A former technician has started up his own training company thanks to support from the SSI Task Force.
Redcar-based Graham Howes set up Steelriver Training after being made redundant from SSI.
He had spent more than 30 years in the industry, where he worked as a technician, metallurgist and as a security team leader.
This experience led to Graham setting up his own company, which provides specialist security training for businesses around the region.
The training ranges from teaching door staff and CCTV operators, to self-defence and conflict management.
Running industry-approved Security Industry Authority (SIA) courses, Howes started his business knowing he could do better than other providers.
He said: “The training I took after leaving SSI was life-changing, not because it was great but because it was the opposite. I came away thinking I could do this, and do it better.
“I have had some experience from SSI from a training perspective, but now it’s me and my own business I am responsible for making sure the training provided is first rate and people not only learn but they come away energised and full of positive attitudes.”
The SSI Task Force funding provided Howes with support and advice on how to set up his business as well as a grant.
He explained that the support has already paid dividends, adding: “Since launching the business, I have managed to obtain two contracts which I have now started to deliver.
“I have also just had notification of a further two that have reached the final stage of negotiation.”
Amanda Skelton (pictured above with Howes), chair of the SSI Task Force and chief executive of Redcar and Cleveland Council, added: “Graham’s business is really starting to take off and it’s great to hear that his courses are in demand.
“So far the Task Force has been able to help almost 250 businesses to set up and there is still money to support more.
“I’ve been so impressed with the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit shown by everyone who has started a new business, and I am keen to help them all to flourish.”
To find out more about the support offered by the SSI Task Force, go to www.ssitaskforce.co.uk.