The prestigious Pitman Training centre in Manchester’s Chorlton Street has been forced to recruit additional staff for its Course Advisory and training teams following a surge in demand for office skills courses, according to Principal Shilpa Wymer.
“We were shocked by the numbers of student enrolments and enquiries in July, and August seems to be even busier. Enrolments are way ahead of plan and everyone is working double shifts to deal with the huge numbers of enquiries coming in almost every hour. The level of interest is outstripping that of our flagship centres in London!”
The coming month promises to be a bonanza for the school as Mrs Wymer claims September is traditionally the peak month for enrolments at Pitman Training.
“That’s why we’ve had to hire new staff who should be just coming up to speed by then. None the less, if this trend continues, we’ll have to bring in staff from our London centres to cope with the demand.”
Analysis of both enquiries and enrolments shows that demand for Pitman’s diploma level Executive PA course is highest, followed by their legal secretarial diploma and then their range of bookkeeping courses.
Staff at the centre claim interest is coming from all sectors, unemployed, working, young and more mature.
They are unable to verify whether the recent downsizing of local government departments has contributed to the rise in enquiries.
“It’s hard to say.” reports Mrs Wymer.”The enquiries seem to be from such a broad range of people. We’ve had both long-term unemployed people using their savings to pay for courses and those in secure jobs taking out instalment plans, so people are obviously seeing the value in studying at what is a rather exclusive school.”
“Our experience in London is that having Pitman on your CV often makes you more attractive to employers, so maybe it is the name that is having such a big impact here in Manchester.”
Course Advisor Adam Hallsworth thinks it also has a lot to do with the speed at which students can earn a qualification.
“When you consider that you can start a course with us at any time and study on a drop-in basis Monday to Saturday, you can complete an Executive PA course in 4 or 5 months or become a qualified bookkeeper in 3 months.
That means you could be starting a new job really fast.”
Potential students can learn more by calling 0161 923 6814