New chair joins enhanced line-up set to grow leading skills company WELL Training

WELL Training directors Lianne Russell, third left, Jackie Wyke fifth left, CEO Lindsey Flynn, front right, and Paul Kennedy, far right

Leading development skills provider WELL Training has secured significant growth, appointing a new chair to its board along with other key talent additions as it strengthens to deliver future success.

Experienced HR and chief people officer Paul Kennedy has joined the board of West Midlands-based WELL as it works to grow its national and international customer base in 2021 while delivering apprenticeship programmes for leading brands.

With its HQ in Wolverhampton, WELL was launched in 2010 to initially provide training services for businesses around the West Midlands. Since then it has gone on to serve companies across the UK and internationally with clients ranging from huge international brands through to large public sector organisations such as the NHS.  

(Pictured above: The new WELL Training line-up including directors Lianne Russell, third left, Jackie Wyke fifth left, CEO Lindsey Flynn, front right, and Paul Kennedy, far right)

Despite the challenging economic environment created by the Covid-19 global pandemic, WELL saw notable successes in 2020, including delivering two substantial training programmes for growing digital food delivery service City Pantry, owned by Just Eat.

Drawing upon WELL’s extensive experience of successfully providing training via virtual delivery, which it had established well before the Pandemic, it is also shaping apprenticeship programmes for leading national brands.

The WELL team’s track record in apprenticeship learning positions it well to capitalise on the Government push for more young people to be employed through vocational learning. They support apprenticeship levy-funded employers with training programs, designing and delivering support to add value to each business.

Paul Kennedy will be looking to build upon this success in his new role as chair, with securing national apprenticeship delivery contracts among the priorities in his new brief. Paul was formerly the chief people officer for Picsolve International, which delivered photo capture services for visitors to some of the world’s best-known theme parks and tourist destinations.

His previous roles include three years as the human resources director for the Caffe Nero national chain, with other highlights including six years as HR director for leading sport brand New Balance and two years in a similar role for digital company Ebookers.

Supporting Well’s plans for growth will be business development specialist Darren Mills, who also worked at Picsolve International, where he was business development director, having previously been head of sales at portrait photography specialist Venture Photography.

Strengthening Well’s skills and development team are significant additions to their learning delivery team. Julie Stobart, former Operations Manager at Nova Training, Pete Dea and Sue Dutton, the former head of training at Midlands News Association, bring a wealth of experience in delivering the best training delivery programmes. They are joining to providing training for clients in the UK and globally.

To promote Well’s work, communications agency Osborn, led by director Chris Leggett, have been enlisted to provide marketing and PR campaigns.

Paul said: “My appointment to the board of Well Associates means I am joining a company which is in a unique position to take advantage of the learning environment which has been created. With more training going on to digital platforms, WELL has developed the best in virtual programmes which it had already been delivering for several years, so is well positioned for future success.

“Agile, creative and flexible in their approach to supporting clients I have been impressed by their work and feel I can help as they set course for future growth. It is exciting to be part of a company which at its heart is developing the talent of the country for the future.

“Apprenticeships are a hot topic, with the Government making them part of the economic strategy to rebuild from the pandemic. Well are perfectly placed to capitalise upon the need for businesses to develop their staff both professionally and personally as they move forward.”

Paul said he was looking forward to chairing the board as part of his own development. He said: “This is my first chair role, so I am looking forward to taking on new responsibilities in the next phase of my career. I welcome the chance to work with like-minded individuals who are passionate about doing their best to help people in their future careers.”

WELL Director of Apprenticeships Jackie Wyke said Paul’s appointment would strengthen the company and support its plans for future growth. Jackie said: “We are pleased Paul has joined WELL at a time when we are looking to grow across the UK and globally.

“Paul’s experience and understanding of the changing HR and skills landscape will be vital as we look to shape our future. We have worked with him during his time when Picsolve was our client, so we are fully aware of the strengths he will bring to our board and the wider business.”

Jackie added: “Like most businesses, we have found this year tough, but we are all driven at WELL by our passion for transforming, developing and growing the learners and the businesses we work with to be the very best they can be. That has always been our guiding force and seeing the difference we have made to the companies and individuals we work with will drive our ambition to scale-up further, continuing to grow, so we can help more businesses and individuals get through these challenging times, coming out even stronger than before.”

Since its launch, WELL has trained more than 3000 people, ranging from front line manager to “C suite” senior leaders. It has supported learners in achieving 600 leadership qualifications, with 95% of learning sessions rated outstanding by participants.

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