A North East training company is aiming to scale up its operations with the help of a six-figure investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Positive Futures (NE) works with a range of local authorities and further education colleges across the North East to design and deliver bespoke vocational training courses and qualifications.

The Peterlee-headquartered firm has worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the investment, which it is using to improve its systems and structures, enhance the technologies used by its tutors and gain new accreditations which will enable it to compete for more and bigger contract tenders.

The company has grown steadily since its launch in 2016 and is aiming to increase its annual income to more than a million pounds in the next five years, creating new jobs along the way in response to local, regional and national need.

Positive Futures is primarily a North East-based company, but also works in the North West and has plans in place to move into new markets further south in the future.

It delivers a wide range of vocational qualifications, including business and administration, customer service, health & social care, taxi driver training and team leadership, and also offers introductory and awareness training on topics including entrepreneurship, safeguarding, health and safety, disability awareness and food safety.

Its skilled team of tutors are highly qualified and experienced in teaching and learning within their respective sectors to ensure learners have access to the right level of sector expertise.

Andrew McHale, operations director at Positive Futures, says: “We take a person-centred approach to our work and build training packages that gives workplace skills and qualifications that individuals require to progress and become work-ready.

“Most of our work focuses on retraining and upskilling people who want to start work or return to the workplace, and while most of these learners are in the 19-25 age group, we are currently seeing a big rise in the number of people coming to us aged between 25 and 55 years.

“The technologies we use are central to the effective delivery of our services and investing in cloud-based systems will enable us to deliver more courses in community settings which are convenient for our learners, with tutors able to input data straight into our central systems from wherever they are.

“Winning additional business accreditations will enable us to compete for bigger contracts, which will be a major factor in achieving the ambitious growth targets that we have set ourselves for the next five years, and replicating the success we have enjoyed in the North East elsewhere in the UK is very much on our agenda.

“The flexibility of the NEL fund was a big attraction for us and the NEL team worked hard to support us as we progressed through the investment application process.”

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Positive Futures has established a very strong industry reputation for the impact of their training provision and now has the resources it needs to build on its achievements so far.”

The North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

NEL Fund Managers is actively looking for potential investees from Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland to put their investment ideas forward.

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.