Exhibitors // Skills Office

Posted on April 6, 2018

Exhibitor Q&A: Skills Office


Launched by industry professionals to support training providers in delivering government-funded contracts, Skills Office are the only service provider in the UK that offer a full end to end support package for training providers and employer providers.  They’ll be at People Power 2018 as exhibitors this June, to give local businesses an idea of the services they have on offer.

We asked Company Director James Neilands a few questions ahead of the event:


Q: Can you tell us a little about the work Skills Office does?

Our services are purposefully designed to be simple and effective.  Our monthly claims processing service and complete 'back office solution' helps you to deliver quality driven training, record data easily and maximise your monthly financial claim effortlessly.

​Every business partner will be supported by a dedicated 'Skills Office' account manager, and will receive individual support from industry specialists, as well as full access to our complete 'end to end' delivery and training platform.

Q: Is there anything you’ve achieved with the company that you’re particularly proud of?


Supporting new and developing providers in the continually changing environment of the skills industry.  Helping companies to get established and win new contracts they formerly would not have been able to be considered for, without the necessary systems and processes to showcase their delivery.


Q: Do you think – a year after it was introduced – that the Apprenticeship Levy is a worthwhile endeavor?


For many businesses, the apprenticeship levy remains a confusing and challenging area to navigate. Sir John Timpson, chairman of high-street chain Timpson, compared it to ‘nothing but a tax’.

For many companies though, the introduction of the apprenticeship levy has opened up a world of opportunity. Many staff members previously considered ineligible can now undertake meaningful training, not just new apprentices. Existing staff and employers can become directly involved too.

One year on from the introduction of the levy, I still talk to lots of businesses that have yet to make good use of the contributions they have made. In many cases businesses have either been poorly advised about how they could use the funds or don’t know where to find a trusted source; someone that can explain things in layman’s terms (without industry terminology) and help them to devise a strategy on how to use the funds towards their overall business objectives.

There are of course many reasons why people have not utilised the funds yet but the most common feedback I receive is that it’s too confusing and whilst many businesses want to do something with it, it’s been put on the back burner.

It will be interesting to see where we are in another year’s time. I’m confident as more businesses plan their apprenticeship strategy, seek the proper advice and use the levy in the right way, we’ll see an increase in apprenticeship numbers and more examples of employers who have had significant improvements in business functions and performance.


Q:  Can you describe what the “360 Bespoke support” offered by Skills Office would actually mean to a client?

Our support plan comprises of nine simple modules:


Partners will receive access to our extensive library of resources, templates and will be invited to regular sessions with a consultant to make sure their individual challenges and opportunities receive the expert support they deserve.


Q: As an exhibitor, what attracted you to People Power 2018?


We viewed our involvement as an opportunity to exhibit with one of our business partners, and also meet professionals who could benefit from our knowledge, support and experience.


You can follow Skills Office on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

People Power 2018 takes place on June 6 - from 09:00 to 16:00 - in the Platinum suite at St James’ Park.

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