If you’re thinking of outsourcing leadership management training or require fully-funded assistance to help boost a workforce, then lining up a meeting with Simon Corbett’s Orangebox Training Solutions should be high on your list.
The chances are that one of Simon’s team would come to visit you anyway, but Orangebox’s Tranquility House headquarters boasts a perfectly placed location to hear how the Hartlepool-based provider can help you and your organisation – anywhere in the region.
Simon’s CEO office balcony overlooks the marina where Tall Ships from around the world were berthed only last month, and back indoors he has quotes from inspirational leaders dotted around his interior walls.
His favourite, Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena speech, is one of those, along with American General Douglas McArthur’s description of a true leader. Such thoughts are behind Simon’s own approach to lead his Orangebox team.
“My biggest focus is to make a difference to people’s lives,” said Simon. “That’s not just to learners and clients, that’s to the staff of Orangebox too. I am driven by a positive culture, I want employees to come to work and be happy and for this to filter out into our learners, delegates, where we can change people’s lives and deliver training that adds value.”
What started off as a business where Simon worked for himself on a second-hand computer off eBay in 2016 has developed into one of the most effective training providers in the North-East employing 52 members of staff.
And the intention of Simon, a former undercover police officer and non-league football player and manager, to deliver bespoke management training seven years ago has now progressed into an essential pre-employment training provider focused on getting more people into work.
He said: “Our training team is out on the ground delivering training every day. We are not only focused on the UK we have clients in Spain, Dubai and Qatar. We are always looking at ways in which we can grow and increase our offer.
“Our intention is really clear. It is our aim to work with as many NorthEast based employers and provide sector specific accredited training courses to local unemployed residents, helping them on their journey to gain employment.
“When times are hard, and recruitment is hard, our pre-employment training service is free. We recruit genuinely interested local residents who have responded to an advert. The learners want to come to us because of the opportunities we create. The more employers we work with the more opportunities we can create.”
Five years ago Orangebox started to roll out government funded preemployment courses on a regular basis, starting at a customer service employer were ten learners completed the course and nine progressed into employment.
It was then that Simon realised just how Orangebox could change people’s lives. Further courses were run for the likes of Blue Line Taxi, End Clothing and a large fashion house based in Blyth who they continue to support through a third party to this day.
Orangebox’s offer and reputation continued to grow and by working with more funding partners, further fully-funded training courses as a sub-contractor for the likes of Sunderland College (part of Education Partnership NE), New College Durham, Darlington College, Hartlepool College of FE, People Plus, Stockton College and Middlesbrough College. Orangebox was also awarded its first direct contract with the Tees Valley Combined Authority a couple of years ago.
Simon said: “After 23 years in law enforcement, I’m now nearly eight years into running Orangebox. The transferable skills of that experience have taught me how to speak to people, build relationships and, when necessary, to diffuse certain situations.
“It’s gone from infiltrating serious organised gangs to building an organisation with a one team culture that could also stem from 30 years of being involved in semi-professional football.”
Orangebox work with SMEs, national and international companies in a variety of sectors, including, but not restricted to, production, manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, retail hospitality, construction, security and care.
It currently trains around 4,000 learners in the North-East, Merseyside and Humberside, and Orangebox has previously delivered courses in west Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and the south-east midlands, as well as Warrington and Cheshire. Every learner is guaranteed an interview and more than 70 per cent progress into employment.
What has been achieved fills Simon, a Newcastle United fan, with pride – and he hopes his late father, Ian, would be proud too.
Simon added: “It’s about making a difference and it doesn’t stop at staff and learners, I want to do what I can do help and that’s why I also work with Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool, I’m a board member on the Mayoral Development Corporation and we sponsor grassroots, semi-professional and professional football teams.
“We are part of Newcastle United’s executive club, which always takes me back to when I was aged eight standing on the terraces with my dad. He would have loved to see the Orangebox logo at St James’ if he was still alive.
“Bigger than that, though, I’m very proud to be Hartlepool born and bred, representing the town and the North East – I’m pleased to be helping to put Hartlepool on the map as well as people into employment.”
For further information on how Orangebox can help your organisation visit orangeboxtraining.com