West Berkshire Training Consortium

I returned to West Berkshire Training Consortium (WBTC) in 2010 with the view of applying my new and broader set of management skills. I must admit I had my work cut out establishing a new management team, reaffirming the organisations guiding principles and building quality training delivery within a framework of financial stability. It took 2 years to accomplish but I was lucky to find some excellent people to help me out. I therefore have great experience in change management and also strategic planning particularly in the context of an organisation in dire need of improvement. WBTC is an independent charitable training provider that has served the local community since 1983.


Our core values focus on getting young people into Apprenticeships and full time learning so that they can enjoy a meaningful and rewarding working life. We are passionate about equality and diversity and we seek to challenge the gender stereotypes and other artificial barriers that young people from minorities may face in securing work. I'm proud to be the latest leader at WBTC working for local people and local businesses to build a better West Berkshire. 

At present my role involves the strategic leadership and operational management of the organisation. This includes growing our funded contracts with the government. I have grown these 300% since 2011. I'm ultimately responsible for achieving high success rates, achieving high retention rates with students and building our commercial business base with employers. WBTC was graded 'good'​ at our Ofsted inspection in 2013 and was an inaugural winner in the West Berkshire Business Awards 2013.


We finished 2014 with success rates miles ahead of the national average and a healthy surplus for charity too. All of this didn't happen by accident but neither did I achieve it on my own. I lucky to have a great management team of different strengths and together we have done amazing things but there's so much left to do.











FE News chats to Matt Garvey, Managing Director of the West Berkshire Training Consortium about the future of good quality subcontracting and the benefits to the sector of the Prime and Subcontractor relationship. Matt explains that he runs a small provider, but they are also a Prime Provider. He works with Subcontractor's who are both provision and service and they have been subcontracting for well over 20 years.


Matt ran a workshop at the AELP annual conference called 'The future of good quality subscontracting' and is in part a riposte to the handful, but negative coverage of some subcontractors in the sector. He reminds us that of the 76% of Apprenticeships delivered by independent providers, many of those are acting through a Prime (so acting as a subcontractor), which could be another independent provider or college and it highlights that those partnerships deliver good quality and sometimes quite high volume Apprenticeships in a wide range of sectors and indeed without those relationships some of those sectors many not be served without subcontractors. 

Due to the recent negative coverage of subcontractors, that the Brexit result may bring in new people into power, there could be a potential rush to limit or ban subcontracting. Matt explains that this would be short sighted as the vast majority of Prime to Subcontractor relationships are very good and that the sector probably would not have achieved anywere near the level of Apprenticeship volumes without the Prime and Subcontractor relationships.

Matt then chats through the benefits of subcontractors and how to manage strong, successful, quality relationships between Primes and subcontractors. Please click on the video below to hear what Matt has to say about the future of good quality subcontracting:

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Matt Garvey, WBTC, Future of Good Quality Subcontracing