Swift action in the face of the coronavirus threat has seen Orangebox Training Solutions, based at the Innovation Centre in Hartlepool, come through lockdown with a larger team, 84% of its learners placed in work and three major contracts involving thousands of jobs coming on stream.
Orangebox began 2020 operating globally and across the UK, having trained more than 2000 people, won a business award and was heading to a £1m annual turnover.
Working in four key areas when lockdown struck, the company immediately decided to close three areas and concentrate on warehousing to protect the business. It had contracts in place with Amazon, Tesco, Teesport, Hermes and others so it moved fast to take all training online. With only four office staff still operating, two new platforms were researched and launched within five days.
"The changes made to the business have gone better than we dared hope. The government’s furlough scheme and grants were a huge help and, thanks to support from UKSE, local colleges and System Group plus our amazing team and learners who all worked incredibly hard, the future is still looking good. "Simon Corbett, CEO
How we did it.
Since lockdown the UKSE team has been supporting all the 80+ businesses in its two Innovation Centres in the North to keep their businesses operating with advice and safety measures to keep the Centres open. Orangebox has expanded into larger offices twice since moving into the Centre and, in 2018, UKSE also backed the company with an investment that enabled it to acquire another business and expand.
Just a few months on from lockdown, the original 14-strong office team is back with two additional new members and a further six people joining its bank of 30+ skilled trainers. Training rooms are re-opening in some areas with safety measures in place.
3 major contracts involving large warehouse facilities in the UK are set to create 1,500 jobs each, having seen demand increase with the growth in online shopping. Orangebox is seeing an increase in enquiries for paediatric first aid and risk assessment training from schools and local authorities.