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Training 26 success story continues two decades on

Training 26 Office Manager Angela Jones with (from right to left) Unity Homes and Enterprise Chief Executive Chief Executive Ali Akbor, Training 26 Director Mike Cunningham and Unity Enterprise Manager Adrian Green

A Leeds-based specialist IT and business skills training provider is increasing its capacity at Leeds Media Centre after a surge in demand for its services.

Training 26 offers classes and bespoke tutoring in Microsoft Office, Adobe, Sage and related IT packages, together with a comprehensive range of management and personal development courses for individuals and SMEs.

The company has now taken additional space at the Unity Enterprise-run facility and recruited a new member of staff.

Established in 1999, Training 26 was taken over almost two years ago by Mike Cunningham, a technical consultant with vast experience in IT, and Angela Jones who held a customer facing role in the property industry.

Since then, the pair have expanded the scope of courses on offer and, six months ago, became a Pearson VUE© Authorised Test Centre, allowing the firm to deliver computer-based exam delivery services for some of the biggest names in IT including Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, Oracle, HP, and VMware.

Mike Cunningham, Training 26 Director, said: “The move to Leeds Media Centre has worked incredibly well and we are happy to be taking more space in an excellent building. We recently recruited our first apprentice who is already proving to be a great asset for Training 26.

“As a one-stop shop for IT and business training needs, we are able to source the best trainers available and have plans to add new courses in the months ahead. Our clients enjoy the modern facilities at Leeds Media Centre where parking is plentiful and there is the option to open on Saturdays.

“Whilst most of the businesses we cater for are based in the North, our reach is expanding nationally. These are exciting times and it’s good to be part of the Unity family.”

Harrogate-based greeting card creator Pigment Productions is one well-known employer whose staff have benefitted from courses delivered by Training 26.

Debbie Saltmarsh, General Manager at Pigment Productions, said: “We use Training 26 for their flexible, varied and great presentation-style training courses. We have had candidates attend courses at their offices and also more bespoke courses held in our offices, which makes for easier staff attendance. They are extremely easy to work with and flexible to your requirements. We will definitely continue to use them for all of our future training requirements.”

Leeds Media Centre is one of three business locations in the city owned and managed by Unity Enterprise, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Unity Homes and Enterprise, which provides 130 managed workspaces for around 80 employers including charitable groups.

Ali Akbor, Chief Executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise, said: “Training 26 is a shining example of the first-class work going on across our business centres.

“Unity’s ethos is based on improving people’s lives. Social and economic regeneration are of equal importance to physical regeneration, thereby empowering local communities to help themselves. Training 26 helps people – in the business, public and social sectors – to improve their skills, progress their careers and contribute to the development of their colleagues.

“I am particularly pleased that, in common with other valued Unity Enterprise tenants, Training 26 has taken on a local apprentice. It is terrific to have the company operating at the heart of Leeds Media Centre.”

Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise Manager, added: “Mike and Angela are a pleasure to deal with. I have also spoken to a number of their clients as they come and go from Leeds Media Centre and have heard nothing but positive comments about Training 26.

“Mike and Angela’s absolute commitment to the task in hand is second to none. They deserve every bit of success they get and I know that many more achievements lie ahead as they to expand their business offer.”