Working in partnership with our clients – Q&A with Set Training

July 28 2021 By David McInally

David McInally from our insurance hub in Glasgow recently caught up with Set Training, to discuss how they have coped with the challenges presented by Covid…

Reich Insurance Brokers is, and always has been, a service-centric business; with the opening of our Glasgow office to support our clients based in Scotland proving another great demonstration of this ethos. Recently, David McInally sat down with Jenny Morrison of Set Training to discuss how they have been coping over the past 12 months, and what the future may hold for the company.

Who is Set Training?

We are a modern apprenticeship training provider in the digital sector, filling roles such as digital admin, marketing, IT support, web design and a whole host more! We have been trading since 2013.

Are there any common misconceptions about your sector?

The most common would be that new employees must have experience in what they are being employed by a company to do. Bringing in an apprentice who is normally (but not always!) aged between 16–19, means that they can be trained up to the standards of the company that we are hiring them for. They may not have experience elsewhere, so they are blank slates with no bad habits that need to be trained out. Attitude first – skills and knowledge come after!

The past 12 months have been very tough on businesses from all sectors, how has Set Training been coping over this period?

To be honest, it has been a rollercoaster. For the first few months of the pandemic, it was very slow and nobody was recruiting – everything was totally unknown at that point. At the start of 2021 though, the government set up a grant to help cover the apprentices’ wage which encouraged more apprentices into work, and helped employers grow their businesses too.

Like most other businesses, we have had to change and adapt how we work day-to-day. Pre-pandemic, our assessors would visit the apprentices in their new workplace, but this was not feasible, so we had to move the apprenticeship delivery online to Zoom, which has actually worked wonders! We were able to mobilise quickly, there was little-to-no disruption, and now our delivery is arguably as smooth as it’s ever been.

I feel like the changes that we have had to make to our business are here to stay. We are now able to deliver our apprentice training remotely, and this opens up the service to more companies that may not have had the opportunity beforehand. There is also less disruption for the businesses which we place the apprentices into;  we can carry out a simple Zoom call rather than having to be there in an office. Lastly, our assessors also have a greater work/life balance, as pre-pandemic, they would be driving around the country business-to-business.  Work/life balance is key here at Set Training.
We’ve actually had a couple of success stories over the past 12 months. One of which is our very own Caitlin Muir, who started with the team in October straight from school and went right into remote working. In the period between January and March 2021, Set Training were working with 50 vacancies and Caitlin managed to fill those spaces in no time at all which is OUTSTANDING. Caitlin is a key player in the growth that we have experienced in the past 12 months! 

What does the next 12 months hold for Set Training?

Off of the back of the government grant, we’ve increased our client base, so we are looking to grow our delivery and really nurture the new clients that we have brought on board this year.

We have recently moved into a new office space in central Glasgow; the hope is that (when everything goes back to normal) we can meet with our young people and clients within our new office. The office is within a co-working space… full of progressive young businesses, which are our ideal type of business to partner with. Set Training is young, and the office now matches the personality of the business, so it is a very exciting step for us.

We are looking to continue to grow our footprint in Scotland and potentially expand into different areas of training based on client demand, and then potentially move into England too, which is exciting!

Congratulations on becoming a company director! Have you learned anything new about yourself since you came into this role?

I’ve had to step-up and learn a lot of new skills which isn’t an issue because I love problem solving. The only issue I’ve had is that I’m a bit of a control freak, but I’ve simply not had the time since moving into my new role, so I’ve had to delegate tasks to other members of the team. It was refreshing to see how willing everyone was to help, and just how capable the team are when called upon.

With the country starting to come out the other side of the pandemic, why might business owners turn to an apprentice rather than elsewhere?

It’s more cost effective that taking on an experienced person but not only that, as mentioned earlier, you are getting a blank slate, someone that you can mould into what you want them to be…all while they get trained up to Diploma level in the chosen subject.

Why should it be Set Training?

We have grown and continue to grow around the values of looking after our people. It’s not a numbers game, look after the people and the figures will look after themselves. We put a lot of effort into matching the correct young person with the correct employer; we want our young people to succeed and grow within their role (even after their apprenticeship) and for the employer to see them as a valued member of their team.

We also work with Adrian Murtagh of Just Smart Thinking, who provides life coaching to our apprentices and our company. We started working with Adrian at the beginning of the pandemic as there was an increase in young people that were struggling with their mental health, and as far as I’m aware, we are the only provider who offers this service.

In such challenging circumstances, Set Training have clearly been able to adapt their business, setting in place a model which will no doubt prosper in the future.

Reich Insurance – working in partnership with our clients…

This interview provided Reich with an excellent opportunity to further increase our knowledge of our valued client – essential for when we provide expert, tailored advice. 

Understanding your business, your exposures and your concerns is at the heart of everything we do. It allows us to ensure you have the correct covers in place as you change, adapt and grow.

During the past 16 months, businesses have had to adapt in more ways than one and their insurance policies have had to change too. The everchanging insurance landscape during the pandemic has made it more important than ever to review your insurance covers and to have a broker who understands your business and can match you with an insurer that will offer you the protection your business needs.

For more information on Set Training, please click here.

For more information on Just Smart Thinking (life & performance coaching), please click here

Whether you are looking for advice on an upcoming renewal, are about to complete a purchase, or simply haven’t reviewed your current insurances for a number of years – give Reich a try: we promise you won’t regret it.

David McInally, Business Development – Scotland & Northern England