ACT (Cardiff)

Origins

Everyone is different and what suits one person might not suit another. Some people wish to pursue academic routes whereas another might prefer a more vocational, work-based option. Unfortunately, if you were the latter type of learner in 1988, work-based options were few and far between. Therefore, ACT was set up to respond to a business opportunity which is still valid today, 25 years later, proven by the amount of learners that contact the firm daily to enrol onto its qualifications.

Success Factor

Managing Director Andrew Cooksley set up ACT after leaving school without any qualifications and many ACT staff members are learners who have flourished while carrying out traineeships, apprenticeships and placements facilitated by the company. Andrew attributes the rapid growth of his business to his staff members living and breathing the five core values that are at the heart of ACT: being positive and having a ‘can do’ attitude; taking pride and responsibility in exceeding people’s expectations; helping raise and realise people’s aspirations; having fun in providing a professional, safe and friendly service and showing deep respect for individuals. Staff at ACT go above and beyond their job descriptions to ensure that they demonstrate ACT’s core values at all times which is why 9 out of 10 of its learners rate us as ‘excellent’ year after year. Clear strategic and highly effective business planning has also aided the growth of ACT and it has grown organically over the past 25 years although it was only a few years ago that a formal business planning process was put in place to strategically manage growth and plan for the future. This involved getting the whole organisation to feed into the process, taking ownership and responsibility of ensuring that the overall strategic goals were achieved. Continual reinvestment into resources, facilities and staff is another factor that has contributed to the rapid growth of the business. For example, all ACT centres are equipped with state of the art facilities including iPad technology to ensure that the learner’s experience is as up to date and relevant to them and this is most prevalent at ACT Schools (Ocean Park Academy and Brook Park Academy) where young people who have experienced problems with mainstream education attend. The academies are fitted with music studios, catering facilities and multi media cinema rooms.

The Future

SCT aims to deliver excellent training and learning programmes and to increase awareness and improve engagement of employers and learners. It also aims to have a highly effective team who strive to hit individual, team and company targets and achieve development plans, are happy at work and have outstanding and responsible contract management and performance that gain excellent ratings in learner outcome reports, fully deliver contractual targets and obligations and ensures highly effective financial and process management.