S Rushton

Stephen Rushton

Co-opted Governor

Stephen Rushton

Director of Partnerships (PM Training)

Co-opted Governor

Trentham Academy

I began my career as an apprentice Painter and Decorator through PM Training in 1986, this has given me a unique understanding of the needs of the learner and the employer.

I have always been very ambitious and have developed my skills through work experience, good training and mentoring. This enabled me to become a supervisor, supervising and mentoring apprentices, working for the same employer for 9 years.

Following that I became self -employed for approximately 3 years, further developing my business management and site supervisory skills.

From 1995 – 2008, I volunteered as a Sessional Supervisor for the National Probation Service, supervising offenders on construction related projects.

In 1998 I became a Tutor/Assessor at PM Training, delivering apprenticeships and NVQ construction training programmes.  I felt very privileged to be back where I started in 1986, being able to help young people develop their careers, as PM Training had previously done for me.

In 2008, I was promoted to the Training Managers role, supporting all departments within PM Training, working with stakeholders and employers, to identify the training needs of the employer. Supporting the up skilling of the existing work force, as well as placing learners into apprenticeships. Ensuring PM Training maximised all SFA contracts.

In 2008, to assist PM Training in reaching more learners, PM became part of the Aspire Group of companies.  I was once more promoted to Head of Partnerships, a role which was developed to take on the new challenges and opportunities that this provided.

Following successful Supplier events and PM promoting social value, we were able to place more learners. Developing into strategic partnerships, with a number of key stakeholders. Providing PM Training access to other supply chains, allowing fantastic opportunities for all age apprenticeships. Achieving growth for PM Trainings employer network from 69 to over 1200 companies.

In 2013, I was once more promoted to Director of Partnerships, a role I am very proud of. I use my own life experiences to champion apprenticeships, supporting employers to maximise their levy and also to support employers supply chain, to maximise apprentice opportunities.  In addition I share my own experience with learners, from starting as an Apprentice in 1986 with PM Training to my career development to Director of Partnerships.

More recently I have led the employer engagement into the new levy system and changes in Apprenticeship Provision and funding, holding a variety of workshops and supporting employers through the changing Apprenticeship landscape. Managing key accounts for our major levy employers, from a range of industries and sectors, developing a bespoke Contract Management Plan. Ensuring that PM Training is delivering a high quality training service, that meets the individual needs of the employer; and ensuring that the employer is happy with our service and any issues of concern are addressed quickly and effectively.

Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy my-self and the team have supported over 80 Levy paying organisations to maximise the use of their levy. Introducing Apprenticeships to their companies, that are relevant and support the company to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Ensuring PM Training meets all KPIs, as defined by the Levy organisation.

The introduction of the Levy has widened the employer base that we work with e.g. 50% of our employer accounts are new, with Levy employers. This shift in the Apprenticeship system has enabled me to build on my experience to deliver a smooth Account Management service, including coordinating multiple tasks simultaneously and prioritising actions, to ensure timely completion of projects.  In addition I have supported my team to be able to be prepared to react to customers in a professional manner, ensuring that they are fully prepared, supportive and able to communicate effectively.  I ensure that strong working relationships are developed and sustained throughout the contract.

I became interested in becoming a governor at Trentham Academy, after working closely with Mike Whittingham and the Haywood Academy, through the City Learning Trust.  I felt from a business and personal perspective, I can add value by sharing my knowledge and experience with the team.

My key strengths that I can bring to the governors role include business engagement, supply chain management and social value support, supporting Trentham Academy and it’s students.

This means that our services concentrate on maximising the social, economic and environmental impact in our communities. Through building networks and sustainable employment/apprenticeship opportunities, we aim to enhance individuals’ lives. Boosting social value, supporting SOT City Council to deliver their strategic objective of ‘Working together to create a stronger city we can be proud of’.