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Profile Spring 2008 Newsletter

New training course for want to be sparkys

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Richard Roebuck Lowe Group Finance Director, Ian Carnall Managing Director of Nectar and Grahame Lunt from SYIF

A South Yorkshire company has launched a unique course to help people start a new career as domestic electricians.

The National Electrical Certification and Training Alliance (NECTA) has created a 10-week intensive programme to officially train people how to re-wire a home from scratch.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has helped the company expand and develop the 'Starter Sparky' training scheme with a £55,000 investment.

NECTA, who are part of the Lowe Group, provide City and Guilds accredited training for members of the public to blue-chip companies, to people with a variety of backgrounds, from maintenance staff to contract engineers.

It has spent £120,000 to create two new training workshops at their Bradmarsh Business Park base in Rotherham with each capable of training eight students per course.

Richard Roebuck, Group Finance Director at the Lowe Group, said: "The training programme is aimed at anyone wanting a career as a domestic electrician. It will provide the knowledge, qualifications and practical skills to anyone who needs to provide a professional and safe service.

'Many people in the electrical industry felt that the Governments introduction of the Part P qualification, which was in theory to focus on electrical safety in the home, didn't address the competency requirements in the time allowed for the course or depth of the curriculum.

"With a major client like British Gas on board, NECTA has developed the new Domestic Electrician Course. We wanted to offer a more in-depth training programme which will provide not only the Part P certificate, but a number of City and Guilds recognised qualifications too, which will increase the competence of successful candidates to an acceptable level."

NECTA, as part of the Lowe Group, is one of the country's leading electrical safety specialists, with a Group turnover of more than £15million. NECTA reviews and checks the electrical infrastructure of commercial buildings for insurance company AXA and their clients include BOC, Nestle and BMW.

The Lowe Group was originally introduced to SYIF by Craig Cartlidge at Barclays Bank in 2006 following which the Fund made its first investment in the company.

Grahame Lunt, SYIF's Investment Manager, said: "We are pleased to support the Lowe Group with this second investment and help the organisation expand into the training market.

"It has grown from strength to strength in the last few years and become the leading specialists in Electrical Safety. NECTA's new training course has been created to use this expertise to tap into a growing need to train more domestic electricians."

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).