Skills boost to trigger growth for Paragon

Feb 25, 2016 | Business

A prototype specialist is embarking on the next phase of its expansion by putting its entire workforce through an extensive training programme.

Paragon Rapid Technologies recently completed a two-year growth plan which saw turnover rise from £2.8m to £4.1m and staff numbers from 35 to 53. During that period the Durham Tees Valley Airport-based firm recruited a new senior management team, made a six-figure investment in new equipment and streamlined operations to make the business more efficient.

Now the company, which makes rapid prototypes and components for the automotive, motorsport and medical sectors, has kick-started an 18-month programme to upskill all of its employees with the help of Peterlee-based KF Training.

All 53 staff will benefit from the training, which will cover strategic management and leadership, sales and marketing, business improvement techniques and store and warehouse management. It is hoped the skills boost will trigger further growth at Paragon, which is aiming to ramp up turnover to £7m by 2018.

Paragon general manager Ian Jobling, who will undergo leadership and management training, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with KF Training on this exciting project. As a company we’ve expanded rapidly in recent years but to achieve the next phase of our growth plan we have to improve the skills base of our business.

“This training scheme will allow us to do that and if we meet our turnover projections we’ll be able to create more jobs at Paragon.”

Sara O’Brien, commercial director at KF Training, said: “We work with fast-growth companies that require extra skills to help them become more competitive. We are finding that many of our clients, including Paragon, are asking for leadership and management training to help improve the performance of their staff.

“It’s great to be working with Paragon and playing a key role in its expansion plans.”

KF Training delivers business-focused skills programmes and consultancy services across the North of England. Headquartered in Peterlee, County Durham, the fast-growing business was launched in 2011 by managing director Kelly Lee and now employs 52 people. With four specialist training divisions covering innovation, leadership and management, continuous improvement and business skills, KF Training has helped dozens of clients build strong, dynamic businesses and develop a highly skilled workforce.