Fund gives trainers a NICE boost

PUBLISHED: 17:43 23 March 2011

A training firm is hoping to clean up after finding a gap in the market – and funding from a Norwich business start-up fund.

Nationwide Industrial Compliance and Education (Nice), based at Swainsthorpe, has won contracts carrying out training at MOD Northwood and with Suffolk County Council since being founded by Des Fulcher in 2009 after he was made redundant.

It is due to launch a centre at King’s Cross in London working with a firm called Janitorial Express. The move would enable Nice to offer training to other firms in central London.

This week is has been in talks about running British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS) training with Broadland District Council and with services firm Covion.

Mr Fulcher, who had more than 20 years experience within the health, hygiene and safety industry, said at the time there was only Train to Gain training and nothing locally offering BICS and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) accredited training.

He was soon running training at centres in Ipswich, Kent and Surrey, with the help of partner and majority shareholder Tommy Taylor, who worked in facilities management and is a verifier for the BICS.

The firm has created an apprenticeship with BICS accreditation ahead of the government’s announcement to create an extra 100,000 apprenticeships and spend more cash on vocational training.

To get the firm going Mr Fulcher had to have City and Guilds and BICS accreditation, for which he needed £4,000 investment, and he had to train two assessors and launch a website.

Through a £10,000 loan from the Norwich 4 Business start-up scheme he was able to launch the business.

“I do not think we would have been able to do it without Norwich 4 Business,” he said.

“We know it made good business sense because we could see a market there.

“And by deliberately aiming at the apprenticeship market we knew we would have few competitors.

The Norwich4Business programme has £105,000 funding still available. 
It is open to people who have been made redundant, or are under the threat or notice of redundancy, in the Norwich area who are considering setting up a new business locally.

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