Celebrating Ten Years: Matthew Leavis on the growth of Morson Training
What a difference a decade can make! What a difference a decade can make! When I first took on the task of getting 250 people through their apprenticeships at Morson 10 years ago, I thought the role would be a project. In fact, I’d already lined up a new job elsewhere! But I met with […]

What a difference a decade can make!

What a difference a decade can make!

When I first took on the task of getting 250 people through their apprenticeships at Morson 10 years ago, I thought the role would be a project. In fact, I’d already lined up a new job elsewhere!

But I met with Steve Seddon, who had been overseeing the project, to discuss what the future might look like. Little did I know how important that conversation would be, or how much of a mentor Steve would be, with such an influence on shaping my career over the years.

It has also become clear since then how passionate our Group Chief Executive, Ged Mason OBE is about the value of training and its role in improving outcomes for people, while maximising the potential of talent at every rung of the career ladder.

With Ged’s backing and Steve’s guidance,  we have built a training business within the Morson Group that we can all be proud of. 10 years on, with more than 150,000 people trained, we’ve accomplished so much…and we’ve got a lot more we want to achieve!

Training matters

As a business that provides all kinds of people, from contingent labour right through to C-suite roles, Morson knows that skills, knowledge and competency matter. We also know that they can be hard to find and retain. That’s why Morson Training dovetails so well with the complementary services offered across the Morson Group.

But the commitment to Morson Training that has helped us grow to a £10m business within 10 years goes much further than that. It’s part of a wider landscape of commercial, social, and industry considerations, which has driven initiatives for STEM learning, upskilling, re-skilling and early careers development. From the primary school outreach we’re doing with Primary Engineer and Into University, through to our partnership with the University of Salford, our Pathfinders Academy and Morson Forces transferable skills initiatives, and our sector-leading Early Careers Development Programme at Morson Projects, skills and training are integral to Morson’s strategic focus on future talent.

Quality counts

From the earliest days of the Morson Training business, one principle has been prioritised above all else: quality.

A decade ago, training was a much more crowded marketplace and our goal was not to be as good as everyone else, or better than average; it was to be the best.

A commitment to quality has underpinned our strategy of exceeding client expectations and ensuring that every training delegate completed their course with the skills, knowledge and competency to do their job or prepare them for their next role. No-one passes a course with Morson Training just by turning up, but everyone who comes to us for training is supported to pass on their own merits.

That philosophy is not only important to us because we’re often training people in safety critical roles, but also because you can’t inspire people to be the best they can be by being mediocre. And we want every delegate who comes to us to maximise their full potential.

We’ve invested in our own talented training team to help us achieve that, and in the resources delegates need to maximise their learning capabilities. For example, we’ve developed training resources that support dyslexic delegates and those with low literacy attainment, so that they can not only achieve more, but also leave behind some of the negative associations of classroom learning they’ve had since school.

Quality is not just found in our data and commercial success; it’s in how effective we’ve been in developing the skills our clients and delegates need too. And because of that approach, both clients and delegates have come back to us time and again, companies have knocked on our door for our services, and we have become Network Rail’s master vendor, with responsibility for managing all their training programmes and supply chain.

Our journey from rail to multi-sector provider

Our origins and much of our continuing strength lie in the rail industry at Morson Training. We understand the sector and have achieved considerable recognition in it, including being named TfL’s Apprenticeship Provider of the Year and winning the first and only ever NSAR Platinum Award.

But, just as we recognise the value of transferable skills in our delegates and use that principle to help our clients develop the talent they need, we’ve also identified that potential in our business model and track record.

We’re growing rapidly, with six new trainers added to our team in the first six months of 2024, a goal to make that 10 by the end of the year, and a target to add a further 10 next year. As we continue to expand our team, along with our roster of specialist consultants, we’re not only adding to our capacity, we’re also increasing our reach.

The capabilities that have seen us train so many people in safety critical and technical disciplines for the rail industry over the past decade mean that Morson Training is ideally placed to partner with clients across the highways, infrastructure, utilities and renewables sectors, where the same demand for technical competency in hazardous environments applies.

We’re excited to celebrate our 10th anniversary – a decade is a big deal. But it’s just the start for us; a foundation from which we can continue to build.


Read next