areas:

  • Warehouse Management
  • Distribution
  • IT technical support
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Customer Services
  • Human Resources

Although the majority of learners embarked on a Level 2 qualification based on the same unit mix – as the training developed, learners were given the opportunity to adjust their profile to meet the changing needs of their evolving responsibilities. 

Learners and their managers have been commenting on how much time they have saved as a result of the training.  As part of their iTQ they have been undertaking individual projects focussed on improving their own effectiveness and efficiency and in many cases these projects have had a knock-on effect to their teams.  Information is analysed and presented much more effectively – ensuring that the minimum of mechanical tasks require to be performed – hence reducing the potential for human error.

Mrs Doreen Griffiths and Mrs Elizabeth Etherton

Volunteers Mrs Doreen Griffiths and Mrs Elizabeth Etherton

Home-Start is one of the leading family support charities in the UK and was founded in 1973 by Margaret Harrison, CBE. Home-Start’s trained volunteers provide support and friendly guidance to families, helping children have a happy and secure childhood and a good start in life. There are over 300 Home-Start schemes throughout Great Britain, Northern Ireland and amongst the British Forces in Germany and Cyprus.

Home-Start East Cheshire was formed in 2003 and initially located at Congleton War Memorial Hospital, moving to Overton House in Macclesfield in 2009.  Group organiser Maggie Spooner has over 20 trained volunteers within the Congleton/Macclesfield area, supporting over 60 families, and aims to increase the team to 30 within the next year.

All volunteers receive training to support families, however Maggie and 7 other team members decided to increase their knowledge by studying for an NVQ in Childcare through Macclesfield College. The College delivered external training and support to the group who all successfully achieved their NVQ2/3 earlier this year.  This was a great achievement for two volunteers in particular, Mrs Elizabeth Etherton and Mrs Doreen Griffiths, who are aged 72 and 75 respectively.

Elizabeth became a Home-Start volunteer as she believes helping people from birth greatly helps them and their families in later life. She said: ‘The NVQ has been challenging, but very useful and enjoyable! The group got to know each other very well through the course and identifying each other’s strengths has helped us work better as a team.’

Doreen also enjoyed the course.  After losing her husband several years ago she suffered with depression, but joining Home-Start gave her new friends and a new lease of life. Home-Start enables her to use her years of experience looking after children to play a very important part in other families’ lives, and she gets great comfort from knowing she is helping others.

Since completing their NVQ in Childcare, the volunteers have a good understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage, up-to-date practices and current legislation. Home-Start supports families within the community by providing group days where parents can meet and children can play in a safe secure setting. Their knowledge of the EYFS has enabled them to providing an environment that allows the children to explore and be creative through play opportunities and support all areas of learning and development for 0-5 year olds during their community work.

For more information on Home-Start East Cheshire please visit

Thomas and TreesDavid Thomas and business partner Tracy Rees have set up a successful hairdressing business in the heart of Macclesfield and, thanks to the apprenticeship scheme at Macclesfield College, they have been able to grow their business and share their knowledge and passion with a new generation of hairdressers.

Having worked as professional hairdressers for 26 years, of which the last five as colleagues, David Thomas and Tracy Rees decided to pool their experience and knowledge of the business and make the bold move into setting up their own salon.

After many months of property searching and a few sleepless nights of soul searching they found their perfect location at 110 Chestergate.  The former salon premises were taken over, and the business was started straight away in October 2008 with a first plan of re-design to suit their needs.

Now the really hard part started of growing the business in the middle of the banking crisis and ensuing recession.  The challenge was to find a cost effective way to recruit the right calibre of staff locally that could be trained to David and Tracey’s own high standards.  Tracy summed it up:

“We wanted talented people that would share our culture and ethos not just people looking for a job. Hairdressing is an intensely personal business so we needed people who were committed to a professional career.”

David and Tracy attended the Patrick Cameron Celebrity hairdressing event at Macclesfield College in June 2009 and were impressed with the facilities and interested in the Apprenticeship scheme. After discussion with Rachel Bishop, Employer Engagement Leader for Creative Studies they decided that the apprenticeship route met their criteria for training people to their own standards as a platform for growing the business.

Thomas and Trees"Our original apprentices Dan and Emily have done really well. They have moved onto the Advanced Apprenticeship, they have progressed to colours, highlights and cuts and are building their own clientele. Since then we have recruited another Apprentice, Steph, the team works really well  and we would like to recruit another Apprentice soon." David Thomas

Age ConcernAge Concern East Cheshire is an independent local charity, and a member of the National Federation of Age Concern organisations which work to promote the well-being and independence of all older people.  With a head office in Macclesfield, it employs over 60 staff and has nearly 200 volunteers working within the organisation.  Anyone aged over 50 can access the services provided, which include information and advice, healthy lifestyles, computer learning, day care and home help services.

Macclesfield College has provided training opportunities for all staff and volunteers since 2008.  These include ICT learning, where staff and volunteers have gained ITQ level 2 qualifications and at present, staff are currently on track to successfully achieve their qualifications.  Two members of staff have also completed their Foundation Degree in Business Management and are now progressing to gain a Full Honours degree through part-time study.

Our positive partnership with Macclesfield College saw one of our volunteers being nominated for a ‘Learner of the Year award’. She says ‘studying for the ITQ qualification has given me confidence and my IT skills have improved considerably.’  Our volunteer Home Help Administrator has seen her work-related project (as part of her Foundation Degree) benefiting the future development of the Home Help service and the impact has improved our business growth.

As a result of the training provided, staff are now using ICT with confidence and exploring the software applications to enable them to improve productivity.  The PA to the organisation’s Chief Executive says ‘it provided an invaluable opportunity to up skill my IT knowledge which has had a positive impact on my ability to perform my duties more effectively.’

Dominic Anderson, Business Development Manager, said ‘as an Investors in People Organisation, we are committed to supporting staff and volunteers to achieve their maximum potential.  Our partnership with Macclesfield College has enabled people to develop their confidence, work more efficiently and make the most of their abilities in supporting the client group that we are here to support.’

Visit the Age Concern East Cheshire website

Sunrise Senior LivingSunrise Senior Living is a large internationally renowned company who now have residential establishments in a number of locations in the UK. They offer 24 hour care and assistance with the activities of daily living and reminiscence care for those residents with memory loss.

Sunrise Senior Living in Mobberley is a state-of-the-art senior care residence, set in a rural location with landscaped gardens and woodlands. Their aim is to deliver a positive care home alternative that promotes the independence and dignity of all residents in a safe environment. Mobberley Sunrise employs a total of 70 members of staff, with jobs ranging from Senior Care Managers, Qualified Nurses, Care Managers, Caterers and Domestic Staff.   

The Health and Social Care team at Macclesfield College have played a significant part in training Sunrise Care staff since the home opened in 2007 and continue to do so at present. Sunrise Care staff have successfully gained a range of Diploma Health and Social Care / Apprenticeship qualifications, many progressing from Diploma 2 to Diploma 3 and some have successfully gained higher awards such as Level 5 Leadership and Management. 

Sunrise Senior LivingManagers have commented on the positive impact of the training on the organisation and improvement in the skills and knowledge of their employees. They are very pleased with the service and flexible approach they receive from the College and the Trainer Assessors who work there. One of the Managers, Amanda Ben-Hmida, praised the ongoing support and enthusiasm in assisting Sunrise Care staff through the Diploma training programmesm, "I have found the College Trainer Assessors to be approachable, knowledgeable and confident, available when requested and always take the time to allay fears and anxieties that care staff naturally feel about other types of formal training. We feel they are part of our team and welcome them as a colleague each time they attend."

Elior UKOwned by the French Groupe Elior, Elior UK is the market-leading catering, hospitality and facilities management group providing catering services to many well known companies. These include department stores such as Harrods and transport venues. Their own brands include Avenance, Eliance Restaurants, and Digby Trout restaurants.

With its Head Office in Macclesfield, where the sales, purchases and management accounting functions are based, it employs over 175 accounting staff at its Courtyard location. There are many benefits that help to motivate Elior’s employees, including a comfortable working environment, subsidised staff restaurant, flexi-time and fully supported study packages.

Macclesfield College plays a significant part in supporting Elior with their study packages and training needs. All levels of the Association of Accounting Technician are offered to help develop skills of the company’s employees, and the College offer support in the work place through Government sponsored Apprenticeships, which are a priority in the Macclesfield area.

Elior UKIn 2009, 12 staff from Elior successfully completed their accounting studies at Macclesfield College through an Apprenticeship. The introduction of the NVQ in Payroll at the College resulted in a further 6 students achieving success through an Apprenticeship. 

Following the Accountancy training, Managers have observed heightened business decision-making skills, an improvement in knowledge and a reduction in error – a vital issue in accountancy. Some of those who have completed the Apprenticeships have been able to step up to take on more complex work or have been promoted and the Payroll department has seen a significant improvement in motivation and team building.

Sam Morten, Continuous Improvement Manager at Elior UK Services said: "Taking on apprentices has been invaluable - it has had an excellent effect on retention and staff morale and they are ten times better at their job following training.’’

Completing the Apprenticeship has motivated team members to achieve qualifications and seek further skills through progressing on to higher awards and this year Payroll Apprentice, Matthew Critchlow won Business Development Unit at Macclesfield College Apprentice of the Year Award.