UK talent investment drives success for British tech company
Investment in high potential talent and apprenticeships is helping to accelerate a major phase of growth for Advanced, the UK’s third largest business software provider. Since 2016, Advanced has invested in a major talent acquisition programme – a unique programme designed to attract Britain’s best talent, actively welcoming both graduates and non-graduates of all ages and backgrounds looking to pursue a career in IT. Candidates undergo a rigorous assessment and, if successful, are offered the chance to fast track their careers within the organisation.
In 2018 alone, Advanced recruited nearly 350 people into its new headquarters in Slough and regional headquarters in Birmingham and Knutsford. Around 40% had no degree level education and of those who had, a large number had no relevant work experience. In addition, it has so far introduced 28 apprentices into technical and digital marketing roles.
Advanced has completed one of the largest transformations of any UK business today, which involved recruiting into 1,000 roles during 2016 and 2017. Over 400 are based in its regional Midlands HQ at the Mailbox in Birmingham and North West HQ on Booths Park in Knutsford, outside of Manchester as well as its additional hubs in London and the South East. The company’s commitment to regional hubs and digital apprenticeships underpins its strategy to build a more digitally skilled workforce and to attract local talent with high potential.
Gordon Wilson, CEO at Advanced, believes it is the secret to ongoing success – not only for Advanced but for the government, which has ambitions around its Industrial Strategy to drive sustainable growth across the UK, particularly into the regions. “An agile, motivated and dynamic workforce is a company’s strongest weapon for managing change and adopting new technology that drives productivity and supports future plans. This is important if we are to succeed in our next major growth phase. Like many businesses, we have found identifying the right candidates for apprenticeships challenging, but we’re now focusing on a more flexible scheme of building apprenticeships into key internal development programmes to ensure we support and develop young talent.
“To accelerate our growth, we are actively acquiring great British software businesses to who we can provide much needed investment to accelerate their success. In turn, this encourages a culture of growth and innovation within our own.”
Advanced’s acquisition strategy has focused its investment to date on strategic technology and industry areas that coverage enterprise resource planning, modernising legacy applications and spend management covering key sectors including manufacturing and the public sector. Its latest acquisition has also encompassed a rebranding of existing offices to create a new Advanced hub in Leeds.
The company has also invested time and energy in contributing to leading technology and business groups in the UK. Three of its senior leaders – Gordon Wilson as CEO, Jon Wrennall as CTO, and Nick Wilson as MD of Public Sector, Health & Care – sit on the board of several groups playing our part to shape the UK’s digital future:
- Gordon on board of techUK
- Gordon on CBI South East Regional Council
- Jon on CBI Innovation Council
- Jon is a leading member of the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) Digital Board involved in the appointment of its Chief Digital Officer.
- Nick on techUK committee