The Christmas and New Year break always provides time to take a step back from the business and reflect on the happenings of the previous 12 months and what a year it’s been for RTC!
As well as growing our consultancy and training offer, 2018 saw the launch of three new programmes designed to help businesses to innovate, compete and grow.
Back in January we welcomed Levi Roots to the stage who helped launch the Scaleup North East programme, in partnership with the North East LEP and Growth Hub. With support from the European Regional Development Fund and Local Growth Fund, this ground-breaking service aims to have a transformational impact on the region’s economy, increasing the success of the businesses that are already scaling, and boosting the number of scaleup businesses in the North East by 50% by 2024 and creating 1000’s of more and better jobs. Last month we celebrated the success of the programme so far with our Scaleup Summit which welcomed just over 200 business to a great event at Wylam Brewery.
In October, we launched Access Innovation, which we are delivering on behalf of the Leeds City Region LEP. This innovative programme offers SMEs in Leeds a package of support to develop new products, services and processes.
The same month also saw the new multi-million-pound programme Supply Chain North East, a partnership between the North East LEP, Generator, North East Process Industries Cluster and the North East Automotive Alliance. The programme will work with over 800 businesses between 2018 and 2021 helping them to build on core competencies, understand improvement needs and identify suitable supply chain opportunities in new and existing markets. This Supply Chain project strikes at the heart of what RTC was founded to do – help organisations diversify and improve productivity and their capacity to innovate.
This capacity to innovate is central to the Innovate 2 Succeed (i2S) service we deliver on behalf of Innovate UK and supported by the European Regional Development Fund. Offering fully funded support from innovation specialists across our three offices, by the end of the project in March 2019, the RTC team will have worked with over 450 SMEs.
We are in position to carry innovation programmes ‘Pathways to Innovation’, i2S, and our involvement in the hugely important Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in to next year. The World’s largest business Network, EEN consists of over 600 partner organisations in Europe and beyond and is charged with building commercial, technological and research collaborations between companies around the world. Alongside the EEN work, RTC supported Innovate UK in taking sector focussed groups of companies on highly successful ‘Global Business Accelerator’ visits to China, Singapore and Japan and more visits are planned for 2019 so watch this space….
Everyone at RTC is very proud to be in a position to continue all of these projects in to 2019 and are thankful for the support of all our partners at a regional, national and international level who help us make this happen.
A key priority for everyone at RTC is to spend time listening to clients and a constant message is about skills and developing people – the most important asset for any small business. As a result, we have invested greatly in developing a training offer. 2018 saw RTC create a large suite of training packages that includes everything from leadership & management and coaching & mentoring to technology road mapping, innovation and continuous improvement. A mix of accredited and bespoke training, RTC now aims to support companies with strategy deployment by helping and their teams embed change at an individual as well as organisational level.
Finally, one of the most important things RTC does as a ‘mission led’ business is creating a wider social impact through the work we do with young people. Fostering an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics amongst school aged children can literally change their lives and ultimately create a richer and more vibrant skills base on which our businesses can thrive. Through the STEM Ambassador Hub and our mentoring project, we put over 1000 industry ambassadors each year into schools to kickstart this and give pupils an alternative look at the world of work.
With 90% of firms in region suffering from skills shortages I can’t express enough how vital it is that we engage and support young people to explore and investigate STEM subjects in a fun and stimulating way. A lot of the impact we made this year was through delivery of the ‘Bring it On’ event that welcomed just over 2,500 children to the Beacon of Light enabling them to experience the exciting opportunities that are available right on their doorstep.
2019 is already on plan to be a busy one, with it also being our 30th Anniversary! I am extremely excited that through the great team we have at RTC we will continue to drive the business forward.
I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the whole RTC team who have worked so hard during the last 12 months and of course let me finish by wishing my colleagues, partners and our clients a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.