BBC Traineeships

BBC TraineeshipsWe’ve been working with our client CT Skills to promote its brand new BBC Traineeships scheme across the East Midlands.

As part of the media promotion, BBC Radio Derby asked to carry out a live interview with CT Skills’ Chief Executive Officer, Alex Ford, on Sunday 2nd August during Devon Daley’s evening show. 

The interview was not only an opportunity to talk about the programme itself, but promote the initial assessment day taking place in Derby just over a week later. This opportunity was seized by CT Skills with a number of mentions of the event, including contact and web details. The interview is engaging, relaxed and a great example of how to monopolise on a live interview opportunity! 

A bit more on the story…

The BBC, Department for Work and Pensions and Skills Funding Agency promised to create up to 5,000 digital traineeships for young unemployed people across the UK, through the Make it Digital programme. The scheme will give trainees the chance to learn digital skills including creating websites, running social media campaigns and making short videos for the internet as well as employability skills like budgeting, team working and project management.

Alex Ford, CEO at CT Skills said; “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the key deliver partners for the BBC’s Make it Digital Traineeship programme.  We have been delivering Traineeships across a number of sectors for over a year and know how impactful they can be in opening up opportunities for young people.”

Over eight weeks the traineeship, aimed at young people aged between 16 and 24, will cover a range of digital skills and work experience designed to help them find a path into employment. After five weeks of online webinars and classroom-based training with CT Skills, trainees will go on to do a three-week placement with an employer.

For more information, check out dates for up and coming assessment days on CT Skills’ homepage

Newstead Abbey Cottage

Newstead AbbeyBBC Radio Nottingham reports on Woodhead’s heritage restoration of Gardener’s Cottage at Newstead Abbey

Nottinghamshire company Woodhead is undertaking a £238,000, three month project to restore two Grade II Listed cottages at Newstead Abbey

Gardener’s Cottage and Stable Cottage are being developed by the specialist restoration team from Woodhead, as part of a project by Nottingham City Council.

The aim is to provide a wider range of visitor facilities, including commercial holiday accommodation, within the grounds of Newstead Abbey.

The cottages will also be available as accommodation for the bridal party as part of the wedding package on offer at Newstead Abbey.

Stag Communications worked with Nottingham City Council to arrange for BBC Radio Nottingham to visit Gardener’s Cottage to see the restoration in progress. 

Work is progressing fast with new electrics, bathroom, kitchen, with new plastering throughout to give the cottage a brand new feel and look. All the windows are being cleaned up to maintain the authentic look and feel of the property.

BBC Breakfast Presenter Andy Whittaker interviewed Woodhead site manager Don Wilson, who is celebrating his half century with the company and Commercial Manger for Nottingham City Council Jo Hunt about the cottage and its history. 

Secretary of State for Transport

secretary of state for transportSecretary of State for Transport visits CT Skills

Stag Communications secured a visit from the Secretary of State for Transport to meet with East Midlands training provider CT Skills to learn about its pioneering traineeship programme .

Stag Communication has been working with CT Skills to promote the new traineeships which are being used within the passenger transport industry and invited Patrick McLoughlin to come and see the results of the programme and meet some of the trainees who have progressed into work as a result of the training.

CT Skills met with Patrick at the Heanor depot of bus operator yourbus, where he was able to hear about the benefits of traineeships from the perspective of the training provider, employer and newly recruited bus drivers.

The traineeship programme focuses on equipping candidates with the key skills needed to successfully secure employment. Chief Executive Officer at CT Skills, Alex Ford said: “We work with employers across the East Midlands and know that to find a successful match between job seeker and employer, we have to understand the needs of both parties.

“We work hard to make sure we are preparing learners for work within a specific industry, while educating them on what businesses expect from their employees. 

“This tandem approach has been used in our traineeship programme for yourbus and means we are able to help a far greater proportion of our learners to secure employment. In turn yourbus can be confident that the people they are employing are right for them and their business.”

After a few weeks of classroom-based training with CT Skills, covering Maths, English and customer service, the trainees progress on to join the team at yourbus and start the practical training necessary to prepare them for the Hazard Perception Theory Test and the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence test, both of which are required to drive a passenger transport vehicle.

Sarah Taylor is Commercial and Marketing Manager for yourbus she said: “We have all worked really hard to get a training programme in place that works for our business and helps us to deliver the best service for our passengers. It’s been great to have the opportunity to show the Secretary of State for Transport what we and CT Skills have achieved.” 

Newark Magnus Buildings

Newark Magnus BuildingsBBC East Midlands Today visited the Newark Magnus Buildings to catch up on Woodhead Heritage’s progress on the National Civil War Centre project.

They were there to look at the social impact of such a scheme on the town of Newark. BBC East Midlands Today’s Simon Hare interviewed the National Civil War Centre’s, Michael Constantine, and one of the local joiners on-site that have been drafted in by Woodhead Heritage.

The Newark Magnus Buildings have been at the heart of Newark for Centuries. It’s history dates back to 1529, prominent resident Thomas Magnus built the Tudor Hall in 1529 as a free school which signalled the beginning of broader access to education for commoners, a movement that would drive social change.

The complex is unique in Newark as it comprises buildings from different periods – Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian – each of which was added in response to the changing attitudes towards education during different periods.

Work starts on Marble Hall

Marble HallMarble Hall one of the most iconic and historical buildings in Derby is benefitting from an extensive refurbishment project.

A specialist heritage construction team from Woodhead Heritage will be undertaking the work which will see the site transformed into a major community hub for the Osmaston neighbourhood.

Woodhead Heritage has considerable experience in delivering this type of development and were selected via a competitive tender process, with OCSAR members representing the community through all stages of the selection process.

Refurbishment work began this month and is due to be complete by July 2015.

Jamie Keegans, Project Manager at Woodhead Heritage said, “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver the Marble Hall project which will transform this landmark building into a valuable community resource. The outstanding architectural features which lead to this building being grade 2 listed will be preserved for future generations whilst incorporating sustainable construction techniques to achieve a BREEAM rating”

Rolls-Royce occupied the site on Nightingale Road from 1907 to 2011. The Marble Hall building was constructed as offices in 1912 and extended to include the Marble Hall in the 1930’s. Although some remodelling has taken place, many original features remain including a staircase from 1912, the 1930’s wood panelled Board Room and the Marble Hall, with its Tuscan style polished limestone columns.

Marble Hall is a much loved building in Osmaston by the local community. Rolls–Royce is donating the building and some surrounding amenities to Derby City Council in order for the refurbishment work to begin. In partnership with Osmaston Community Association of Residents (OSCAR), and a design team led by architects Bauman Lyons, plans have now been developed. There will be meeting rooms, a nursery and café as part of the new community facility that will play a significant part in the wider Osmaston Regeneration area project.

Nottingham City Homes

Nottingham City Homes

Nottingham City Homes tells Jeremy Vine “we’re prepared”!

BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show was discussing the country’s brick shortage today and how the industry will cope with the ever-increasing need to build more homes. Our client Nottingham City Homes had the foresight last year to prepare itself for a potential bricks shortage, and like all good scouts made sure they were ‘always prepared’. Want to know a bit more? Have a look at their story below.

A SCHEME to build nearly 400 new council homes in Nottingham has brought a traditional red brick back into production.

Five million of the new bricks will be used to build brand new council homes across Nottingham, and have even been named after the scheme – an industry first.

The ‘Nottingham City Red’ brick, which hasn’t been in production for many years, was selected for its traditional style, sympathetic to existing Nottingham architecture.

One of the country’s leading providers of wall, roof and landscaping materials, Weinerberger, is producing the Nottingham City Red from its Denton factory in Greater Manchester. It is based on a modification to a brick that was previously made at the factory, which meets the bespoke needs of the Building a Better Nottingham scheme.

Councillor Alex Ball, Nottingham City Council’s Executive Assistant with responsibility for housing and regeneration, said: “We are really excited that this programme has been able to bring this brick back into production. These new homes are just part of the Building a Better Nottingham programme, which is currently seeing £1bn being invested in regeneration schemes and transport infrastructure to transform Nottingham’s future.”

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Homes, said: “The Building a Better Nottingham scheme is a landmark programme of council house building for the city, and will have a hugely positive impact on our local communities.

“To have a brick named after the scheme shows just how significant it is. Now the Nottingham City Red is back in production, other developers will have the opportunity to use a material that reflects an era of architecture and design, widely prevalent in Nottingham and other cities across the country.”

The 65mm wirecut brick is being produced at a rate to meet the requirements of the Building a Better Nottingham scheme. It has been designed to reflect the Victorian heritage of the city, while meeting modern performance standards.

Nottingham City Homes’ (NCH) construction partner, Wates Living Space, is currently working in Radford to build 52 family homes. It was with Wates’ support that NCH found the right manufacturer to create the Nottingham City Red.

Joanne Jamieson, Regional Managing Director for Wates Living Space, commented: “We were very keen to use our role in Nottingham’s new building programme to deliver cost efficiencies through our supply chain.

The deal with Weinerberg means Nottingham City Homes will always have ample supply of bricks to help keep the programme on schedule. The deal will also save NCH nearly £100,000 over the lifetime of the scheme.

Ian Caddick, National Sales Director – Key Accounts at Wienerberger, who set up the deal on behalf of the company, said “We are proud to be involved in such a significant housing project. At the heart of what we do is a commitment to customer service, which is why we have developed this brick to the exacting requirements of the client, and named it after the scheme”.

For more information on the Building a Better Nottingham scheme, please visit the website: or follow us on Twitter @BuildingNottm.

Samedeal Supports Dragons’ Den

Grip It fixings through samedealOur fantastic client, Samedeal was founded on the ethos that everyone should be able to access the same value DIY and building products as large organisations with bulk buying power.

They have been working with Jordan Daykin at Grip It Fixings since earlier this year, selling his unique and UK patented designs, Grip It Fixings. Tonight Jordan appeared on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den, pitching his business to the investors to enable further expansion. He secured an £80,000 investment for 25% of his business, bartering with, and eventually shaking the hand of Debra Meaden – check out the clip for more on these fantastic products!

With a background in local authority procurement, Samedeal MD Pete Smith, used his knowledge and expertise to set up contracts with a range of manufacturers, negotiating great deals with big discounts for customers, without any loss of quality. The company sells a range of products on its website from kitchens and paints to German electric radiators, and of course the Grip It fixings.

Pete said: “Samedeal is a small family firm looking to provide our customers with the best deals, and in most cases with free delivery.

“When we met with Jordan and spoke to him about the Grip It concept, we knew we had to make these available to our customer base. This product could revolutionise the way we secure heavy items to dry lined and plasterboard walls, typically found in new-build and refurbished properties.

“As a former builder myself, I understand the failings of other plasterboard fixings that are on the market. Using Grip It fixings can save both time and money, and gives you the peace of mind that the fixing has been designed to securely hold heavy items like kitchen wall units, radiators, flat screen TVs, shelves and curtain rails.

“Once people see Jordan’s Grip It Fixing demonstration on Dragons’ Den, we expect interest in both our websites to rise dramatically, and have done everything we can in preparation to enable us to efficiently manage volume orders.”

To find out more, or buy your Grip It fixings online, visit: or

Pete Appeared on Andy Whitaker’s Breakfast show on BBC Radio Nottingham to talk about the Grip It deal.

Pete Also appeared on Local Broadcaster Notts TV


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