Mar 2014 / Company

Wales’ largest training provider, ACT, has been recognised by The Sunday Times as one of the Best 100 Companies in the UK for 2014. 

Established more than 25 years ago, ACT has its headquarters in Cardiff and centres across Wales – including  Wrexham/Caerphilly/Bridgend – and offers a range of training opportunities including Traineeships, Apprenticeships and Essential Skills.

These schemes are available to support the continuous professional development and those looking to make their first steps onto the career ladder.

ACT ranked 35th in the prestigious list which measures and acknowledges excellence in workplace engagement. It is widely acknowledged as the most searching and extensive research into employee engagement carried out in this country. All the scores and ratings that are assessed to compile the lists are based entirely on employee opinions.

The contentment of their employees is something that ACT takes very seriously, so much so that it even has its own “head of happiness” to ensure staff enjoy their work. Jane Davies’s brief is to make sure the 317 employees feel valued and fulfilled.

Comments from The Sunday Times about ACT include: “There is a no-blame culture at this Cardiff head quartered training provider, with employees’ encouraged to make mistakes they can learn from and to complain through the staff council if they are unhappy.

It’s employees feel they can make a valuable contribution to the organisation’s success and it is critical they are happy because work is an important part of their life.

“There is also a strong sense of family. The company funds a Christmas party, while a family fun day featuring a performance by the ACT choir took place last year to celebrate ACT’s 25th birthday.

“Staff feel their job is good for their personal growth and believe the experience they are getting will be valuable in the future.”

Speaking about ACT’s inclusion in the influential list, Managing Director, Andrew Cooksley, said: “I am personally delighted that ACT Training has been listed in such a prestigious category with some of the best known companies in Wales and across the UK.

“Our work here is to raise the esteem and promote the personal growth of thousands of learners every year, and we can only do this with the right kind of leadership from staff who themselves feel confident and empowered in what they are doing.”

Andrew continued: “As an organisation our business depends on our ability to focus on the individual needs of each and every learner involved in the services we offer, and we can only do this through a widespread culture of communication and co-operation amongst staff who feel supported in the same way.

“To know that our employees in turn feel as valued and fulfilled as the learners they are helping is greatest outcome I could ever have hoped for when we founded ACT Training 25 years ago.”

Listed alongside companies in the mid size category including household names like BMW (67th), Bravissimo (14th), White Stuff (88th) and Kuoni (75th), ACT is one of only a small handful of Welsh companies to make the list, with others including Save Britain Money and Creditsafe.