FOUNDED in 2009 with five employees at inception, The Skills Network embarked on a journey to provide individuals with access to further education who were not being catered for by existing market provisions.

The Selby-based business had a vision to deliver exceptional quality and offer greater reliability to learners, and has asserted itself as one of the UK’s leading distance learning providers.

Entering the Large Business of the Year award, The Skills Network delivers more than 110 distance learning courses, market leading e-learning technology and published educational resources on a national and international scale.

From humble beginnings to August 2018, The Skills Network now boasts annual student numbers of more than 25,000 learners, both nationally and globally across employment, education and home-learning settings. The firm has also built partnerships with more than 4,000 organisations to implement training programmes, and has 500,000 users enrolled onto its award-winning e-learning platform EQUAL.

The business, which has just enjoyed its most successful financial year to date, now has a head count of 200 staff and employs over 500 remote tutors, and also has a London office, dedicated to business development.

The last year the firm created more than £600,000 of sales for their EQUAL Learner Management System and online-content alone in 2017/2018 from the technology market.

Consequently, The Skills Network launched its Apprenticeships service with a collection of 15 accredited programmes, seeing more than 200 learners already enrolled onto a programme. The business has secured major contracts to deliver apprenticeship programmes with global security firm G4S and international childcare provider Bright Horizons.

The Skills Network is now recognised as a Grade 2 “Good” Ofsted training provider following its first inspection in May 2018. Ofsted praised the firm for its “expertly-designed” curriculum, “highly-qualified experienced staff” and “extensive range of high-quality vocationally-based online resources”.