Rebecca Heyes, Inclusive Learning Academy

More than 280 women across Lancashire have invested in their professional development to boost their management and leadership skills thanks to a business programme delivered by Edge Hill University.

The University’s Business School is supporting women from small to medium enterprises (SMEs) across the region to pass through its Leading Lancashire programme, which helps to develop the leadership skills of employees. 

Leading Lancashire, part funded by the European Social Fund, offers priority to women, disabled people and members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community. 

The programme aims to develop the skills of employees and embed new leadership and management capabilities in the region’s SMEs, through the delivery of professional Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualifications. 

Local business owner Rebecca Heyes is director of Ormskirk-based Inclusive Learning Academy, which is a team of teachers and professionals who offer specialist dyslexia tuition for students. A former Edge Hill student herself, Rebecca enrolled on the Leading Lancashire programme to further develop her managerial skills. 

She said: “Although we are expanding each year, I recognised that as a company we needed to further develop our managerial skills to help drive our company forward. I have been given the opportunity to evaluate my own skills and consider how these can be utilised and adapted to meet the needs of the organisation currently and in the future. 

“Since starting the course, I have noticed a considerable improvement in my confidence and ability to run my company successfully.” 

The CMI qualifications are designed to build an effective and agile management team to help businesses to be more resilient, stay focused and continue to grow. The courses are offered through a flexible delivery model, created with the busy professional in mind. 

Sarah Huntley, TAS Partnership

Sarah Huntley is the Managing Director of the TAS Partnership, a passenger transport consultancy based in Preston. Sarah said: “I found the Level 7 qualification both useful and interesting, and having the opportunity to share ideas with other professionals in similar roles was very rewarding. It didn’t matter that we work in different sectors. I was able to use the learning to inform my own thinking about my role and the opportunities and challenges it presents.” 

The effects of Covid-19 have prompted businesses and employees of SMEs across the region to seek support to help build resilience among their management teams and for individuals to strengthen their personal portfolio with a nationally recognised qualification. 

John Mercer, Associate Director of Edge Hill’s Business School and Director of the University’s Leading Lancashire programme, said: “As we mark International Women’s Week, it provides us with an important opportunity to reflect on this major milestone in the Leading Lancashire programme as we celebrate more than 280 women passing through the programme. 

“We are so pleased to see the positive impact that the programme has had on employees and businesses across the region. The flexibility of the programme has led to a surge in applications since the beginning of the year and we’re looking forward to helping more SMEs to bring the best out of their staff to ensure they can continue to effectively compete in a dynamic and competitive sector.”

Course dates are available on the Business School’s programme for 2021 and more information and details of how to apply can be accessed via the website.

Edge Hill’s Business School offers students an environment to grow and develop, enriched by its partnerships with some of the world’s leading universities, key national and regional employers and businesses and with the major professional bodies across its degree subjects.